'Rent Live' Wasn't Entirely Bad, But It Could Have Gone Better

'Rent Live' Wasn't Entirely Bad, But It Could Have Gone Better

And it could have actually been live if they'd just had an understudy!

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This Sunday, FOX had the first "live" TV musical of 2019: "RENT." And I put the word "live" in quotes because... because 99 percent of what aired was actually pre-recorded from Saturday's dress rehearsal.

Unfortunately, Brennin Hunt, the actor playing Roger, broke his ankle during Saturday's final rehearsal. FOX announced that since Hunt certainly couldn't move around the stage, portions of the show would be from the Saturday recording. But apparently, FOX interprets "portions" as "all but the very last scene."

And unfortunately, the fact that this wasn't the real live performance showed. Let's break it down.

The good:

1. The ensemble

Insert the heart eye emoji here because the RENT ensemble was so amazing. This ensemble was filled with talented individuals pouring their hearts into every word. The harmonies were always beautiful and powerful, nearly making you cry during numbers like "Will I" and "Seasons Of Love."

2. Praise Brandon Victor Dixon

Brandon Victor Dixon (BVD) was a shining light in this show. Having just done "Jesus Christ Superstar: Live in Concert" last spring, we all knew he can act and sing like no one's business. Plus he was in "Hamilton" as Aaron Burr.

He was very underappreciated in "Rent," however. "I'll Cover You" saw his mic being dropped, leaving one of the typically wonderful harmonies between Collins and Angel to TOTALLY DISAPPEAR because Valentina was struggling to have air to maintain the note. One of the only actors with actual Broadway cred, the man can belt and nearly made me cry during "I'll Cover You (Reprise)."

3. Valentina acted a wonderful Angel

While Valentina didn't have the strongest vocals for the role, that girl acted her heart out. It was clear this role was important to Valentina, and she nailed the sassiness and boldness we all love in Angel. Valentina was hilarious to watch and perfectly on beat during "Today 4 U."

Her and BVD were a great Collins and Angel: sweet and heart-warming, breaking your heart when you remember what happens later on...and again near Angel's end. Watching BVD carry her around during "Without You" tugged on my heartstrings.

4. THAT SET.

The set was insanely cool. I love that they kept the scaffolding-style set, with parts all around to fully immerse you n the show. This kept some of the show's heart and roughness in there. Kudos to the set designer(s) for creating an amazing set/jungle gym for the cast to move around on.

5. Vanessa Hudgens as Maureen + Kiersey Clemons as Joanne = DAMN.

Vanessa Hudgens BROUGHT IT as Maureen. I wasn't 100 percent sure if she would be a good fit, but she nailed the character and made it her own. "Over the Moon" was perfectly overdramatic and absolutely hilarious. (Also, Jordan Fisher's face as he's holding the curtain while Hudgens is hooked into her harness was HILARIOUS.) Hudgens really got to show off her singing and acting chops in this show, reminding everyone that she's no longer Gabriella from "High School Musical."

Kiersey Clemons was the perfect Joanne to Hudgens' Maureen. Their vocals blended so well together, and I loved their rendition of "Take Me Or Leave Me." She brought out more of a 'tude in Joanne, which I liked. And oh my lord, the "Tango: Maureen" was FIRE. Clemons and Fisher were hilarious and their vocals worked so well together. Clemons showed that she knows how to move with flair.

6. Keala Settle had an actual role, not just the high notes!

I love how they had Keala Settle come in to sing the high notes of "Seasons Of Love," but didn't just have her do that. They gave her a real part in the ensemble, which I liked. Having her as the person running the AIDs group meetings added some sentimentality to her appearances throughout the show, especially at Angel's funeral.

7. Mimi (Tinashe) and Roger (Brennin Hunt)

I didn't 100% love either of their performances, but they acted their respective characters well and had some pretty good chemistry. Tinashe really nailed the character's heart and roughness.

8. When the original RENT cast showed up at the very end

I almost cried when the cameras turned and the curtain went up to reveal THE ORIGINAL RENT CAST. My heart felt so full to see them, and in the iconic line too. This was a beautiful end to a show that was definitely frustrating and heart-hurting to many.

The bad:

9.  WHY WERE THERE NO UNDERSTUDIES?

Every single theater person knows you ALWAYS cast understudies. ESPECIALLY for shows as intensive and as popular as "Rent." Welcome to the theater, Fox: you have to be prepared for anything, and there's absolutely no reason you shouldn't have understudies.

It was so frustrating to be promised a live production, only to receive a pre-recorded show that honestly could have just been uploaded to Netflix at that rate. I would have preferred to see the concert version the cast gave for their studio audience while the recording aired. From the footage I've seen, it looks so much better than what we got!

Lesley Goldberg, a TV editor and reporter for The Hollywood Reporter, tweeted the following, and if you're a theater person like me, you know how BS this is:

Ever heard of "the show must go on?" Clearly not, if your idea of that is "let's air a pre-recorded version for a 'live' musical."

10. The main casting vocals...could have been better

Valentina, poor baby, was struggling to sing her notes. I will credit the fact that it was a dress rehearsal and she probably would've been a bit more prepared if they were doing the actual live show. Fisher has a great voice, but he has a softer tenor voice with none of the edge you typically hear (think Anthony Rapp's vocals). Hunt, too, sounded like he was forcing the edge in his voice. Also, he fell flat in "One Song Glory" - so many lines could have been more rounded out, but they were just...meh.

11. The changed lyric assignments

I'm not even going to start on the changed lyrics. You could have started a drinking game on that alone, so let's move on from that.

"Seasons Of Love" and "La Vie Boheme (Reprise)" both had the wrong people singing certain parts, which took away from the intentions of having the original roles sing those lines. Like taking Collins' line of "In bridges he burned/Or the way that she died" and giving it to an ensemble member took all the heartbreak out of the line because we know what happens to the person he loves.

12.  Entirely unnecessary expository monologues by Mark

What on earth was up with those expository monologues? They were entirely unnecessary and frankly, awkward. At this point, we all know at least the basics of what "Rent" is about - and anyone who wasn't familiar with the show and tuned in for the names definitely would have Google'd that. In particular, the monologue before the first life support meeting was clearly meant to be impactful and show just how prevalent AIDs still is, but it took one out of the show and back to modern day - during a show taking place in 1991.

13.  "I'll Cover You" was a disappointment, not the romantic duet it should be.

Don't get me wrong - acting-wise, the chemistry between Collins and Angel was so there. But everything else was disappointing. Brandon Victor Dixon was clearly singing but for some reason, his mic was waaay low. And Valentina, poor dear, was struggling to maintain breathing and hit her high notes. For a duet as beautiful and sweet as "I'll Cover You," this was not my favorite performance. I will say that the staging was cool, and I loved the playground elements.

14.  NO ICONIC LINE STAGING FOR "SEASONS OF LOVE."

They didn't do the iconic line staging for "Seasons Of Love" and that really took away from the number, sentimentality-speaking.

15. Confusing standards of what was/wasn't censored.

Explain something to me: If you're going to censor curse words and so on, HOW ON EARTH WAS "CONTACT" NOT TAKEN OUT?? It's literally an orgy and VERY clearly about sex...

The meh:

16.  "La Vie Boheme," the least boring song, was boring.

"La Vie Boheme" is supposed to feel like a party, make you want to get up and dance. This...did not. The music was bare and understated, mostly piano - where was the guitar? The bass? The intensity of the instruments that normally make this song pack a punch? They also cut the waiter's bit in the middle, for what seems like absolutely no reason - certainly not censorship. I will give Fisher this, he was perfectly overdramatic as Mark in the song's beginning.

17.  Interesting camerawork choices

There were so many times the cameraman was SHAKY. It was honestly frustrating and took you out of the moment. Also, there were Too. Many. 360. Pan. Shots. It was dizzying and honestly, just took away from the scenes rather than adding whatever effects the director or whoever thought it would add.

18.  Jordan Fisher was a decent, but not super amazing, Mark.

Jordan Fisher as Mark was not my favorite casting choice. Fisher has a beautiful voice and yes, he does have performance cred ("Hamilton," "Grease Live," Disney Channel's "Teen Beach Movie"). But I just didn't feel like he was a great casting call for this role. His Mark had none of the grit and roughness the character is supposed to have. It's one thing to bring something new to each rendition of a show, but it's another to cast aside a character trait entirely.

However, he did add some sass to the character and meshed well with his fellow characters. As I said before, he was amazing and hilarious in "Tango: Maureen." His character's good, long-standing friendships with Roger and Collins were prevalent in how comfortable the three always acted together - clearly the result of true friendships that formed during rehearsals.

19.  Post-production? What's that?

Considering Fox had the benefits of using post-production tools since majority of what aired was pre-recorded, it's really, really ridiculous that they didn't clean up the sound and re-record any vocals that fell short in the original recording. That could have helped the show's quality.

20.  YOU DON'T STAGE DIVE IN THEATER.

Having Roger and Mark STAGE DIVE and heavily interact with the audience during "What You Own" not only ruined a scene that's supposed to be a moment of realization for the two characters, but destroyed any concept of "fourth wall." It immediately took you out of the show. This is theater, not a concert.

At the end of the day...

"Rent Live" wasn't horrible. It definitely could have been better, but it wasn't the worst thing ever. Frankly, I would have loved to watch what was actually happening on the stage: the concert-style version of "Rent" the cast was giving for the audience. But hey, that's what YouTube is for!

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19 Books Reading Addicts Should Toss In Their Beach Bag Summer 2019

Once you pick up these books, you won't be able to put them back down.

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If you're like me, you love to read tanning by the pool or relaxing at the beach. Something about the summertime just sparks something inside of your brain and you crave a good book. To me, summer reading trumps the rest because no one is assigning you chapter 1-3 or making you read for an assignment. Summer reading is only about you, so you might as well read something you'll love!

Here are 19 books I recommend checking out:

1. "Sharp Objects" by Gillian Flynn

"Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, reporter Camille Preaker faces a troubling assignment: she must return to her tiny hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. For years, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed in her old bedroom in her family's Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Dogged by her own demons, she must unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past if she wants to get the story—and survive this homecoming."

2. "Dark Places" by Gillian Flynn 

"Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in "The Satan Sacrifice" of Kinnakee, Kansas. She survived—and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, the Kill Club—a secret secret society obsessed with notorious crimes—locates Libby and pumps her for details. They hope to discover proof that may free Ben. Libby hopes to turn a profit off her tragic history: She'll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club—for a fee. As Libby's search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started—on the run from a killer."

3. "In a Dark, Dark Wood" by Ruth Ware

"Nora hasn't seen Clare for ten years. Not since Nora walked out of school one day and never went back.
There was a dark, dark house
Until, out of the blue, an invitation to Clare's hen do arrives. Is this a chance for Nora to finally put her past behind her?
And in the dark, dark house there was a dark, dark room
But something goes wrong. Very wrong.
And in the dark, dark room....
Some things can't stay secret for ever."





4. "The Woman in Cabin 10" by Ruth Ware

"Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. The sky is clear, the waters calm, and the veneered, select guests jovial as the exclusive cruise ship, the Aurora, begins her voyage in the picturesque North Sea. At first, Lo's stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a dark and terrifying nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo's desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong."

5. "One of Us is Lying" by Karen M. McManus

"Pay close attention and you might solve this.

One Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.
Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.
Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High's notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon's dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn't an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he'd planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who's still on the loose?
Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them."









6. "Mistress of the Ritz" by Melanie Benjamin

"The Auzellos are the mistress and master of the Ritz, allowing the glamour and glitz to take their minds off their troubled marriage, and off the secrets that they keep from their guests—and each other. Until June 1940, when the German army sweeps into Paris, setting up headquarters at the Ritz. Suddenly, with the likes of Hermann Goëring moving into suites once occupied by royalty, Blanche and Claude must navigate a terrifying new reality. One that entails even more secrets. One that may destroy the tempestuous marriage between this beautiful, reckless American and her very proper Frenchman. For the falsehoods they tell to survive, and to strike a blow against their Nazi "guests," spin a web of deceit that ensnares everything and everyone they cherish."

7. "Tomb of Ancients" by Madeleine Roux

"Fleeing the nightmares of Coldthistle House, Louisa and her friends have taken up in a posh new London residence. But religious zealots from the shepherd's army are flocking to the city in droves, and ominous warnings are being left on Louisa's very doorstep. With the evil influence of her father's spirit growing stronger, Louisa knows she'll have to pick a side in the coming war between the old gods, whether she'd like to or not. Louisa will do whatever it takes to save herself—even if it means returning to Coldthistle House. And when she strikes another devil's bargain with Mr. Morningside, she's forced to join his supernatural staff on a journey to a gateway between worlds, a place of legend: the Tomb of Ancients. But as always, Louisa knows there's a catch. . . In this epic finale to Madeleine Roux's gripping House of Furies series, eerie photographs and beautiful illustrations from artist Iris Compiet help bring to life a world where gods and monsters are at war—and no one will escape the battle unscathed."

8. "The Tattooist of Auschwitz" by Heather Morris

"In April 1942, Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, is forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. When his captors discover that he speaks several languages, he is put to work as a Tätowierer (the German word for tattooist), tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners.

Imprisoned for more than two and a half years, Lale witnesses horrific atrocities and barbarism—but also incredible acts of bravery and compassion. Risking his own life, he uses his privileged position to exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep his fellow prisoners alive.

One day in July 1942, Lale, prisoner 32407, comforts a trembling young woman waiting in line to have the number 34902 tattooed onto her arm. Her name is Gita, and in that first encounter, Lale vows to somehow survive the camp and marry her.

A vivid, harrowing, and ultimately hopeful re-creation of Lale Sokolov's experiences as the man who tattooed the arms of thousands of prisoners with what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust, The Tattooist of Auschwitz is also a testament to the endurance of love and humanity under the darkest possible conditions."





9. "You" by Caroline Kepnes

"When a beautiful aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card.

There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she'll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a "chance" meeting.

As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck's life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck's perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means murder."



10. "The Perfect Couple" by Elin Hilderbrand

"It's Nantucket wedding season, also known as summer-the sight of a bride racing down Main Street is as common as the sun setting at Madaket Beach. The Otis-Winbury wedding promises to be an event to remember: the groom's wealthy parents have spared no expense to host a lavish ceremony at their oceanfront estate.

But it's going to be memorable for all the wrong reasons after tragedy strikes: a body is discovered in Nantucket Harbor just hours before the ceremony-and everyone in the wedding party is suddenly a suspect. As Chief of Police Ed Kapenash interviews the bride, the groom, the groom's famous mystery-novelist mother, and even a member of his own family, he discovers that every wedding is a minefield-and no couple is perfect."

11. "Circe" by Madeline Miller

"In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child—not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power—the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.

But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love."



12. "The Rules of Magic" by Alice Hoffman

"For the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1620, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man.

Hundreds of years later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, when the whole world is about to change, Susanna Owens knows that her three children are dangerously unique. Difficult Franny, with skin as pale as milk and blood red hair, shy and beautiful Jet, who can read other people's thoughts, and charismatic Vincent, who began looking for trouble on the day he could walk.

From the start Susanna sets down rules for her children: No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Back in New York City each begins a risky journey as they try to escape the family curse.

The Owens children cannot escape love even if they try, just as they cannot escape the pains of the human heart. The two beautiful sisters will grow up to be the revered, and sometimes feared, aunts in Practical Magic, while Vincent, their beloved brother, will leave an unexpected legacy."





13. "The Other Woman" by Sandie Jones

"Emily thinks Adam's perfect; the man she thought she'd never meet. But lurking in the shadows is a rival; a woman who shares a deep bond with the man she loves.

Emily chose Adam, but she didn't choose his mother Pammie. There's nothing a mother wouldn't do for her son, and now Emily is about to find out just how far Pammie will go to get what she wants: Emily gone forever."

14. "Her Daughter's Mother" by Daniela Petrova

"Lana Stone has never considered herself a stalker--until the night she impulsively follows a familiar face through the streets of New York's Upper West Side. Her target? The "anonymous" egg donor she'd selected through an agency, the one who's making motherhood possible for her. Hungry to learn more about her, Lana plans only to watch her from a distance. But when circumstances bring them face-to-face, an unexpected friendship is born.

Katya, a student at Columbia, is the yin to Lana's yang, an impulsive free spirit who lives life at the edge. And for pragmatic Lana, she's a breath of fresh air and a welcome distraction from her painful breakup with her baby's father. Then, just as suddenly as Katya entered Lana's life, she disappears--and Lana might have been the last person to see her before she went missing. Determined to find out what became of the woman to whom she owes so much, Lana digs into Katya's past, even as the police grow suspicious of her motives. But she's unprepared for the secrets she unearths, and their power to change everything she thought she knew about those she loves best..."

15. "The Last Resort" by Marissa Stapley

"The Harmony Resort promises hope for struggling marriages. Run by celebrity power couple Drs. Miles and Grace Markell, the "last resort" offers a chance for partners to repair their relationships in a luxurious setting on the gorgeous Mayan Riviera.

Johanna and Ben have a marriage that looks perfect on the surface, but in reality, they don't know each other at all. Shell and Colin fight constantly: after all, Colin is a workaholic, and Shell always comes second to his job as an executive at a powerful mining company. But what has really torn them apart is too devastating to talk about. When both couples begin Harmony's intensive therapy program, it becomes clear that Harmony is not all it seems—and neither are Miles and Grace themselves. What are they hiding, and what price will these couples pay for finding out?

As a deadly tropical storm descends on the coast, trapping the hosts and the guests on the resort, secrets are revealed, loyalties are tested and not one single person—or their marriage—will remain unchanged by what follows."



16. "The Woman in the Window" by A.J. Finn

"Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors.


Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, a mother, their teenage son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn't, her world begins to crumble—and its shocking secrets are laid bare.


What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one—and nothing—is what it seems."

17. "An American Marriage" by Tayari Jones

"Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. This novel is an exploration of love, loyalty, race, justice, and both Black masculinity and Black womanhood in 21st century America."

18. "The Sun Is Also a Star" by Nicola Yoon

"Natasha: I'm a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I'm definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won't be my story.

Daniel: I've always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents' high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?"



19. "The Hate U Give" by Angie Thomas

"Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed."

And many, MANY more!

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The 2020 Election: The Democratic Party Part 1

We all have the duty of becoming politically conscious in order to wisely act on the crucial decision that lies ahead of us in the very near future. In this unbiased, multi-part series you'll be able to get a brief look into both the 2020 Democratic and Republican presidential candidates.

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The race for the 2020 presidential election is on the rise as 24 Democrats and 2 Republicans have been officially confirmed as potential candidates. Ranging from California to New York, we may recognize "big names" such as Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, however, it's important to get to know all the candidates in order to have a clear idea as to who you want to be leading the country for the next four years.

*Due to the high number of Democratic candidates, they will all be highlighted over the course of three articles throughout the coming weeks.

1. Joe Biden

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Serving as the Vice President alongside Barack Obama and former senator of Delaware, Joe Biden has already ran for president twice, making the 2020 election his third and what he considers, final time. Biden hopes to strengthen the middle class by raising the minimum wage to a more livable standard. He also hopes to restrict the purchase of guns through background checks as well as being in support of a ban on assault weapons.

2. Bernie Sanders

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Having served on both the House of Representatives and The Senate, Bernie Sanders has caught the attention of many Americans due to his push for universal healthcare with the idea that "All Americans are entitled to go to the doctor when they're sick and not go bankrupt after staying in the hospital." As well as making public secondary-education schools tuition-free in a mission to help lower student debt. Sanders believes in the threat of climate change as his campaign includes the future of passing a Green New Deal to move from fossil fuels to sustainable energy as well as ban fracking and fossil fuel infrastructure. Bernie Sanders additionally believes in abolishing the death penalty, reforming the police system, and ending the discrimination of applicants based on criminal history

3. Beto O'Rourke

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Beto O'Rourke has represented Texas in the House of Representatives from 2013 - 2019. He has a noteworthy platform towards business which includes increasing federal funding towards the Manufacturing Extension Partnership that would aid in creating competitiveness with America's small- and medium-sized manufacturers against global markets. O'Rourke also believes in the idea of increasing voter numbers no matter what the political party may be as well as help ex-convicts regain their right to vote after serving their sentences. In doing so, he plans to create more outreach to the younger generations by ensuring pre-voter registration for all 16 and 17 year olds. Moreover, Beto pushes for a change in creating new term limits for the US House, Senate, and Supreme Court.

4. Kamala Harris

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Kamila is a lawyer and has served as the junior US senator and Attorney General of California. While she is new to the presidential election process, Harris aims to increase teacher pay with the "largest federal investment in teacher pay in U.S. history with a $13,500 raise." Moreover, using her specialization in legal matters regarding sexual assault, Kamila hopes to protect Planned Parenthood as well as women's reproductive rights. Harris states that as President, she will eliminate the wage gap between men and women as well as racial disparities involving maternal health care. Harris additionally hopes in protecting LGBTQ+ rights by not only passing an Equality Act to fight against discrimination in schools, work, and public, but appoint an Attorney General with the purpose of investigating and prosecuting hate crimes against LGBTQ+ individuals.


5. Elizabeth Warren

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Growing up in rural Oklahoma in a low-income home and eventually serving as a US senator for Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren is described as a progressive candidate who's campaign is working towards "universal childcare, student loan debt relief, and down payments on a Green New Deal and Medicare for All." Warren hopes to build the middle class up and defend unionized jobs by allowing 40% of board members to be elected through employees. Moreover, Warren is in favor of strengthening the military as well has bringing troops home from overseas, as well as banning private prisons and decriminalizing marijuana. She additionally has stated to end Washington corruption by banning lobbying along with preventing Senators and Congressman from trading stocks whilst in office.

6. Cory Booker

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Attending Stanford and later graduating from Yale Law School, Cory Booker became the first African-American U.S. Senator from New Jersey. Booker's main concern is to end gun violence, ban assault weapons, and bring his battle to the attention of the NRA to create "liberty for all." His 14-part plan includes creating a more extensive process to obtain a gun, one of which would including an FBI-issued background check as well as requiring "micro-stamping" on all guns to ensure the ability to trace back the source of ammunition used in crimes. Moreover, Americans seeking a gun license would have to apply for a 5-year license after which would require renewal. Booker has also proposed the idea of providing newborns with savings accounts that would accumulate until they reached 18. He states that this plan would help settle the gap between the classes by offering lower-income households a nest-egg averaging at about $46,000. He also aims to make contraceptives employer-covered and repeal the punishment for an abortion outside of incest, rape, or for the woman's health.

7. Kirsten Gillibrand

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From New York, Kristin Gillibrand became a US Senator in 2009, becoming the youngest person in the Senate at the time. Her 2020 platform includes creating universal healthcare for all that would cover both mental and reproductive health in addition to it's regular standards. Her stance on Medicare For All also stands for reducing the price of prescription drugs as well as aiding in the process of overcoming addiction. Gillibrand also aims to introduce postal banking which would allow those without checking accounts have the opportunity to take out small loans through their local post office. Moreover, she believes in not only the legalization of both medical and recreation marijuana, but in erasing all past convictions from it. Kristin Gillibrand stands with strengthening the middle class by raising the minimum wage to $15/hour, creating paid medical and parental leave for all Americans, and fighting for the right to form unions and protect worker's rights.

8. Amy Klobuchar

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Amy Klobuchar is a lawyer and politician who currently serves as a US Senator from Minnesota. Klobuchar's campaign fights for providing every household in America with high-speed internet by the year 2020 along with aiding farmers by increasing their access to loan programs as well as raising farm bankruptcy debt levels. Moreover, she hopes to better the education system by increasing teacher pay and putting more money towards public schools. As well as increasing the federal Pell Grant and tuition-free one to two year community and technical colleges. Amy Klobucher believes in re-instated the DREAM Act to grant citizenship for foreigners who immigrated to America as minors. She supports immigration reform as well as ending the cruel separation and treatment of families on the lines of the border and creating a refined pathway to gain citizenship.

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