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Davis, California

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Return of the Bern


Bernie Sanders visits Sacramento to rally for Proposition 61

On the Monday before Election Day, energy ran high as an excited crowd gathered on the steps of the State Capitol building in Sacramento. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont senator who gained widespread national prominence during his run for the Democratic nomination for president, held a rally in favor of passing Proposition 61.

The proposition, which California voters eventually voted down on Nov. 8, would have restricted the state from paying more for any prescription drug than what the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs pays. Roughly 46 percent of voters supported measure.

“We are the only major country on Earth that does not in one form or another regulate the price of prescription drugs […] For the first time in the history of this country, the American people are going to stand up to the drug companies,” Sanders said at the rally.

Although the main focus of the rally was Proposition 61, many proponents of related causes were in attendance. The Peace and Freedom Party attended the rally to raise awareness for its third party presidential candidate, Gloria La Riva. Esteban Hernandez, the party’s California campaign coordinator, distributed information about his candidate at the rally.

“Bernie called himself a socialist, and the Peace and Freedom Party […] is a socialist party,” Hernandez said. “So in that sense we are similar […] we’re out here today just passing out flyers, voter information.”

Many attendees of the rally were longtime Sanders supporters. Sean Glasson, a student from the California Maritime Academy, was in attendance.

“A lot of people in the area had a lot of enthusiasm for him and I still do […] even though he’s not the nominee, he’s still working to make sure real progressive policies are brought back to American politics and he’ll always have my support for that,” Glasson said.

This is not the first time Sanders has visited Northern California. In June, Sanders visited UC Davis during his presidential campaign and drew a crowd of over 9,000 supporters.

Kelly Baker, a third-year psychology major, praised Sanders as a politician to whom she can relate.

“When I started reading up and hearing his viewpoints it was almost like a dream come true,” Baker said. “[Sanders is] a politician who is for students, for the people of every nationality, gender, anything that you can think of, he is there to support you […]. There was never hatred in anything that he said, he was never bringing anybody down.”

Written by: Raul Castellanos — city@theaggie.org


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