Bernie Sanders at Chicago State University

Three political posts in about a week! More than usual for me, but necessary as this is at the forefront of my mind right now.
Read my most-read post from last week, an Open Letter to the Older Generation of Democrats that are voting for Hillary Clinton, and see Dick Van Dyke endorse Bernie Sanders.

Thursday night, Damon and I drove down to Chicago State University to see Bernie Sanders speak. This is the first time I’ve ever seen Bernie, and it was as awe-inspiring as you could imagine. Here’s a shot of the crowd Damon took:

Bernie Sanders at Chicago State University

We’d estimate there were around 6,000 people packed into the Emil and Patricia Jones Convocation Center. Our seats weren’t bad at all, though we were slightly behind him — you couldn’t miss those wild hand gestures for the world.

Damon and I left downtown around 5PM and headed down to CSU. By 5:20ish, we were stuck in traffic about 6 blocks away from the venue. We stayed there, hungry, inching ever closer, until around 6:15 PM, when we finally got parked and started walking towards the venue. The lines were insane. We were worried we wouldn’t be able to get inside. We checked in, hopped in to the crowd, and slowly shuffled. Cold and tired, we made our way into the venue. Through security, where we were x-rayed, my bag opened, our wallets rifled through. By around 7:30, we had found seats. We sat, and sat, and sat. We were beginning to wonder if Bernie would ever arrive. Then, a little after 8:30, the speakers began. And Damon and I had no doubt that the hours we’d waited were absolutely worth it.

Each of the speakers that opened for Bernie had something different and powerful to say. We learned that Chicago State University is in danger of having to close its doors due to budgeting issues in the state of Illinois. CSU is a historically black college, and it feels like they’ve fallen by the wayside when they should be revered and protected. This was the first time I’d ever heard Chuy Garcia speak, and I found him to be very moving.

And then, finally — just before 9, Bernie arrived. The best I can describe it — it was like a professional sports event and a rock concert all rolled up in to one, and all for a little old man.

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Here’s the crowd cheering for Bernie just after he arrived.

Bernie spoke for about an hour, and we were all on the edge of our seats the entire time. He talked about our corrupt campaign finance system. Pay equity for women. The need for reform for our criminal justice system. He talked about Chicago State University. About how it was losing funding, and what our country could look like with free college for all. He talked about healthcare, too, of course — and how he believes that healthcare is a right of all people.

Here are two quotes I scribbled down during Bernie’s speech that really hit for me:

Damon and I left the rally understanding the real meaning of #FeelTheBern.

On the way home, we hit up the Taco Bell drive-thru to grab some food. It was now 10:30 PM and we hadn’t eaten, though I’m pretty sure both of us felt satiated by our thirst for political revolution. Heh. While we were sitting in line, the folks behind us noticed the Bernie 2016 sticker on our rear window.

“Yeah! Bernie!” the driver yelled out the window.
Damon stuck his head out. “Yeah! We were just at the rally!”
“Us too!” the driver called back. We all cheered.

I’m more determined than ever to get Bernie Sanders the Democratic nomination and to see him win the White House this November. I know he has an uphill battle, but I will do everything I can to help propel him to victory. 🔥

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