Sanders in Iowa: Focus on Children

During a period of intense campaigning by numerous presidential candidates of both parties across Iowa, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders took time late last week with Every Child Matters and 20-or-so local children’s advocates solely to discuss policies affecting kids.

The Des Moines roundtable immediately generated statewide media coverage of the Democratic presidential hopeful’s fervent views on the state of child care and early childhood education in America, which he called “a disaster” and “disgraceful.”

As reported by the Des Moines Register, Sanders pledged, if elected, “to open up access to high-quality, affordable childcare and preschool.”

Pinpointing programs to close the opportunity gap caused by growing inequality of income and wealth, “which today is worse in America than in any other major country on earth,” Sanders said he would push for child care and after-school care, universal pre-k, good wages for child care workers, quality K-12 education, free tuition in public colleges and universities, and jobs for those entering the workforce.

Acknowledging that truly focusing on the needs of children is “an expensive proposition,” Sanders proposed paying for such policies with “a tax on Wall Street speculation,” by asking the “wealthiest people and the largest corporations in America to start paying their fair share of taxes.”

“No president can do it alone,” Sanders insisted, when asked how to engage Congress to make investments in children. It requires rallying the American people, “because when we stand together, we don’t get divided by race or sexual orientation or whether we are native born or an immigrant or all that stuff. When we stand together then we can make those things happen.”

Every Child Matters is meeting with presidential hopefuls of both parties face-to-face in Iowa and New Hampshire to talk about a “children-in-working families” agenda. Our campaign to elevate the profile and improve the quality of discussion of issues affecting kids will continue throughout the candidate selection process.

To read the full transcript of Sanders’ conversation, click here.

For additional press coverage of the event, visit: