WRITTEN BY: SIENA SOHN
On Saturday, Jan. 30, potential voters gathered in brisk temperatures to attend a march – which was originally set for Jan. 23, but was rescheduled due to Winter Storm Jonas – for Bernie Sanders. The event began at City Hall for supporters to gather and then march throughout Center City. In addition to Philadelphia, nearly 35 other cities, like Portland, Oregon, Seattle, Washington and Washington, DC, held “March for Bernie” events on Saturday, as well.
According to Bernie Sanders’ campaign site, the march’s main goals are to “inform eligible voters of the upcoming Primary election and remind them to vote for Bernie,” as well as bring the media’s attention to this presidential nominee, due to their lack of coverage on him so far.
The event was hosted and organized by Ryan Nugent. Nugent created Facebook groups to draw attention to this event all across the country. As a result, most supporters who came out to the march heard of it through social media accounts like “People for Bernie,” as well as “Millennials for Bernie,” and websites like Sanders’ campaign site, and feelthebern.org.
Many voters who attended the event came from different and diverse backgrounds. Rachael Connors, a Chester county native, marched for Bernie in order to raise more awareness on issues like universal healthcare and raising the minimum wage to fifteen dollars an hour.
Others, like Kathleen, 21, and Melissa, 20, both students at Temple University, find Sanders to be the best candidate for the White House position simply because “of his socialistic ideals, and socialism should not be a scary word for voters.” Likewise, another march attendee, Zach, throws his support behind Sanders because campaign finance reform is an important issue to him, in addition to dealing with the corruption within the American government.
Besides Nugent, another organizer that played a large role in the making of the event was Philadelphia local Amanda Mcillmurray. Mcillmurray helped form the event by setting up tables, making signs, and leading marchers. Overall, Mcillmurray encourages voters to support and vote for Sanders due to his “consistency over the years, which shows that he will stick to his principles and do exactly what is best for the American people.”
Although no big events like the “March for Bernie” are coming up relatively soon, smaller events will be held around the city to round up signatures to put Bernie on the ballot. The next opportunity to show support will be on Feb. 6 at Kung Fu Necktie in Fishtown.