By Ryan Montes
[Editor’s Note: This article, though written by a frequent contributor to San Eli News does not constitute an endorsement, nor does it reflect the views and opinion of San Eli News or its editorial staff. This article is shared in order to provide coverage and information.]
Hundreds of Bernie Sanders supporters lined up at the Abraham Chavez Theater late Saturday morning as they were awaiting Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders arrival. El Paso was an added stop on his campaign trail after his stop in Los Angeles on Friday. Almost a month ago, Once everybody made it inside, VIP members with wristbands were able to sit on the lower level and floor of the venue while attendees who didn’t have a wristband sat in the upper level, the balcony.
Mariachi were playing Spanish music with the audience cheering and singing along for roughly an hour, then local band Sparta came in and closed out the last 30 minutes of waiting. After the music concluded came the local and state politicians. Each introduced themselves and which precinct they were in if they were from El Paso. They also gave reasons as to why the support and endorse Sanders in his campaign.
Then, the moment had finally come. Sanders made his way onto the stage after being introduced. As he walked onstage, he was welcomed with a roar of cheering, applause, and BER-NIE chants from every part of the theatre. The rally was officially underway. Sanders started by taking shots at President Donald Trump by mentioning the cons of him and his administration. He then spoke about his vision on a new human life in the United States, which is reaching out with compassion and how each family should care for one another, regardless of domestic problems.
Sanders then went on to talk about 45 million people paying student debt they couldn’t afford. This led to the topic of equal pay in the United States. He stated that him and his campaign, if elected, would like to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, followed by a statistic that women make 80 cents on the dollar rather than men and minority women do. One of the ways he’d like to do this is through unions: “That is why millions of workers all across this country want to join a union because when you’re in a union, you can negotiate decent wages.”
His next topic was about infrastructure (roads and bridges) stating “All of you know that our infrastructure that is our roads, our bridges, our water systems our wastewater plants are crumbling. You all know that we have a major crisis in affordable housing and homelessness. We are going to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, build ten million units of affordable low, income housing, put millions of workers to work and put paying union jobs.” The crowd applauded.
Moving onto education, Sanders points out how imperative it is to our country. His formula for the United States succeeding is to have the best, the public education system in the world, having universal, high-quality childcare, and tripling funding for low income, Title 1 schools. He also hopes that the younger generation will become teachers. Sanders emphasized, “We desperately need great teachers in America, we need more Latino teachers and more African-American teachers”. He also wants to raise the yearly salary for teachers to $60,000 or higher. “We believe that the importance of the work that teachers are doing, we’re going to fight to make sure that no teacher in America, earns less than $60,000 a year.” The crowd yet again roared in applause and began another brief BER-NIE chant.
As his rally continued, he began to talk about immigration. He spoke about the kids at the border camps, which he believes that children should not be in “cages” and that no child that crosses should be stripped away from there mother in any circumstance. He would also like to make sure any person that crosses the border can cross legally without any incidents. Sanders closed out his rally by letting his El Paso supporters know that if they all come together and vote for him either during early voting, on Super Tuesday, and directly at the polls in November, they will win the election.
Again, this was an excellent rally, similar to how Democratic candidate Michael Bloomberg’s was when it comes to professionalism. No one got out of hand, and everyone showed their support. The only difference between these two rallies is the number of supporters both candidates have. Sanders has more followers since 2016 and Bloomberg is still gaining supporters little by little. One thing is for sure though, Sanders was stunned by the number of supporters he had on Saturday here in El Paso and he more than likely left with tremendous confidence and hope.
Right after his rally here in El Paso, he flew straight to San Antonio to do a rally and then went to Houston and Austin today, February 23, 2020.