The University of Maryland Our Revolution chapter welcomed Our Revolution President Nina Turner at the Stamp Student Union yesterday to discuss the importance of young people becoming involved in politics.
The Our Revolution political action organization stemmed from Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign, which gained support from progressives drawn to his dedication to fighting injustice. Sen. Sanders has vocalized his long-standing support for accessible healthcare, marriage equality, disability rights and other issues that affect minorities.
“[It] seeks to take the progressive message that Bernie Sanders was proposing on a national level, and see how best we can apply that on a local level,” Our Revolution UMD President Chris Walkup said.
Turner, who served as a member of the Ohio State Senate from 2008 to 2014, repeatedly emphasized the influence that the younger generation can have, referencing the “Medicare for All” legislation that Sen. Sanders introduced to Senate yesterday.
Turner engaged the audience with Our Revolution’s mission to empower future leaders and stir political awareness.
“It is not just the responsibility of the black folks and the brown folks,” Turner said. “We need the consciousness of people across the ethnic spectrum to say, ‘Not on our watch.’”
Turner responded to the introduction of Sen. Sanders’ single-payer health care bill with optimism.
“The bill determines that no resident of this country would have to pay for their medical care – and that’s absolutely the way to go,” she said. “So many people have gone bankrupt because of excessive medical bills; some people have been afraid to go to the doctor…”
Turner shared a story of an Oklahoma woman who died just two days after her diagnosis because she was unable to afford the “overwhelming” cost of cancer treatment.
“This is someone who had access to healthcare but it still was not enough,” Turner said. “‘Medicare for All’ would lift that burden from the individual.”
The bill has gained public support from many, but some students wonder whether it could pass in Congress.
“I’ve definitely seen a lot of bipartisan support happening, but given the current circumstances, I find it hard to imagine that it would pass,” said Stephen, a junior environmental science and English double major who attended the event.
Turner referred to healthcare as having “nothing to do with political affiliation.”
“Last time I checked, it [isn’t] just the Democrats who have health concerns; it’s everybody,” Turner said. “We’ve got to take away the political ideology and talk about the human element.”