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Elizabeth Warren, in Henderson, vows to boost middle class

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren addressed a crowd Friday night in Henderson, detailing economic and social plans to enhance opportunities for middle class families.

Hundreds packed the cafeteria at Green Valley High School, some holding “Nevada for Warren” signs. The Massachusetts senator and Democratic presidential hopeful began her remarks by saying she will open five new offices in Nevada next week and emphasized the importance of a grassroots campaign.

Warren also discussed her childhood, saying the minimum wage job her mother took after her father could no longer work “saved our family.” As a part of her proposal to bolster the middle class, Warren said she plans to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour.

“Today, a full-time minimum wage job will not keep a mama and a baby out of poverty, and that is wrong,” she said.

Warren said she would implement a wealth tax of 2 percent on fortunes over $50 million to fund public and community college tuition and give $50 million to historically black colleges and universities.

“I’m not angry at people who are rich,” Warren said. “I just want them to pay a fair share. We just want a fighting chance.”

When asked how she plans to increase environmental protections, Warren said she is in favor of the U.S. rejoining the Paris climate agreement, though that alone is not enough.

Warren said she would invest “10 times more” in the science and infrastructure behind clean technology, and create opportunities in clean energy for U.S. workers.

“With a science foundation, our colleges and universities are going to invent the technologies,” she said. “You want to build from our science? You can totally do it, but you have to do it right here in America. American taxpayers are going to get those jobs.”

Friday’s event came days after Warren took the stage for the second round of Democratic candidate debates, after which she maintained her place among the top five candidates in recent polls. Warren is one of at least 19 candidates expected to participate in the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees forum on Saturday in Las Vegas.

Charlene Sher of Las Vegas said she supported U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders in the 2016 election but has switched to Warren because of her plans to tax the wealthiest and her proposal to increase benefits for veterans.

Las Vegas resident and teacher Kristi Forehand is undecided, but she said Friday’s event tipped the scale in Warren’s direction because of her plans to relieve student debt and her experience in education. Warren is a former schoolteacher and law school professor.

“She knows what it’s like to live the same lives we live, to be a teacher,” Forehand said. “I would love to see a teacher in the White House.”

Contact Amanda Bradford at abradford@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0279. Follow @amandabrad_uc on Twitter.

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