By: Don Dike-Anukam | Photos by Ty O’Neil
View a photo gallery below.
Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont) on Wednesday made his first campaign visit to Reno since announcing his 2020 bid for the Democratic Party nomination for president. He spoke to a crowd of about 1,500 at City Plaza.
He had two local speakers prior to the major warm-up speakers. One was a university student, Marissa Weaselboy, of Native American heritage making the case for affordable college and tuition, and another, Brook Noble, spoke about being forced out of her apartment due to a major rent hike by her new landlord.
Ben Cohen, a co-chair of the Sanders campaign and formerly of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Company, introduced the senator. He gave testimony about Sanders having known him since the candidate was mayor of Burlington, Vermont. He talked about his record on fighting big corporate interests.
Cohen jokingly promised what his role in a Sanders presidency would be.
“The most important thing is defeating Trump, and the way I see it every day — and polls have shown consistently — that if nominated, Bernie beats trump, Bernie beats Trump, Bernie beats Trump!” he yelled. “When he’s elected, and I become Minister of Ice Cream, I promise of pint in every freezer, a sundae in every bowl.”
Sanders then spoke for about an hour on a range of topics: improving lives of veterans, increasing the standard of living for everyday Americans, and having economic mobility that should “go up, not down.”
Listen to the complete speech
He referred back to 4 years ago in Nevada when he talked about people living paycheck to paycheck. He also mentioned he would be traveling to WalMart headquarters in Bentonville, Ark. to impress on upon the firm the need to “pay their workers a living wage.”
Affordable housing, climate change — which he called a “moral crisis for the planet” — criminal justice reform, and immgration were each touched upon.
He did not disappoint his many supporters and fans. Though the weather downtown looked dreary, it only showed the level of dedication that some self-professed “Berniecrats” have to the senator.
Sanders appears to have a formidable starting point for the candidacy, has he has one of the stronger political positions and starting points of any candidate in the state.
Having run in 2016 against eventual nominee Hillary Clinton, and narrowly losing Nevada in that contest, puts him as a reasonable favorite against other candidates at this stage.
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