[WATCH] Bernie Sanders' Press Secretary on Black Lives Matter and Young Voters
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[WATCH] Bernie Sanders’ Press Secretary Talks Black Lives Matter Movement and Advice to Young Voters

Sanders has a moment of levity behind the podium at a 2015 campaign rally for Bernie Sanders (Source: upi.com)

With a lot of youth being behind the Black Lives Matter movement, what do you think will be Sen. Sanders key to helping attract the youth and minority vote?
I’ll say this, I think that right now it’s still early in the game and there are people that still don’t know the Senator yet and still haven’t really heard his platform. I think what would be key for us is not just for the African American constituency–because that is a very important constituency–but really, all millennials and women, bringing our message to their front door. Letting them know where we stand on racial justice issues, but also where we stand on climate change. Climate change adversely affects people of color, but particularly African American communities. That’s something we are going to continue to talk about.

Also bring the issue of the wealth gap and economic inequality. Letting people know where we stand, letting them get to know who the Senator is, his track record, and what he’s been fighting for. I think that will really make the difference, and so we are actively doing that already.

What advice do you have for young people who will be first time voters in 2016?
Regardless of what anybody tells you, I’m telling [you] to vote. I encourage all young people to get out there and know the issues. I definitely want you to vote for the presidential candidates. I want you to vote for Bernie Sanders, but I also think it’s important that people don’t overlook their state and local candidates.

All politics is local. So find out if you’ve got city council men and women up for reelection. Find out if there’s school board elections, if your county commissioners are running again, your state legislatures, those are really important. Educate yourself on those issues because the policies we make at the federal level trickle down to the state level. So it’s important that young people–especially if it’s your first time voting–educate themselves on a wide breadth of issues and candidates.

If you can narrow it down to three, what are the top three things you hope to get accomplished as press secretary?
Well one, I want to build strong relationships with a diverse pool of national and local reporters. I think that goes to getting the message out. Two, I would say develop a proactive communications strategy that promotes the senator so his candidacy becomes a household name. I don’t want people to stop talking about Bernie Sanders in the barbershop. And the third goal is to get people get excited. I think people were very excited in 2008 about President Obama, and just about going to the polls and voting. I think what’s so exciting about Senator Sanders campaign, is he brings that same kind of energy that we remember feeling all those years ago. I hope as the press secretary, that when people see me and they hear me, when we’re at these events, when I’m doing these interviews, that people hear that I’m excited and I want them to get excited about Bernie Sanders for president.


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