Opinion guest column

Beavers for Bernie: four stories, one message

Student advocates outline their support for Sanders

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Four student members of Beavers for Bernie (clockwise from top left: Gómez, Scott, Samuel, and Contreras) voice their support.

We are four MIT students who are members of Beavers for Bernie. Beavers for Bernie is part of a network of college student groups working towards putting Bernie Sanders in the White House. The movement Bernie started back in 2016 has brought together a broad coalition from different races, creeds, sexualities, ages, and income levels. There are different aspects of this movement that have inspired each of us to volunteer our limited time. However, we are all unified in being sick of the status quo.

Isabella Gómez ’19

I am originally from the southern Texas border, and many people in my community live their lives in constant fear that their families could be separated with something as insignificant as a traffic stop. This same fear permeates through our community and makes it difficult for families to get healthcare and participate in our democracy. I support Bernie Sanders because he is the only candidate who has promised to break up Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, stop deportations, and reinstate Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals to recipients and their parents. 

Another huge reason I support Tío Bernie is because of his commitment to fight for “Medicare for All” and provide healthcare to everyone in this country as a human right. A family friend of mine had to start a GoFundMe just to afford cancer treatment for her husband. I no longer want my community to suffer from severe health issues coupled with crippling debt in the current system. Everyone deserves health care regardless of income level, employment status, or immigration status. Healthcare is a human right! 

Mario Melendrez Contreras ’19

As the son of immigrants and a Chicano from the southern Californian border, I have decided to support Bernie Sanders for president in 2020. To me, Bernie is the only candidate with a real grassroots movement fighting for working families in this country. We are fighting for love, freedom, and justice this election cycle.

Love is when we ensure universal healthcare so that our families can get the healthcare they deserve. 23% of people in my congressional district do not have health insurance. This doesn’t include the millions of others who are underinsured and cannot afford their medical care. In the richest country in the world, veterans, mothers, fathers, and children are dying to prioritize the profits of the ultra-wealthy. It is not radical to join the rest of the world and ensure that our people lead dignified, healthy lives.

Freedom is when we cancel student debt so that we remove a burden off of an entire generation. 73% of the benefits from debt cancellation will go to the bottom 80% of Americans. In addition to this, African-American and Latino students hold the most debt, so cancelling student debt would actually cut the racial wealth gap from 12:1 to 5:1. 

Justice is when we ensure a healthy planet for our grandchildren and future generations. We will transform our energy system to be 100% renewable, not for ourselves, but for future generations. We will create millions of jobs in order to transform our energy infrastructure and ensure a just transition for workers in the energy industry.

Bernie has been morally consistent ever since he entered the political arena as a college student at the University of Chicago, where he was arrested for protesting racial segregation in housing. As Mayor of Burlington, he supported a Gay Pride parade in 1983 and declared the day of the parade Lesbian and Gay Pride Day. Bernie supported a woman’s right to choose even before Roe v. Wade

Vote for a movement fighting for love, freedom, and justice, led by an honest man who has been on the right side of history since the ’60s. Vote for Bernie on March 3rd in the Massachusetts Democratic Primary.  

Peter Scott ’20

Bernie is fighting for the strongest “Medicare for All” (M4A) proposal out of all of the candidates. Healthcare is literally a life or death issue in this country. A recent Yale study showed that M4A would save 68,000 lives (along with $450 billion) annually. Bernie is the one we can trust to fight for this proposal because of his unparalleled consistency throughout the years and his lack of ties to big money interests, including the private healthcare industry.

M4A would help my family massively. One person in my family struggles with some mental health issues, and we have to cover all of the therapy expenses ourselves out of the fear that private insurance companies would not give him health insurance if they knew about his issues. With Bernie’s M4A, this issue would not exist — mental healthcare would be free and no one would be kept off the plan for any reason. We also pay an exorbitant amount for prescription drugs, and Bernie will fight to cap prices at no more than $200 per year. Bernie is also the only candidate to propose relieving all medical debt, which should not exist in the first place in any civilized society. Americans have dealt with the greed of the private health insurance industry for so long that many of us are convinced that there is no alternative. However, there is, and Bernie Sanders is the one we can trust to bring us up to speed with the rest of the developed world.

Abenezer Samuel ’20

To put it plainly, my support for Bernie is not particularly sourced from his policy, record, or personhood. My support stems from the shift in the psyche of the people that Bernie’s movement is a product of. People are sick and tired of feeling disenfranchised. Sick and tired of a class of elites that has been gaslighting them into believing that we live in an actual democracy where power is decentralized to the people. Unlike other countries, ours responds to the atrocities of neoliberalism by organizing a movement with egalitarian and inclusive guiding principles.

This movement inspires everyday people to take their destinies — and those of their neighbors — into their own hands and run up against oligarchic, establishment congressional incumbents nationwide. People with full-time jobs are using their valuable free time to go door-to-door and be the arms and legs of the campaign. The formerly apathetic and pessimistic have glints of hope in their eyes. And lastly, this movement has turned a cynical critic of electoral politics, an armchair revolutionary, into a footsoldier of a grassroots campaign, giving him the audacity to hope and aspire. Therefore, my MIT brothers and sisters, be a part of history. Vote for Bernie on March 3rd! 

‘All the power to all the people’