- Associated Press - Friday, June 24, 2016

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Sen. Bernie Sanders told more than 400 supporters Friday that New York’s restrictive voting registration rules and Wall Street’s giant investment banks need to be reformed in an ongoing movement for a more democratic and fairer nation.

Met with a standing ovation, the Democratic presidential candidate, who lost the New York primary to presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton, said voting participation is an American right. The state requirement that voters register with a party six months before a primary is part of “a corrupt system” that protects entrenched politicians, he said.

The Vermont senator said big banks need to be broken up, that people need to stand up to powerful interests, which include Wall Street and the big oil and drug companies making enormous profits while 47 million people live in poverty in the U.S.

“We need to make the wealthiest people and corporations pay their fair share of taxes,” Sanders said. People will say it’s “obscene” that 58 percent of all new income goes to the top 1 percent of wealthiest Americans, he said.

His representatives are negotiating for a progressive agenda in the Democrats’ national presidential platform, Sanders said. He also urged supporters to engage in every level of government, promising to support them and keep pushing his campaign’s issues.

They include public funding of elections and reducing the influence of wealthy donors, getting more people to vote, moving to renewable energy and away from fossil fuels to stop global warming, providing health care for everyone, supporting unions that built America’s middle class and educational opportunities for everyone regardless of income.

Kim Bruton, who attended the rally, said she’s concerned Clinton won’t embrace Sanders’ issues, saying she agreed with all of them, and particularly one. “I’m an earth science teacher so climate change is huge for me,” she said.

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