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Bernie Sanders speaks with Coopersville trade union members

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders spoke to an energized crowd of about 200 West Michigan trade workers and community members Saturday afternoon at a local union hall.

The Independent from Vermont running in the democratic field of candidates began the rally on the topic of healthcare.


“In my view, healthcare is a human right, whether you’re rich, or whether you’re poor, or whether you’re middle class,” Sanders said. “We right now have a dysfunctional healthcare system.”


Sanders also spoke about the economy, income equality and education. He emphasized his support of skilled trades education and free college tuition.


“I happen to believe from the bottom of my heart, that when you look at the decline of the American middle class over the last 40 years, you are seeing a parallel decline of the trade union movement,” Sanders said.  


Kurt Troutman is a member of the Lansing-based Michigan Education Association.


“Bernie Sanders said so many positive things about our young people, that they are our future, and that education is our future, so I look forward to those types of policies; particularly regarding expanding education and limiting student loans.”


Sanders lost the democratic presidential nomination to Hillary Clinton in 2016. A self-described democratic socialist and progressive, Sanders announced he was running for president earlier this year.


Kayla Sosa is a general news reporter for WGVU Public Radio.