POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. -- A capacity crowd at the McCann Center at Marist College cheered on Democratic presidential candidate and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders at a rally on Tuesday ahead of New York's April 19 primary.
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Sanders, who grew up in Brooklyn, is facing Hillary Clinton, who lives in Chappaqua and represented New York as Senator.
The senator, who was introduced by singer Michael Stipe, spent much of his speech remembering President Franklin Roosevelt, who lived in nearby Hyde Park. Sanders visited Roosevelt's grave earlier in the day.
"He was one of the greatest presidents," Sanders said. "He saw millions of people unemployed and hungry, he saw farmers losing their farms and people struggling everyday to get health care. He said we were going to transform the way government works in America."
Sanders also remembered Roosevelt's second Bill of Rights where he said that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence.
"If people are living in poverty, are they really free people?" Sanders said. "A number of studies have shown that low income people have a life expectancy significantly lower than wealthy power."
Roosevelt said the American people were entitled to a decent job at a decent pay and Sanders said we still have a long way to go.
"We have the right to adequate clothing, adequate food, and time off from work," Sanders said. "We still have not achieved a 40-hour workweek for most Americans. We work the longest hours of any people in the industrial world. The Japanese are hard workers and we work longer hours than the people of Japan."
Sanders said people should be able to earn a livable wage without having to work 70 hours a week.
"President Roosevelt reminded us that people are not truly free if they are unable to feed their families, unable to retire with dignity, unemployed or underpaid because they are working longer and longer hours," Sanders said.
Roosevelt wanted to see a nation free of monopoly control, Sanders said. He used that to pivot to his standard criticism of Wall Street.
"The six largest financial institutions have assets of nearly $10 trillion," Sanders. "That's the equivalent of 58 percent of our GDP. "
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