Independent Vermont Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders held the first major rally of his 2020 campaign on Sunday.
According to Politico, Sanders talked about his activist past and discussed race.
“Whether it is the struggle against corporate greed or against racism, sexism, homophobia, environmental devastation or war and militarism, real change never places from top on down. It always takes place from the bottom on up,” Sanders told the audience.
As detailed by a previous Inquisitr report, Sanders delivered his first major campaign speech yesterday at Brooklyn College, but it comes as no surprise that Chicago was selected as the location for the first official campaign rally.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, Sanders moved to Chicago as a young adult. The presidential candidate graduated from college in the Windy City, and became an activist during the Civil Rights movement.
At Sunday’s Chicago rally, Sanders focused on racial inequalities between white and black Americans. The Vermont senator touched upon the difference in mortality and cancer rates, rallying against voter suppression and the unjust criminal justice system.
“Today, the infant mortality rate in black communities is more than double the rate for white communities and the death rates from cancer and almost every disease is far higher for blacks,” he said.
According to campaign advisers, the senator’s weekend rallies were an attempt to “draw a connection” between Sanders’ personal story and the policies he advocates for. Along with other Democratic presidential candidates, Sanders went to Selma, Alabama, to remember Bloody Sunday, the 1965 civil rights march.
During his speech at the event, Sanders talked about the presidential campaigns of Reverend Jesse Jackson, who was also in attendance, according to Politico.
Sanders talked about Jackson’s 1984 campaign, the reverend’s famous “rainbow coalition.”
Bernie Sanders’ Chicago 2020 speech to focus on fight against racism https://t.co/ng4uTHSsFb
— Guardian US (@GuardianUS) March 3, 2019
Nina Turner, the co-chair of Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, praised the senator for his consistent and decades-long support for the civil rights movement, and for being one of its most prominent activists. In the 1980s, Turner said, Sanders was one of only two white elected officials to stand with Jackson.
“That’s the measure of a man,” Turner said.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) March 4, 2019
Shortly after announcing his presidential bid, Bernie Sanders emerged as the Democratic front-running. As reported by The New York Times, the Vermont senator managed to raise $10 million in less than a week, with the average overall campaign donation being only $26.
This comes as no surprise given that Sanders is considered to be one of the most popular politicians in the United States. A 2018 Morning Consult poll, for instance, found that 63 percent of Vermont voters approve of their senator, as per reporting from USA Today.
Similarly, a 2018 Gallup poll found that Sanders is viewed favorably by 78 percent of Democrats, and 53 percent of Americans overall.