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California Feeling the Bern

Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said a vast majority of Americans, specifically African Americans and other minorities, have an enormous amount of mistrust of the police.

“Our goal is to make police departments serve the people and not intimidate the people,” said Sanders during a Wednesday afternoon press interview with California Black Media.

With the June 7 Democratic primary approaching, Sanders spoke about the issues facing African-Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and the middle class all across California.

The Vermont senator reiterated his plans of re-thinking the war on drugs and getting rid of privately owned prisons.

“Our criminal justice system is very broken,” Sanders said. “We’ve got more people in jail than any other country. Disproportionately, African American, Latino and Native Americans; and we are spending almost $80 billion a year to lock up fellow Americans.”

The candidate for the nation’s top office said rival Hillary Clinton is an establishment politician. He said the former First Lady is an example of how the Democratic Party, which typically garners support from most Black voters, is not working in favor of the American public.

Sanders denounced Clinton’s support of the Iraq War and said instead of funding the American war machine we should invest in inner cities where the schools are failing and citizens can’t afford housing.

“We need a political revolution,” he said. “We do need a government that’s representing all of us and not just the one percent.”

A recent NBC News and Wall Street Journal/Marist poll shows, the democratic race is tight in California. Clinton has 49 percent support and Sanders has 47 percent, with a margin of error plus or minus 4.2 percent.

Clinton leads with 1769 pledged delegates with Sanders trailing closely by 1501. There are 546 delegates up for grabs in California.

The former Secretary of State has 543 superdelegates to Sanders’ 44. Superdelegates consist of elected officials and party figures affiliated with the Democratic Party. They are usually high-ranking members of the party - such as current congressmen, governors, and former presidents.

The superdelegates are not bound to follow the will of the voters, nor are they required to stay true to the candidate they've pledged to support. During the National Democratic Party Convention in July, superdelegates act as wildcards and can change their vote.

On May 30, over 20,000 supporters attended Sanders’ campaign rally at the Frank H. Ogawa Plaza in Oakland.

Actor Danny Glover opened for the senator. The “Lethal Weapon” star said he and Sanders met with different communities including members from the Allen Temple Baptist Church in East Oakland, a famed Black church, to discuss issues facing Californians.

“We talked about everything from the violence against young black and Hispanic young men,” said the multiple NAACP Image Award winning actor. “We talked about the issues around climate change and the impact that’s having on communities of color. He’s a truth teller and that’s what we need.”

Sanders told supporters at the rally his goals of creating social, economical, racial, and environmental justice for all Americans.

“Our message in this campaign is to bring people together,” he said. “Black, white, Latino, Asian American, Native American - we will never allow the Trumps of the world to divide us up.”

In a national poll average gathered by Real Clear Politics, if Sanders were to run against Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump in the general election, the senator would win by 11 percent. Conversely the same poll shows Clinton would lead by one percent against the New York real estate tycoon.

Over 55,000 volunteers and thousands of rally supporters; hope to turn California into Sanders’ Golden State.

“Decisions are being made today, which impact your life and you should have a say in what those decisions are,” Sanders said. ”What seems impossible today in fact happens when millions of people demand that it happens.”

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