Sen. Bernie Sanders sought to make inroads Thursday with a wing of the Democratic Party that hasn’t been so receptive to his message so far.
Sanders showed off his progressive platform to the Congressional Black Caucus in an afternoon session, telling members his stances on income inequality and criminal justice will bring change on issues that disproportionately affect the African-American community.
“The message is that I think the points we’re making in this campaign are extraordinarily important to working people throughout this country,” Sanders said following the meeting, held in the CBC Institute’s townhouse on Capitol Hill. “They’re even more relevant to the African-American community, a community which has higher unemployment, more poverty, than the general population.”
As Sanders has surged in the polls, his numbers among African-American voters have remained low. He still has his work cut out for him if he wants to make inroads into that crucial Democratic voting bloc—only six CBC members showed up to hear him talk.
Those who did show up had praise for Sanders’ agenda. “Sen. Sanders speaks the same language as many of our CBC members,” said Rep. G.K. Butterfield, who chairs the group. “He understands the plight of African-Americans and poor people in this country.”