After back-to-back debates Sunday and Monday (Fox News is hosting a Dem town hall tonight) in Michigan, the Democratic candidates head to Florida to face off again Wednesday ahead of the crucial March 15 primary, and after days of discussing the Flint water crisis, the Sanders campaign is now bringing attention to the plight of farmworkers in the Sunshine State.
Over the weekend, Bernie Sanders targeted his focus on Florida and its rich voter count with a new documentary-style ad that criticizes working conditions for migrant farmworker families in the small town of Immokalee, Florida. A 5-minute version of the ad will air at 8:48 p.m. Thursday on the Spanish-language network Univision. And as senior political strategist and media consultant Tad Devine noted over the weekend, Univision reaches 4 out of every 5 Hispanics in America.
Sanders latest ad builds on the dramatic flare of people's personal struggles that featured so prominently in his previous targeted ads like the South Carolina focused commercial centered around Erica Garner, a Sanders support and daughter of victim of police brutality, and the now famous "America" ad which featured a plethora of working class white Sanders supporters smiling to Paul Simon's song ahead of the New Hampshire primary.
"Tenemos Familias" as the ad is titled, centers on 2010's Fair Food campaign to compel the farming industry to add one cent per pound of tomatoes to give workers better pay and benefits. From the campaign's press release:
In 2008, Sanders traveled to Immokalee and met with migrant workers who were being ruthlessly exploited. They were being paid starvation wages for backbreaking work and denied basic rights. After the visit, Sanders invited leaders of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers to Washington to testify during a Senate committee hearing regarding abusive labor practices. As a result of the tremendous grassroots effort of this coalition, working conditions in Immokalee improved and workers received a wage increase.
“They don’t understand what we have to live through,” Mexican immgrant Udelia Chautla says in Spanish in the subtitled ad. "We have families,” the mother of three says.
“Bernie Sanders took interest in the lives of the workers and wanted to hear their struggles,” Udelia continues. “Politicians never came to Immokalee. He didn’t keep silent about what he witnessed here in Immokalee.”
Watch Sanders' powerful ad below: