CATHEDRAL CITY, CA – Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders will hold a rally at Big League Dreams Sports Park in Cathedral City today, discussing the customary issues of his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.
The 74-year-old Sanders will discuss a wide range of issues, including getting big money out of politics, his plan to make public colleges and universities tuition-free, combating climate change and ensuring universal health care, an aide said. The rally will begin at noon at the park’s Des Moines Field with gates opening at 10 a.m.
Sanders is scheduled to hold another rally late this afternoon at the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds in Lancaster. He held rallies in Anaheim, Riverside and San Bernardino on Tuesday.
At a morning rally at the Anaheim Convention Center, adjacent to Disneyland, Sanders was critical of the theme park’s parent company, the Walt Disney Co.
“Anybody here work for Disney?” he asked the crowd. “Anybody here making a living wage who works for Disney?”
“Let us be clear,” he said, “the $7.25 federal minimum wage is not a living wage, it is a starvation wage.
“I believe we should raise that starvation wage in every state in this country to $15 an hour. Life would be a little bit different for some of the employees here working for Disney if the minimum wage here was $15.”
California’s minimum wage is $10 an hour but will increase to $15 an hour by 2022 under legislation approved earlier this year.
Disney spokeswoman Suzi Brown hit back at Sanders’ criticism.
” Mr. Sanders clearly doesn’t have his facts right,” Brown said. “The Disneyland Resort generates more than $5.7 billion annually for the local economy, and as the area’s largest employer has added more than 11,000 jobs over the last decade, a 65 percent increase.
“These numbers don’t take into account our $1 billion expansion to add a ‘Star Wars’-themed land, which will create thousands of additional jobs across multiple sectors.”
Sanders also took issue with companies who use foreign labor to manufacture products.
“If they want us to buy their products … it is time for them to build those products right here in America, not in China,” he said.
The Sanders campaign also released a new television commercial Tuesday that will run in California ahead of its June 7 primary election.
“What choice do Californians have in this election?” Sanders asks in the ad. “The biggest one of all. You have the power to choose a new direction for the Democratic Party. To break the back of a corrupt system of campaign finance that keeps a rigged economy in place. To stand up to Wall Street and make the wealthy pay their fair share. To fight for tuition-free public colleges and universities.”
“California, it’s a long way to Washington, but you can send them a message they can’t ignore,” Sanders said as the commercial concludes.
Also on Tuesday, Sanders sent an email to his national fundraising list in support of eight candidates running for seats in state legislatures around the nation.
“Bernie believes that the path toward bold change requires leaders to take back control of state capitols around the country and ensure fair redistricting in 2020,” said Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ campaign manager.
“The leaders we’re raising money for today are the members of Congress, senators and presidential candidates of tomorrow.”
The lone California legislative candidate singled out by Sanders for support was San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim, who is running for the state Senate.