Presidential hopeful Tom Steyer stumps in Orangeburg

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ORANGEBURG, S.C. (WJBF) — Businessman Tom Steyer appeared at a “Rural healthcare leadership Breakfast” Thursday, February 27 at the New Vision Fellowship Center in Orangeburg. Steyer wanted to share his vision for the nation when it comes to taxes, environmental justice, the criminal justice system, and healthcare.

“I’d never heard of a health desert. I’ve heard of a food desert. Places where you couldn’t find healthy foods but I’ve never heard of a health desert,” he said.

Dozens packed the room to hear the presidential hopeful touch on what he calls “an insult to working people,” the national minimum wage of $7.25. He proposes to raise it to a fair wage. “I would double the minimum wage to $15 and I said that since 2012. If you were to ask me a fair minimum wage, today would be $22 and people say that’s outrageous. What’s outrageous? This is $7 and 25 cents that is crazy,” Steyer said.

There’s also a plan on the table if Steyer is elected where he will give money back to historically black colleges and universities.”I’m proposing is $125 billion to the HBCUs is over 10 years. That is 40 times what they get from the federal government. They are short of cash. The kids are paying high tuition and coming out with high debt,” he added.

A few attendees had a chance to ask questions. One was involving healthcare for those living with HIV.”We can’t talk about HIV without talking about the prison system, without talking about the education system, without talking about healthcare, without talking about poverty, without talking about all of these issues. How do you propose HIV/AIDS is addressed with behaviors rather than the systemic issue?” Connie Johnson asked.

“I think that there are now new drugs that are preventative, that have got to be available to everybody in the community,” Steyer answered.

After a scam-type situation happened to Margret Hires involving her home and refinancing, she asked if anything could be done.

Shawn caught up with her to find out if she was satisfied with his answer — offering his help.

“More than happy. Very satisfied,” Hires said.

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