Bernie Sanders Introduction, August 9th Portland, Oregon

Mia Reback speaks to 20,000 people in Porland, Oregon on August 9th, 2015.

Hello Portland! Thank you all for coming out this evening. What an amazing turnout!

My name is Mia Reback, and I am here tonight because as an activist, defending our communities and environment from corporate interests is my number one priority. Like Bernie, I believe that the degradation of our planet is one of the most important challenges of our time.

Bernie has been a longtime ally of the environmental movement and outspoken critic of corporate exploiters and polluters.

And I am also proud to be here today because of the broader political revolution activating in our country — one that will bring power back to everyday people, one that values all forms of life, and focus America’s energies on building our common wealth.

Just last week in Portland, grassroots groups took on the second largest corporation in the world, Shell Oil. Volunteers in groups like 350PDX, Portland Rising Tide, the Climate Action Coalition, and 13 brave Greenpeace climbers, drew worldwide attention to the growing problem of climate change as we blockaded Shell’s icebreaker for 40 hours in what has been deemed a historic moment for the climate movement!

As we fight in the streets, Bernie has brought our fight to the halls of the U.S. Congress. He’s been voting to defend the Arctic since the 90s and recently signed on to legislation introduced by Oregon Senator Merkley to ban Arctic drilling.

Bernie has fought hard to cut greenhouse gas emissions. He’s introduced laws to repeal loopholes and subsidies that unfairly benefit the coal, oil, and gas industry. And he’s been way out front in the fight against the Keystone XL pipeline.

Another reason I am proud to introduce Bernie is because he has a 50-year history of standing up for minority and civil rights.

But we must do more than work within our two party system for justice. Everyone, and especially white progressives, must take an active role to combat racism and ensure that black lives matter. Just this afternoon in Portland, Black Lives Matter Organizer Theresa Raiford was arrested during a peaceful rally for racial justice. On the anniversary of Mike Brown’s murder, we must honor the intersections of our struggles. I look forward to a growing climate justice movement that works for racial, economic and global justice.

As our president, Bernie Sanders can bring our fights to the highest levels of government! Please join me in a warm welcome for the next President of the United States, Bernie Sanders!