Bernie Sanders in Portland
By Liz Campbell
28,000 people attended the Sunday August 9th rally at the Portland Moda Center for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. Attendees were of all ages, races, backgrounds and political leanings. Please share your own experience at the Bernie Sanders rally by submitting an article and pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m a fence sitter in the 2016 president race.
I respect Hillary Clinton’s strength in the face of extreme political adversity, her vast experience and knowledge, and her support of women’s rights throughout the world. I am worried about her campaign. Her lack of engagement with the general public reminds me a lot of 2008.
I have admired Bernie Sanders for as long as I’ve known of him. I rarely missed Thom Hartman’s Friday morning “Breakfast with Bernie” segments, and agreed that Sanders was “America’s senator”. And then there is Joe Biden who might be a candidate in 2016. I needed to attend the Moda Center rally to hear and see Bernie live – to see the crowd reaction.
It amazed me that Bernie’s rally had to be moved from Memorial Coliseum to the much larger Moda Center (home arena of the NBA Portland Trailblazers), and even that was not big enough, nearly 10,000 more watched the rally on big screens from outside.
The Sanders campaign management was smooth from beginning to end. I liked that entry to the event was easy – no tickets required – and that the invite included a suggestion to use public transportation. (That certainly made transport cheap and easy for me.)
I loved that the rally was indoors with air conditioning, rest rooms and refreshments. Lines were already long when I arrived an hour early at 5 p.m. I knew there was plenty of seating, so I went to Dr. Jack’s for pizza and root beer. The place was jammed with Bernie supporters of all ages. They were full of enthusiasm and ready to talk. The doors opened early (!), and I walked right out of Dr. Jack’s into a decent seat for the rally. The Moda Center rapidly filled, including floor space around the stage, and the highest "peanut gallery" seats.
The rally began promptly at 7 p.m. I was concerned about a confrontation with “Black Lives Matter” protestors, but the Sanders campaign had the situation well in hand. Symone Sanders, Bernie’s new press secretary, told the crowd to chant “We all stand together” in the event of a protest. None occurred, and Bernie addressed racial justice in his speech.
In fact, there was little that Bernie did not address in his one hour talk. Problems of the middle class, campaign financing, student debt, equal pay for women, marriage equality, marijuana, single payer health coverage (At the Moda Center!), family leave, sick leave, paid vacation, women’s health care, climate change, Wall Street, campaign financing.
Have I missed anything? If I have, Sanders covered that too! Every line was an applause line. The crowd, young and old, ate it up. Senator Bernie Sanders was focused and strong.
I used to think that Bernie couldn’t win in 2016. Not anymore. I “Feel the Bern”!
Liz Campbell is the former vice-chair/chair of the Clark County Democrats, current state committeewoman for the 18th LD and PCO for precinct 447. She was a delegate to the 2012 Democratic convention in Charlotte. for the 2015 and 2016 elections, Liz serves a chairperson of the non-partisan vetting committee.