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UWM’s Wisconsin Room was packed for Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton on as she tackled hot button issues such as gun control, minimum wage and women’s rights at her campaign stop Thursday.
She took the stage amongst chants of "Hillary! Hilary!" There was such a high turnout that the speech was also screened at the Union Cinema since a significant amount of people weren’t able to fit in the Wisconsin Room.
She began her speech by talking about traveling to Wisconsin as a young woman and how she admired the natives of the dairy state because of their "can do," "progressive" and "pioneering" spirit. What turned into an admiration flipped when she uttered the phrase, "What happened?"
She pointed out that we are still recovering from the recession and that the minimum wage is nowhere near enough for families to get by. She went to say that we have to "roll our sleeves up" to get this state, and more importantly this nation, back on track. She has been open with the media in recent months in support of raising the minimum wage to $12 which would help to kick start the economy. "I believe that raising incomes and supporting families is the defining economic challenge of our time," she said. "I’ve made that the focus of my campaign, and I will make it the mission of my presidency."
She criticized the trickledown economics approach to the economy and proclaimed it isn’t working. She declared "the rich need to pay their fair share." She informed the crowd that individuals who are working hard and making minimum wage won’t ever be able to rid themselves of their low economic status alone.
She fired shots at Gov. Scott Walker saying he’s "rolling back women’s health and rights." She referred to Walker’s defunding of Planned Parenthood, how he repealed protections for equal work for equal pay and signed a bill that bans abortions after a 20-week period. "It looks like he just gets his marching orders from the Koch brothers and just goes down the list," she stated, met with roars from the audience.
Differing from Walker, she presented a point that shows equal work for equal pay affects more than just women but families and even the entire economy. "If advocating for equal pay for equal work is playing the gender card, well then deal me in," Clinton said, which was met with a sea of applause.
She criticized Republicans repeatedly, most notably saying they are all "Trump without the pizzazz-ed hair." She also talked about how the issues of climate change and college tuition were absent from the recent Republican debate when they shouldn’t have been because they are so important. Contrary to Republicans, she was ready to talk about crippling debt brought forth from college tuition so much so that she wants to make college affordable for everyone.
"I have a plan that will enable any person to go to a four year public university and not have to pay a dime for tuition," Clinton said.
Still on the topic of Republicans, she proclaimed, "You’ll not hear a republican say 'Black Lives Matter.'" This led her to talk about the Dontre Hamilton shooting that occurred on April 20, 2014 where a schizophrenic black man was shot by a white police officer in Red Arrow Park.
"As a mother and a grandmother, my heart breaks for the family of Dontre Hamilton," Clinton said. "We need to restore the trust that has been lost between law enforcement and the people they serve. We need to end the violence that has cast a shadow over Milwaukee and to many of our communities around our country."
The shooting flowed into talking about gun control where she declared that, "I’m not going to sit by and stay silent while more innocent people are killed in their churches, killed in movie theatres (and) killed walking down their streets."
Clinton ended her speech saying she wants to create a better America, "where a father can say to his daughter, you can be anything you want in this country, even president."