Thousands of supporters were “feeling the Bern” as presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders got them fired up at a rally Tuesday morning. It was the closest to Modesto a major presidential candidate has gotten, and area residents joined the crowd.
“The people in this crowd are the 7,000 reasons” the Vermont senator will win the California primary June 7, predicted Michael Ceraso, California state director of the Sanders campaign, prior to the candidate taking the stage at the Weber Point Event Center.
The beat of “Disco Inferno” – “Burn, baby, burn” – also primed supporters for a passionate speech that addressed topics including pay inequity between men and women, student debt, job creation and the criminal justice system.
Everything Sanders said was met with roars of approval by a crowd diverse in age and ethnicity.
“If you work 40 hours a week, you should not live in poverty,” he said, stating that he would raise the federal minimum wage to $15. California and New York already have committed to doing so.
Following an upset victory over Clinton in Indiana last week, Sanders appears poised to compete in a string of primaries this month and next. But California, in which mail voting opened Monday, is the largest outstanding prize. Recent polls put Clinton ahead of Sanders among likely voters here, but Sanders has steadily gained ground. In an April Field Poll, Sanders lagged just 6 percentage points behind.
Among his supporters in Stockton on Tuesday was Gabriel Gonzalez, 21, of Patterson. Asked what about Sanders appeals to him, he said: “Just his progressive views against the greed of corporations and the decriminalization of marijuana and the demilitarizing of police forces. Just in all, making it a more socialist, fair society.”
Kari Khoury had hoped for the longest time that this day would come, but it wasn’t until late last week that she knew for certain.
Early Tuesday morning, Khoury will drive from her north Stockton home to Sacramento. When she returns, she will be part of the motorcade accompanying Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders as he travels to his downtown rally at Weber Point Events Center.
“We always had hoped, because Bernie has his ear to the people,” said Khoury, the Congressional District 9 point person for the Vermont senator’s campaign. “In the past when other candidates have come to Stockton, it’s been for a fundraiser. Bernie is coming to talk to the people. We’re tickled. It’s amazing.”
“It’s important for Stockton to be able to attract some national attention,” said Robert Benedetti, a retired University of the Pacific political science professor. “It’s got great stories and it’s time they were told. The only way to get them told is to have people come by.”
Stockton, with more than 300,000 residents, is one of the country’s most diverse cities. More than 40 percent of the residents are Latino, and it also has sizable Asian and African-American populations.
One-quarter of Stockton residents live below the poverty level, according to census figures, and only 11 percent of residents 25 or older have bachelor’s degrees. The city was in Chapter 9 bankruptcy from 2012-15, and it was among the hardest hit by the Great Recession.
“(Sanders) is talking about a lot of the issues that affect our community and communities of color and-low income people,” said Bobby Bivens, who heads Stockton’s branch of the NAACP. “It’s good for people to have a choice.”
During an hour-long talk to a boisterous crowd of more than 6,000 at the Salem Armory, the Vermont senator said he still believes he can win the Democratic presidential nomination and go on to beat Republican Donald Trump in the November general election.
Any yet expectations that Sanders would dial back his criticisms of Clinton and focus primarily on lambasting Trump apparently are off the table.
Sander did criticize Trump, repeatedly, for what he termed the the New York businessman's "inexcusable characterizations" of groups including women, Latinos and Mexicans, African Americans and Muslims.
"At the end of the day," Sanders said, "love always trumps hatred."
But he also appeared to step up criticisms of Clinton — something some observers had calculated he would at least curtail.
At one point, taking up his familiar theme of income inequality, Sanders noted that the Waltons, who own Walmart, are one of the richest families in the country. He added that Walmart employees are sometimes paid so little that they have to seek public assistance in the form of food stamps and Medicaid to make ends meet.
He closed the anecdote by saying that one of the Waltons has donated "thousands and thousands of dollars" to Clinton's campaign.
Addressing the Walton family directly, Sanders added this zinger: "Instead of making campaign contributions to Secretary Clinton, pay your workers a living wage."
"Our strength is in our diversity," he said. "That we are a great nation because we are black and white and Latino and Asian American and Native American. We are a great nation because we are gay and we are straight. We are a great nation because we are women and men."
That was music to the ears of supporters like Francisca Robles.
"I'm looking out for my family. I'm trying to do what's best for my family. I think Bernie is the best for my family," Robles said.
Robles is Hispanic and feels Sanders will best represent her interests.
"Because of my roots. I feel like there's a lot of people who I'm not going to mention who look down on my people, I guess. I want them to know we are here and we aren't going to stand down," Robles said.
Other voters like Bill Fujii said they support Sanders because of his plans to fix America's crumbling infrastructure.
"He's the only candidate that has talked about rebuilding the infrastructure. You can't make America great if your bridges fall down," Fujii said.
Residents of Oakland's Rockridge neighborhood found presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on their doorstep Tuesday afternoon during the Democrat's campaign swing through California.
Sanders stopped by his campaign storefront on College Avenue for an impromptu visit shortly after 1 p.m. and spoke for about 5 minutes to a few hundred supporters.
Secret Service and police shut down the 5600 block of College Avenue when Sanders' car drove up.
"We have an uphill battle to fight, but you know what? We've been in uphill battles all our lives," Sanders said.
"We believe in you," shouted one supporter.
The crowd chanted "Bernie! Bernie!" and applauded and cheered as he made his way through. The candidate touched on education, saying he wants public colleges and universities to be free, and spoke briefly about alternative energy sources.
Rabia Keeble, of Oakland, was one of several volunteers who met with Sanders inside his Rockridge campaign headquarters.
"I'm so energized about working for somebody who is the candidate I've dreamed of all my life," she said.
While Sen. Bernie Sanders appeared in Northern California on Tuesday, his campaign worked to register new voters on Southern California college campuses with the help of a few celebrities.
Among the actors turning up Tuesday at Rio Hondo College and other locations were Rosario Dawson, Frances Fisher and Josh Hutcherson.
"Free tuition for the public colleges and universities is very important," Fisher said. "The climate - that's the No. 1 issue. And Bernie Sanders is the only candidate in either party who's talking about how dire our circumstances are."
Campuses also deliver the Latino vote and for many, immigration is a personal issue.
"I really hope he helps all the undocumented immigrants in this country, to help them become U.S. citizens," said Ana Galvez, a Rio Hondo student. "Because I have a bunch of family members who are still in fear that they're going to be deported."
The campaign also worked to sign up voters at Cal State LA and UCLA among other campuses.
Bernie Sanders warned the Democratic Party against “moving toward the middle” when it comes to picking a vice presidential candidate for the general election.
During an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle’s editorial board on Tuesday, the White House hopeful was asked whether he believed running mates should reflect the ideology of the party’s base or be picked based on their appeal to swing voters.
“I’ve always believed, very honestly, that good public policy is good politics,” he said. “And I think the Democrats should have a ticket of a presidential candidate and a vice presidential candidate who will speak to the needs of the vast majority of our people and not just the wealthy campaign contributors.”
“So my point is that I think the presidential candidate and the vice presidential candidate should be addressing the issues that are on the hearts and minds of the American people,” Sanders added. “I do not accept the concept, and I know many do, of ‘You gotta move toward the middle,’ because not only do I disagree with that ideologically, I think it’s bad politics.”
The Vermont senator emphasized that the brand of progressive politics that he’s been championing has a broad appeal, as demonstrated by his popularity among independents.
“I think you win votes when you talk about raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour,” Sanders continued. “You win votes when you talk about creating millions of jobs by rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure. You win votes, maybe not for everybody at this table, by making it clear that public colleges and universities should be tuition-free. You win votes by saying that the wealthy and large corporations should start paying their fair share of taxes. So to me this is not just ideology — it is what I believe — I think it’s good politics as well.”
White House hopeful Bernie Sanders claims a planned Cork-Boston air service will herald tens of thousand of job losses in the US and Europe.
The Democratic Party contender wants to prevent Norwegian Airlines International (NAI) from launching the service to the US, claiming it would mark a "dangerous precedent".
US aviation unions claim Norwegian intends using Ireland as a flag of convenience to employ low-paid crew and undermining working conditions for cabin crew working for other transatlantic airlines.
Mr Sanders, who is trailing Hillary Clinton for the party's presidential nomination, has asked the US Department of Transportation not to grant a permit that would allow Norwegian Airlines International (NAI), a subsidiary of Norwegian Air Shuttle, to fly to the US from Ireland, or from other European cities.
"Granting such a permit would be a direct violation of the strong labour provisions included in the US/EU Open Skies agreement," Mr Sanders claimed. "Moreover, it would set a dangerous precedent that threatens the jobs of hundreds of thousands of flight attendants, mechanics, pilots, and other airline workers in our country and in Europe."
The candidate, known for his 'Feel the Bern' slogan, added: "We must do everything we can to prevent a global race to the bottom in the airline industry. If this permit is approved, it would open the door to the same 'flag of convenience' model that decimated US shipping."
A presidential candidate, amid a heated battle for the Democratic Party’s nomination, will speak here this Friday.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-V.T., will speak at the Ramada Plaza & Suites, 1635 42nd St. S., on Friday, May 13, a news release from his campaign said.
Doors open for the speech at 11 a.m. Friday. It’s free and open to the public, though admission is first come, first served and RSVPs are encouraged, the campaign said. Those wanting to secure a spot at the rally can do so here.
Sanders will make stops in a few different spots in South Dakota on Thursday, May 12. He’ll head to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in the morning, Rapid City in the afternoon and Sioux Falls at 7:30 p.m. in the convention center at Denny Sanford Premier Center.
Baby Beluga” and Raffi Cavoukian -- known simply as Raffi to his millions of fans -- soundtracked childhoods in the '80s and early '90s.
The 67-year-old children’s singer isn’t touring as much as he used to, but still sings about the “little white whale on the go,” now for an entirely different generation.
He’s also making new music, but not just for kids. One of the latest additions to his repertoire is a song inspired by presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders.
Cavoukian lives on Salt Spring Island in British Columbia, Canada, and calls himself a champion of democracy. He’s been a lifelong follower of American politics, and when Sanders came on the scene last year, he took notice.
“He’s an extraordinary public servant,” Cavoukian said. “He has a consistent record for being there for the struggles of working middle-class families. I was really inspired when he started his presidential run.”
Sanders’ focus on job growth and a minimum wage increase resonated with Cavoukian.
Pinned to the top of his Twitter feed is his “Wave of Democracy” folk tune. The rally song quotes the U.S. Constitution’s “We the People” preamble, and highlights the concept of liberty.
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