DETROIT, Mich. — Progressive favorite and senator from Vermont Bernie Sanders made a stop in Detroit Sunday afternoon to campaign for Democratic candidate for governor Abdul El-Sayed.
Roughly 1,400 people packed the ballroom at Cobo Hall in Detroit to listen to a slate of left leaning speakers, politicians and candidates.
“I like the progressive ideas that Abdul presents and in addition to that, Bernie is kind of the flag bearer to the progressive movement across the country,” attendee Jamal Than said. “We are two days away from the polls, I’m hoping this is going to propel him [El-Sayed] to win the primary.”
El-Sayed spoke for about 20 minutes, captivating his supporters with platform plans. An active supporter of single-payer healthcare, El-Sayed said access to health insurance is a basic right. This was also a big topic for Sen. Sanders, not just in his 2016 bid for president, but also at the rally.
“Thousands of Americans should not be dying every single year because they lack health insurance and don’t get to a doctor when they should,” Sanders said.
Recent polling has shown El-Sayed behind his opponents and Sanders, recalled his experience with polling in Michigan.
“We won that election, and by the way, so will Abdul,” Sanders said, eliciting an eruption of applause from the crowd.
Sanders went on to talk about ending Citizens United; a topic El-Sayed has been outspoken about during the campaign trail as well. Sanders said the corporate money has no place in politics and believes El-Sayed has outlined a plan for change.
“All of you know is that real change never takes place from the top on down, it’s always from the grassroots on up,” added Sanders.
Before Sanders spoke, El-Sayed echoed similar sentiments.
“When we the people come together, we can not only break the chokehold on our government, we can build the kind of government that builds for the rest of us,” El-Sayed said.
The conversation for every speaker who got in front of the podium turned to water; clean drinking water is a priority El-Sayed touted his experience serving as the director of the Detroit Health Department to make his point.
“We started a plan to test all the schools in Detroit for lead that has now become a model nationwide,” El-Sayed added.
One supporter traveled from Kalamazoo and said he came to see both Sen. Sanders and El-Sayed speak in Detroit because he believes in all the ideas, and another attendee said the El-Sayed’s platform is critical.
“We definitely need a change in this country because things can’t keeping going the way they are because it’s just not sustainable,” Barbara Emonds said.
After more than an hour of various speakers pushing their support for the democratic candidate, Sen. Sanders left the crowd with one message.
“When we stand together, nothing will stop us from making change.”
Other speakers at the rally included Linda Sarsour, the co-founder of the Women’s March; Virgie Rollins, DNC Black Caucus Chair; Delta Workers Unite who are pushing to form their first union; Nina Turner, Former State Senator & President of Our Revolution and Seydi Sarr, candidate for State House of Representatives District 8.
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