Feeling the Bern has “berned” its way to Washtenaw County with the opening of the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Official Bernie 2016 Office on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016.
Excitement is building in Washtenaw County as volunteers and campaigners are upping their efforts to advocate for Senator Sanders in his presidential race. The news of Senator Sanders coming to EMU’s Convocation Center on Monday, Feb. 15, for a Democratic rally led to the opening of the office, which hosted roughly 60 people throughout its' opening night.
Sanders advocates for the support of all walks of life and due to that a diverse crowd turned up at the opening of the office to show its support and energy for the presidential candidate. The official Ann Arbor Field Office is located at 4072 Packard Road, Ann Arbor MI 48108.
Kahlil Westfall, an EMU student majoring in criminal justice and involved with Progressive EMU, attended the opening to show his support for Sen. Sanders.
“The number one concern is money in politics. Senator Sanders is getting his money from us and he is serving the people just like us,” Westfall said.
The walls of the new office are lined with various slogans and posters inspired by Sen. Sanders’ platform and his plans for America. The posters range from focusing on affordable college to posters reading “Bernie for our world.” Every seat in the office was filled as the festivities of the night began.
“As a grandparent of an EMU graduate, I am delighted to see this generation picking up the banner for clear thinking politics and ones that make things better for everyone,” said Pittsfield Township resident Chris Russo.
Russo and her husband were happily greeting the people at the event by handing out bracelets she made to support Sanders. The bracelets read “Bern Baby Bern,” “Feel the Bern” and “Fuel the Bern.” They were a popular item among the Bernie supporters.
Several community speakers spoke showing their personal support for Sen. Sanders and their excitement to see the Bernie movement gaining momentum in Washtenaw County. These speakers were Democratic Party Chairman Mike Henry, Ann Arbor school board member Simone Lightfoot, Ypsilanti Township parks commissioner Monica Ross-Williams and Huron Valley Central Labor Council President and University of Michigan professor Ian Robinson.
These speakers, and several other Sanders supporters spoke of the many reasons why they felt Sen. Sanders is the best candidate. Many mentioned they thought he showed great integrity and care for the people as well as his dedication to telling the necessary truth about the state of our country and campaign system.
“Community organizing is how building a movement happens, because no big thing can happen with just one person,” Tad Wysor, a member of the Ypsilanti community said about what motivates him to attend these events.
These supporters agreed in unison that there is still a lot of work to be done and their work doesn’t end by securing Sanders’ nomination. Sen. Sanders is spurring the movement but the voters and supporters say they will have to keep pushing this social justice movement.
For students or anyone interested in becoming involved in the Bernie Sanders campaign, this office is open 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. daily. There will also be canvasing opportunities and data entry work for those wanting to volunteer.