Why I’m voting for Hillary Clinton as a former Bernie Sanders supporter

I have admired Bernie Sanders’ work as a senator since I was sixteen years old.

Sanders stated on countless occasions that the political revolution is not about one person or one candidate; it is about advocating for progressive issues. And while Sanders did not succeed in securing the Democratic presidential nomination, he helped to draft the most progressive Democratic platform in history.

That is something to be celebrated and is most certainly a victory in itself.

I remain a supporter of Sanders and his political revolution, which is why supporting Hillary Clinton for president is an obvious choice for me.

The next step in the political revolution is ensuring that this platform becomes a reality. And that cannot happen without a Clinton presidency. You may not agree with Clinton on every issue – I certainly do not – and that’s fine. That is the beauty of democracy. You are welcome to, and in fact encouraged to disagree with and challenge politicians.

The best way to hold Clinton accountable and ensure that these progressive policies are made a reality is to elect a progressive Democratic majority into Congress. Progressive Democrats will hold Clinton accountable to her promises, and challenge her on policy decisions that are at odds with progressive values.

To quote President Obama, “We all need to get out and vote for Democrats up and down the ticket, and then hold them accountable until they get the job done.”

We cannot shut out everyone whose beliefs do not completely line up with our own. Compromise is a necessary ingredient for progress. While I may be critical of some of Clinton’s positions, by and large, Clinton is a tremendous and tireless advocate for social justice and progressive causes. Quite simply, she is in our corner. Trump is not.

As an LGBT student in the wake of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, I felt incredibly afraid. However, Clinton’s response to the tragedy was tremendously comforting. She was a person in a position of power standing up for an incredibly vulnerable community in one of our darkest hours and offering concrete policy solutions to address gun violence.

This is far from the first time Clinton’s has stood up for LGBT rights. She has made it possible for transgender people to change the gender listed on their passports. And as a senator, Clinton supported legislation to address hate crimes, fought for federal non-discrimination legislation to protect LGBT people in the workplace, and advocated for LGBT adoption rights.

I am also a supporter of Planned Parenthood, where I’ve volunteered at for four years. Their work is tremendously important to me. Clinton is endorsed by Planned Parenthood and fully supports reproductive rights including the right to safe, legal abortion. Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, recently stated he would like to see Roe V. Wade overturned. Clinton would never let that happen.

Like Sanders, Clinton supports Black Lives Matter. She acknowledges the existence of implicit bias and supports bringing law enforcement and communities together to develop new law enforcement training programs that will address issues such as use of force, de-escalation, community policing, alternatives to incarceration and crisis intervention. She also supports legislation to end racial profiling by law enforcement officials.

It is also crucial to note that there are Supreme Court appointments coming up, and Clinton will certainly select justices who will uphold marriage equality, Roe V. Wade and generally protect the rights and values that progressives hold dear.

If you, like me, consider yourself a progressive and a Bernie Sanders supporter, the choice for the 2016 Presidential Election could not be clearer: I’m with her.

Maddy Fowler is a news staff writer and can be reached at mmfowler@buffalo.edu