Maryland is one of five states with primary elections Tuesday. In Baltimore, there is an added sense of importance as the candidates court votes
After a morning rally in Baltimore on Saturday, Democratic hopeful Bernie Sanders blamed his primary losses to rival Hillary Clinton in states with high income inequality on the fact that poor people dont vote.
I think we have done had some success with lower income people, Sanders told NBCs Meet the Press. But in America today the last election in 2014, 80% of poor people did not vote.
Maryland is one of five states with primary elections Tuesday. In Baltimore, the states largest city, there is an added sense of importance since the election falls on the eve of the first anniversary of the protests that followed the funeral of Freddie Gray on 27 April, who died of several spinal injuries he sustained during an arrest. When 25-year-old Gray died, his life, plagued by poverty and lead poisoning, became a symbol for what was wrong with this city.
In December 2015 when Sanders toured Sandtown, the neighborhood where Gray was arrested, he compared it to a third-world country.
In his Saturday speech at Royal Farms Arena, he called poverty a death sentence.
I am here today in Baltimore, Maryland, in the richest country in the history of the world, one out of every four people lives in poverty, Sanders said. If you are born in Baltimores poorest neighborhood, your life expectancy is almost 20 years shorter than if you were born in its wealthiest neighborhood. Fifteen neighborhoods in Baltimore have lower life expectancy [than] North Korea. … Baltimore teenagers between 15 and 19 face poorer health conditions and a worse economic outlook than those in distressed cities in Nigeria, India, China and South Africa.
At Penn North, the busy intersection at the heart of the Sandtown-Winchester area where a CVS pharmacy was burned down during protests last year, people were lined up on Monday to get free food loaves of white bread at one table and vegetarian food provided by the activist group Food Not Bombs at another.
That aint true, said Lisa Taylor, sitting in the bus shelter with a plate of food, of Sanders claim that poor people dont vote. Because Im poor and Im going to vote.
Taylor said she supports Clinton. I think shes going to be real about us getting a fair share of money I hope shes real, she said.
But she also said she admired Sanders. Hes got a lot of guts coming here in the middle of the hood, she said. Hes got some heart. He dont mind being in the hood.
Emmanuel Bryan Stevens III, who also sat with a plate in the bus shelter, said of Sanders claim that poor people dont vote: thats racist.