by Dawn Laeske
August 10th, 2015. San Diego supporters of Bernie Sanders enthusiastically showed up in not one, but two very large buses, headed to the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena to see Bernie Sanders speak at the Southern California rally. When we arrived in LA, there were lines of people already wrapped around the building at 5:00 p.m. Lucky for us, some early risers made arrangements for us at 5:00 a.m. that morning and we were permitted in before the general public.
Inside, there were already many people positioned at center stage to get the best standing room only position for Bernie’s speech. We watched people pour in when the doors opened at 6:00 p.m. By 7:00 p.m. nearly every seat in the house was filled, isles were filled, and people found places along the railings on the upper levels. Pre-event chants were intermittent in the lower levels, a few rounds of The Wave made its way around the venue, and cell phone lights lit up like candles. The experience was powerful, energetic, and packed full with an estimated 27, 500 happy and hopeful Bernie supporters. Thousands of people were still outside when the rally began listening to the live stream from inside.
Just after 7:00 p.m., Simone Sanders, Bernie’s newest team member and National Press Secretary for the Bernie Sanders Presidential campaign, introduced herself, as well as the guest speakers. Each speaker shared their cause as well as their reasons for supporting Bernie Sanders for President. Joe Galliani, Organizer South Bay 350.org in Torrance, CA spoke about fracking and the destruction that the oil industry represents. Maria Berrera, leader of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los *Angeles (CHIRLA). A group “formed in 1986 to advance the human and civil rights of immigrants and refugees in Los Angeles; promote harmonious multi-ethnic and multi-racial human relations; and through coalition-building, advocacy, community education and organizing, empower immigrants and their allies to build a more just society.” She said, “Bernie Sanders is speaking up and we say thank you, but remind him that as President he should also remember the people in the shadows.” Dante Harris represented the Flight Attendants Union Local. And Kristen, a nurse at UCLA Medical Center represented the National Nurses Union, which recently endorsed Bernie Sanders for President.
Then, Sara Silverman came on stage with the introduction of Bernie Sanders. As she introduced Bernie the crowd was deafening. He walked out onto the stage and hugged every person that spoke before him and who share his enthusiasm for making things better for all of us. When he spoke, people listened and cheered, and the energy in the room was astounding. Here are just some of the items that Bernie Sanders spoke to:
- Closing the loopholes for corporations so that they can pay their fair share of taxes.
- He wants to stop rewarding (tax breaks) corporations for shipping jobs overseas, when we are perfectly capable for doing the same work here in the United States.
- He believes that banks should not be so large that it affects the entire world’s financial infrastructure should they fail.
- Equal pay for women who are only making 78% of the income for doing the same work as men.
- Affordable college so that students are strapped with debilitating college debt.
- Raising the National minimum wage to a living wage of $15.00 per hour.
- Equality for ALL, no matter what race, religion, sexual preference, etc.
- Affordable childcare.
- Transform energy systems away from fossil fuels.
- Wants to ensure that the aging are taken care of via Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, as well as nutritional programs.
Bernie Sanders says it like it is. He covers nothing up, his decision to run for president stemmed from the need to create movement, a grassroots political revolution sized movement. He wanted people get up out of their casual seat and take action. He wanted us to know the truth. He wants US to make a difference, because he knows that even as president, he cannot make things happen on his own. He tells us in no uncertain terms that We, The People of The United States need to push for change and create a revolution for that change. Because, in numbers, we are more powerful than money! Let’s do this! Let’s make this revolution a reality.
“When we do not allow our opponents to break us up and divide us, when we stand united, we can create a new America.” He wasn’t referring to just Independent’s, Democrats, or Republican’s, he was speaking to EVERY ONE OF US! “ – Bernie Sanders
There is so much more to know about Bernie Sanders and if you are interested in learning more about Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), please go to www.berniesanders.com.