Sen. Bernie Sanders joined Rep. Rashida Tlaib in Detroit Sunday afternoon for a rally where the Detroit congresswoman formally announced her endorsement of the Vermont senator’s bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
“We deserve someone who wrote the damn bill,” Tlaib said to the crowd. “We deserve Bernie Sanders.”
The rally in Detroit’s Cass Technical High School began at 5pm with performances by musician Jack White and the Cass Tech Madrigals.
Sanders sounded a hopeful note at the end of his address, asking the crowd to believe in the power of political change.
“It always seems it is impossible until it is done,” said Sanders. “Don’t believe anyone that tells you that moving towards a society of justice is impossible.”
Watch the event:
Sanders and Talib spent Sunday afternoon on a tour of “corporate greed” where the congresswoman showed the senator the extent of the devastation wrought by economic decline across her district in Detroit.
“I have the third poorest congressional district in the country,” said Tlaib. “Corporate greed has become a disease, especially in my district.”
Sanders, standing in front of Little Caesar’s Arena, told The Detroit Free Press that the stadium’s receipt of $325 million in tax subsidies while the city struggles was the perfect example of the crushing inequality the senator is running against.
“There are folks who look at these and point their fingers at these beautiful stadiums and say this is a rebirth,” said Sanders. “But they don’t talk about their kids not getting an education and coming down with asthma” from city pollution.
Sunday’s rally also served as an opportunity for Sanders to promote his plan to hold accountable wealthy developers who use tax breaks intended for the poor for profit like Detroit’s Dan Gilbert. The practice was highlighted in The New York Times on Saturday in a report that showed how 1980s Wall Street pirate Michael Milken has taken advantage of the tax subsidies.
“When we defeat Trump, billionaires are going to stop ripping off communities and start paying their fair share,” Sanders tweeted, “whether they like it or not.”
The rally began just an hour after it was reported that longtime Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), who left office in 2017, had died at 90. Tlaib won election to Conyers’ seat in 2018.
Last week, Sanders joined Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) in Queens for her formal endorsement. A crowd of over 26,000 showed up to hear the two and other special guests. An event with Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), who already announced her endorsement of Sanders, is scheduled for November 3 in Minneapolis.