The American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) opened with a lively debate between representatives from Sanders for President and Clinton for President. The ASBC invited the leading republican campaigns to attend as well, but they all declined.
"Our system isn't broken, it's rigged," Ben Cohen explained as he took the stage with his longtime partner-in-crime Jerry Greenfield. In the allotted 15 minutes, the duo ran through a litany of inspiring platforms from the Sanders for President campaign, all designed to make our country more just and equitable: universal healthcare, college subsidies, capital infrastructure investments to reduce youth unemployment. To fund these feel-good policies, the Sanders campaign advocates ending the cap on social security payments (currently income over $130K is not subject to social security taxes), eliminating offshore tax havens, and finally, "billion dollar corporations that don’t pay taxes should be illegal."
Jerry closed out their 15 minute platform by saying,
"Bernie has a comprehensive + specific platform. People respond because they know that he’s right. Bernie can get elected, does get elected, gets re-elected. Great leader. Great programs. Guy is honest, tells the truth. Voters are yearning for people who tell the truth, who aren’t 'politics as usual.'.... It’s going to come down to big money vs. people power. We’ve seen people power win over and over IF people show up.
Since Greenfield and Cohen are members of the ASBC and clearly the home team, Elgie Holstein for Clinton knew he had his work cut out for him when he took to the stage.
I figured they'd bring ice cream, so I hunted through my cupboards. Graham crackers wouldn't do, maybe some fancy salt water taffy from the shore. I didn't bring it because I figured they [Ben + Jerry's] probably already have that flavor, and also I really didn't want to give up my taffy. Put me down as insufficiently committed to the democratic process that I didn’t want to give up my saltwater taffy," He joked.
In the many months to go until the Democratic primaries, the fight for the nomination is sure to continue to focus on consumer issues -- those that inspire voters to get to the polls. While businesses are made up of individual voters, it's cash that rules everything around me. One hopes that both candidates will develop more solidified platforms to support small businesses and sustainable economic growth before the 2016 election.
Image credit, Jen Boynton
Jen Boynton is the former Editor-in-Chief of TriplePundit. She has an MBA in Sustainable Management from the Presidio Graduate School and has helped organizations including SAP, PwC and Fair Trade USA with their sustainability communications messaging. She is based in San Diego, California. When she's not at work, she volunteers as a CASA (court appointed special advocate) for children in the foster care system. She enjoys losing fights with toddlers and eating toast scraps. She lives with her family in sunny San Diego.