NYS Presidential Primary: Hillary Goes To Sunset Park, Sanders Does Coney Island

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(Photo by Tsubasa Berg)

As stump speeches go, Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton‘s oratory in Brooklyn Saturday was three-quarters policy and politics, and one-quarter product of either tall tales or a highly selective memory.

Either way, the campaign stop in Sunset Park, in which Puerto Rican- born Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, who represents the area, introduced Clinton in front of several hundred supporters and gathered media at Industry City, focussed mainly on her vision for helping Hispanics.

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It also came as the April 19 New York Primary is becoming a crucial battleground state between her and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. A big win for Clinton, the former New York Senator, will go a long way towards her locking up the nomination, while a victory for Sanders will ratchet up a race that has already tightened with his string of Sanders primary wins, including in Wyoming over the weekend.

Clinton utilized her speech to put forth her argument to reform the country’s immigration system and fight discrimination by working to pass immigration reform, promoting naturalization, ending racial profiling, and addressing voting discrimination. She said she will also end family detention and close private immigrant detention centers.

Clinton also said she supports allowing Puerto Rico to restructure all of its debt, while respecting Puerto Rico’s local self-government. As president, she said she would work with Congress to put Puerto Rico on a path toward equal treatment under Medicaid and Medicare and other federal programs.

Clinton also gave boiler plate Democratic views to provide  “every Latino child with quality education and investments in English Language Leaners and bilingual education programming.”

Additionally, Clinton explained she will expand access to early childhood programming, and provide resources for English Language Learners and bilingual education by using New York, California and Illinois as examples.

Her tall tale or selective memory recalled a childhood that was more John Steinbeck ‘Grapes of Wrath’ than wealthy Chicago suburb where she was born and raised. In it, she explained how Mexican migrants worked the farm fields near where she used to live, and how her mother drove her to Michigan to baby sit in tiny shacks for the small wide-eyed Latino children, who had come to the farm country with their parents and older siblings on “rickety buses” along bumpy dirt roads to carve a new American dream in the great Midwest. She ended the ditty with how when these small children saw their parents and older siblings come home after a long day in the fields, she would have to chase after them fearful for their young lives as they raced ahead to greet family members with heartfelt hugs and kisses.

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While Clinton unrolled her Latino policy, Sanders visited his childhood apartment building home in Midwood this weekend and then held a rally on the Coney Island Boardwalk, where he discussed getting big money out of politics, along with his plans to make public colleges and universities tuition-free, combating climate change and ensuring universal health care.

After finishing his stump speech before thousands of mainly young white supporters, Sanders went to Nathan’s where he chowed down on a hot dog with mustard and sauerkraut.

Photographs by Tsubasa Berg

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