By: Bri Griffith, sophomore Creative Writing major at Carlow University
On Thursday, March 31, 2016, Vermont Senator and Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders made his way to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was there to give a free for the public rally, and let it be known, he’s the first of all the presidential candidates to make his way to Pittsburgh.
The doors to the convention center were expected to open around 7:30 am. The earliest Bernie supporter showed up around 1:00 am, in order to secure his spot near the front of the podium. The line wrapped around the entirety of the building and weaved its way through the parking garage. People were set up outside, selling t-shirts that read “‘Burghers for Bernie,” “Feel The Bern,” and some were even selling “Dump Trump” t-shirts, exclaiming “America is already great!” Surprisingly, there wasn’t a single protester in sight.
The journey from outside to Exhibit Room C, where Sanders was to speak, was a long and tiring one. The line moved slowly; there were over 8,000 people in attendance, and every single one of them needed to go through security. People were throwing away their backpacks and purses to avoid bag checks at security.
Exhibit Room C was packed. There were few seats located behind the podium, while everybody else stood and waited for Sanders to make his appearance.
The room erupted as Sanders emerged from behind a curtain, waving and smiling as he walked himself to the podium. With his thick Brooklyn accent, he thanked everyone for coming. He said it himself, “What a great turnout!”
Sanders spoke for an hour, 11:00am to 12:00pm. In that hour, he spoke about a number of issues plaguing the American people. He opened his discussion with comments concerning Republican family values. He said, “Republicans think all women in this huge room, in this state, in this country should not have control over their own bodies. I disagree.” He spoke sarcastically about Hillary Clinton’s Wall Street money, and how he’s never taken money from banks too big to fail. “I’ll release my transcripts. Are you ready? Here they are!” Sanders threw his arms in the air, indicating he hasn’t and won’t ever give a speech for Wall Street money, and he encourages Secretary Clinton to be honest about her million dollar speeches.
Sanders promised free college tuition, explaining that any person, regardless of where they come from, should be able to go to college if they do well in school, and take school seriously. He also spoke about his $15 minimum wage raise, and how it’s not as impossible as most Republicans find it to be.
Sanders spoke about climate change and explained that human error has brought us to where we are now: an environmental crisis. He touched on his experience in Flint, Michigan and the tragedy of lead poisoning.
Sanders ended his rally with a note to us voters: go out and vote. The Pennsylvania primary is Tuesday, April 26, 2016, and Bernie Sanders is expecting to do very well with his message of hope for the future.