Bernie Sanders speaks in Boston, draws crowds

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Jackie Gong

By Jackie Gong and Jake Sims Speyer
Approximately 20 students from this school attended senator Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) rally in Boston’s Seaport District Saturday, Oct. 3. Major news sources estimate over 24,000 attendees were present to hear Sanders’ stump speech, which was held at the Boston Convention Center.
Sanders, who is running as a Democrat for the presidential nomination, discussed his support in many left-wing policies, including free public college, a single-payer healthcare system, and raising the minimum wage.
The senator has proven himself to be very popular among young liberals, despite the fact that youth turnout was just under 20% in last year’s midterm elections.
“I decided to go because I wanted to learn more about the presidential race,” said senior Natalie Cohen, who plans to vote in the next presidential race, and sees Sanders at the top of her list. “I also knew that Sanders supports free public higher education and wants to end mass incarceration in the U.S. These two issues are both really important to me, so I thought I’d go to the rally [to] support Senator Sanders and learn about his stance on other issues,” she said.
Junior Charlotte Galgano “didn’t know about any of [Sanders’] beliefs” before attending the rally. Galgano found Sanders to be enthusiastic about the points he discussed. “It got me pumped,” she said.
Sanders expressed his strong disapproval of the current federal minimum wage, which is $7.25 per hour calling it a “starvation wage” and “a level of income that nobody can survive on.”
“It’s not a left-wing extremist idea to say that if someone works 40 hours a week that they should not live in poverty,” said Sanders and demanded that the minimum wage be raised to $15 per hour.
Sophomore Sophia Wilcox-Warren, who also attended, had a similar opinion. “Minimum wage right now is so incredibly low that most people aren’t able to support themselves and their families with just one job. [Sanders] wants to raise the minimum wage, and I agree with that,” she said, also noting that too many people had to worry about not getting by on the minimum wage.
Sanders also urged young voters to make an appearance at the voting booths next spring and fall, citing that 80% of young voters do not exercise their right to vote.
“That needs to change,” said sophomore Einat Gavish, who also attended the rally. “It’s really important that students are interested in the political process because eventually they will be essential to democracy.”
Gavish said she believes that events such as the rally can impact young people, even those who cannot vote yet. “It starts with people like you and me going to events like this, whether it is Bernie or anybody else, and students need to be informed about politics and the issues that will be relevant to us in a few years,” she said.
The rally drew a notably large younger crowd, consistent with Sander’s support base. “These rallies can really inspire young people,” said Wilcox-Warren. “If younger people go to events, then more will probably vote when they turn 18.”
Cohen said that all students who have the power to vote should be politically informed and exercise their right, regardless of who they support. “I hope that other North students really try to educate themselves about the stances of each candidate to make an informed decision when voting,” she said. “Even if they believe that their favorite candidate is not perfect—each vote makes a difference.”