In partnership with The Guardian, NowThis, The Young Turks and Act.tv, Sen. Bernie Sanders announced on Thursday that he will be hosting a televised town hall meeting on March 19 with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, documentary filmmaker Michael Moore, and many others. Titled “Inequality in America: The Rise of Oligarchy and Collapse of the Middle Class,” the town hall will focus on poverty in America, the 40-year decline of the middle class, and the growing power and political influence of corporate interests.
“The goal is twofold: No. 1 is to have a serious discussion on one of the most important issues facing our country, and that is who owns America, who has the power, why the middle class is declining,” Sanders recently told HuffPost. “We’re going to talk about extreme poverty in America.
“Then we’re going to be talking about where we go from here. How do we create an economy that works for everybody and not just the 1 percent?”
The event is scheduled to take place in front of a live audience at the Capitol Visitor Center’s Congressional Auditorium in Washington from 7:00 to 8:20 p.m. and live-streamed across the partners’ social media channels. Joining Moore and Sen. Warren on the panel will be economist Darrick Hamilton; Catherine Coleman Flowers, founder of the Alabama Center for Rural Enterprise Community Development Corporation; Cindy Estrada, Vice President of the United Auto Workers Union; and political economist Dr. Gordon Lafer.
“The political establishment has completely turned away from the middle class and abandoned the American blue collar workers in favor of the wealthy elite,” said TYT host Ana Kasparian. “Tax cuts are only helping the top one percent and have become corporations’ best and most loyal friend. Our government needs to create opportunity for all people, and it’s imperative that our elected officials make sure wages increase with the productivity of this country. I applaud Sen. Sanders’ work in making this the issue of our time. I look forward to working with Michael Moore, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Darrick Hamilton and the many other esteemed guests to advance the conversation and create change.”
John Mulholland, Guardian U.S. editor added, “The Guardian strives to illuminate the most pressing and under-reported issues facing America today. Widening levels of inequality are of huge concern to our American readers. We’re pleased to be involved in this event, helping to amplify one of the most endemic injustices in our society.”
In a statement issued on Thursday, Sanders wrote, “The issue of oligarchy and wealth and income inequality is the great moral issue of our time, it is the great economic issue of our time and it is the great political issue of our time, yet it gets very little coverage from the corporate media. I am excited to build on the success of our Medicare for All town hall and go outside the traditional media to talk about who owns America, why the middle class is declining, extreme poverty and how we create an economy that works for everybody, not just the 1 percent.”
In preparation for the event, Sanders asked, “What do we need to do to join the rest of the world in guaranteeing health care for all people, have a livable minimum wage, build the affordable housing, make sure that every kid in this country is able to go to college regardless of his or her income, and how do we rebuild the infrastructure?”