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OPINION

Andru Volinsky: Sanders is the one

He can bring the country together to take on our shared challenges.

Senator Bernie Sanders speaks during a campaign rally Tuesday in Milford, N.H.
Senator Bernie Sanders speaks during a campaign rally Tuesday in Milford, N.H.Mary Altaffer/Associated Press

This year, like many voters, I took my time deciding who to support for president. After careful consideration, I am once again backing Senator Bernie Sanders. Let me tell you why.

For decades, Bernie Sanders has fought for working people. He has never backed down from the major challenges facing us as a nation, like the corrupting influence of money in politics, climate change, and income inequality. And he has been on the right side of our struggles to provide robust public education funding, to support our veterans when they come home, and to recognize health care as a human right. He understands the systemic problems in our political system. His bold plans dare to take on the most powerful corporate interests and place power back in the hands of the people.

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I have the utmost trust in his small-dollar, people-powered funding. Bernie Sanders has contributions from more people than anyone else in the race, more than any other campaign in the history of American politics at this point in an election. These millions of small-dollar donations reflect millions of supporters, many of whom are veterans, teachers, or work at companies like Walmart and Amazon. Bernie’s support comes from a diverse coalition that includes voters of color, voters of faith, women, and young people. Voters deserve to be represented by candidates who are not compromised by special-interest money. Bernie never has been, and never will be.

But endorsing Bernie isn’t just about my values — it’s also because Bernie beats Trump in head-to-head polls. Sanders would defeat the most dangerous president in modern history, attracting independent and young voters.

Bernie’s movement is a grass-roots movement. He has the support of more labor unions than any other candidate in the race. The Sunrise Movement and National Nurses United have both endorsed him for championing the strong Green New Deal and Medicare for All. He recognizes that we must act immediately to stop the climate crisis and create a livable future for our children and grandchildren, and that health care is a human right. Bernie’s Green New Deal will transform our economy by creating 20 million new good-paying green jobs and protecting workers during the economic transition.

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I’ve seen firsthand how unions helped my father, a mechanic and maintenance worker, provide for my family. I was the only one in my family to go to college, earning a scholarship and working as a carpenter and in a factory to put myself through. Sadly, college is unaffordable for many students, especially those in the Northeast, where we have the highest college tuition in the country, and where students have the highest amount of college debt. Bernie’s plan to cancel student loan debt and guarantee tuition and debt-free public colleges, universities, historically black colleges and universities, other minority-serving institutions and trade schools is exactly what we need to invest in that dream.

The Sanders campaign motto is #NotMeUs, because this movement is about all of us. It’s about uplifting everyday working people from all backgrounds. It’s about leading the charge against corporate greed and corruption. Bernie will be the “organizer in chief” who will consistently ask everyone in this country to be willing, as he says, “to fight for someone you don’t know.” Join me in working to make Bernie Sanders the nominee in November, so that we have a candidate who can bring the country together to take on our shared challenges — the first of which is getting Donald Trump out of the White House.

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Andru Volinksy is a member of the Executive Council and a gubernatorial candidate in New Hampshire.