BENNINGTON, Vt. (NEWS10) — Politician Bernie Sanders has made multiple recent stops in Bennington, and Rutland counties. Sanders held student town meetings in Rutland and Bennington to speak with multiple local high schools in the area, as well as stopping to meet with veterans from the Dodge House, the Bennington Veterans Outreach Center, and the Vermont Veterans’ Home.

Sanders met with students from Rutland High School, answering questions on issues students face on not only a local level but a state and national level as well. An estimated 250 students spoke with the senator to ask about how the federal government looks to best address the needs of young people. Beyond that, students spoke with Sanders about climate change, health care, the economy, student debt, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and more.

Sanders also met with students from Mount Anthony Union High School, with an estimated 450 students in attendance. Students discussed worker’s rights, income inequality, minimum wage, marijuana legalization, the opioid crisis, the impact of the pandemic on mental health, as well as several other topics.

“Hearing from these young Vermonters today gives me a lot of hope,” said Sanders. “As a state and a country, we face some terrible and difficult crises. But this next generation is paying attention. They are standing up, they are fighting for their communities, and making their voices heard. And that is no small thing. They should be deeply proud of who they are and I am glad to see them get involved in the political process. Together we are going to build a state and nation to be proud of and protect our planet for future generations.”

Sanders continued on the topic of veterans, “Vermont veterans, local officials, and health care workers are invaluable members of our communities. It is my belief that every member of the United States Congress must understand that we cannot turn our backs on the people who put their lives on the line to protect our communities, whether that is overseas in battle or at home during a terrible pandemic.”

Sanders also stopped by the Town of Bennington town offices on Wednesday. Sanders met with town manager Stuart Hurd, Police Chief Paul Doucette, and Select Board Chair Jeannie Jenkins to discuss a number of issues of concern within Bennington.