Senators Sanders made his way around the area of Upstate New York to rally into the hearts of the American people on April 11. A key stop in his route that day was in Albany, New York. New York could be a game changer in Bernie’s current standings in the polls and in his chance of winning the nomination due to its significant number of delegates.
Thousands of people, many of whom represented the millennial generation, stood outside in line for hours prior to doors opening for the Sanders rally in Albany. One of these individuals included Marissa Theriault, a Junior at Western Connecticut State University. After waking up at 5:30 in the morning, she drove roughly two hours to stand in the rain for about another two hours before doors even opened for the rally. This diligence paid off; she ended up standing front row, only some feet away from the podium.
A local band, Formula 5, performed prior to any speeches to pump up the crowd. At roughly 2 p.m., the first guest speaker came out. A few guest speakers included a campaign organizer in the area, State Senator Bill Perkins, and Jim Hightower.
Eventually, at around 2:30 p.m., Sanders was greeted by the crowd with an overwhelmingly positive reaction. He spoke to the crowd outside who were not as lucky to make it into the rally. The Vermont Senator burned through a wide range of topics, some of which pertained to clean water, removing corruption from campaign finances, and equality for all.
He reminded the audience of the speech he will be giving at the Vatican on Thursday regarding the importance of a moral economy. This tied in directly with he firm belief in that the declining middle class is one of the most daunting problems that challenges America.
Aside from economic issues, he also spoke of the necessity in rebuilding the water systems across the country; he insisted that nobody should be drinking unhealthy water. Senator Sanders believes that to rid the nation of this crisis, water systems, water plants, and roads and bridges must be rebuilt.
Prior to the rally, Sanders spoke with Albany residents and members of Albany’s Black Lives Matter movement. This flowed into his speech when making note of the “incredibly high rate of poverty in the African American community” and the need to change national priorities. Other social issues that were addressed were LGBTQ rights and women’s rights. In fact, when he brought up equal pay for both men and women, the crowd erupted into a cheer, at which point he smiled at the enthusiasm for equality.
Other stances that were spoken about were the need to make public education extended past K-12 and to make sure the Republican idea of “family values” did not limit the rights of gays or women. Sanders had little problem in calling out the elites of our society, including the Walmart corporation, who limit the workers and prevent equal opportunity for all.
“Attending a Bernie Sanders rally really inspired me and made me feel truly excited for the upcoming election,” said Theriault. “Hearing his ideas presented in person was a really great experience. I could feel his passion and it helped me to understand how much he really cares about helping our country.”