On the morning of April 19th my phone got a text that said, “Hi peter, would you potentially be available to speak briefly at Sanders rally today?” When I read it, I swore and ran around and of course said, “YES!!!!” A little later I talked to someone from the campaign who said, “It’s a little last minute. You’ll have to send materials and info to…” from the campaign. I did. But it was a long shot because of the late ask and the rigmarole of the Secret Service. Here’s what I would have said
How we doing Pennsylvania? You ready to feel the Bern?
My name is Peter Buckland. I’m a lifelong Pennsylvanian, a local township supervisor, and a member of the Sierra Club Moshannon executive committee. And I have a question for you?
Are you ready for an energy revolution in this country?
Are you ready for a president who knows that an economy built on clean renewable energy will lift all ships? Are you ready for a president who knows that climate and environmental justice soar on the same wings as our other great fights for civil, women’s, and LGBT rights? Do you want Bernie Sanders?
Do you want a president who will fight to stop the fracking industry from sacrificing people across this commonwealth? People like my friend Jenny who has been forced to fight tooth and nail for her organic farm. People like Craig whose well was polluted. People like the Hollerans who’ve lost their sugar maple operation to the Orwellianly named Constitution pipeline. The natural gas industry plays dirty. They try to make themselves into saviors of the climate and our small towns. But we know better.
So does Bernie Sanders!
Bernie Sanders knows that there’s a cleaner and more just way. Bernie Sanders knows that my friends are working at awesome companies and in universities installing and researching solar and energy efficiency, work with dignity and good pay.
And let’s not forget: Bernie Sanders has already proven he gets it. And you know what? Bernie is going to need help in Congress. If you live in the 5th district of Pennsylvania, then you need to vote for Kerith Strano Taylor and get Glenn Thompson out of office.
So are you read to see the next president of the United States? Let’s work together and elect Bernie Sanders!
If I had delivered the speech, I’d have been backstage at the time I wrote this entry. But my friend and colleague Sophia McClennen was and she was fantastic! We were messaging one another all day–“Did you get in?” “I’m freaking out!” But what really excites me is knowing how much Sophia, Bernie Sanders, many of you, and I share a vision of “A future to believe in.”
Sophia made a great point, one Howard Zinn made: “You can’t be neutral on a moving train.” From student debt to civil rights, the shaming of millennials to the disenfranchisement of minorities, climate justice to women’s issues, corporate speech and the massive concentration of wealth in this country, we can’t stand by and let the status quo just work its way. It’s time to stand together and stand up.