This Sunday, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders held a rally at the Los Angeles Convention Center in DTLA. Supporters from across LA gathered to hear speeches from celebrity supporters like Sarah Silverman and Dick Van Dyke accompanied by performances from Chilean songstress Ana Tijoux and rap group Public Enemy Radio.
The Vermont senator drew a high-energy, diverse crowd of nearly 17,000, according to the LA Times. He addressed hot button issues from immigration to income inequality. People of all ages and backgrounds were in attendance, including a number of USC students.
Krupa Naik, a junior studying cinema and media studies attended the rally as an avid Sanders supporter, saying that the event felt like being on the “precipice of history.” She spoke highly of the positivity and familial-feeling among the attendees in the crowd, “everybody was so empowered and kind.”
Daniel Sato, a junior American studies student, had already sent in his mail-in ballot for Bernie before the rally. He spoke about how he could find something in common with his fellow attendees. “At USC, it’s hard to find the people who support Bernie, so I’m glad to be here surrounded by a bunch of supporters.”
Other students attended, even though they had already chosen to support other candidates. Junior law, history, and culture student Hannah Siepmann is a supporter of Senator Elizabeth Warren, and attended Saturday’s rally with her younger sister.
“Even though I’m still supporting Elizabeth Warren in the primary, I agree with a lot of Bernie’s policy and would eagerly support him. Also, I always enjoy seeing candidates speak in real life because it’s easier to get a sense of the energy they give off.”
Though Siepmann did not decide to alter her support after seeing Senator Sanders speak she felt confident about the crowd. “It gave me a lot of hope to see so many people of all ages and backgrounds so excited about participating in our democracy and creating change this election cycle,” Siepmann said.
Five-Thirty-Eight currently projects Sanders to win California’s primary with an average of 36% of the vote. Californians will take to the poll to select their nominee on March 3, where they will be one of many states to vote in the Super Tuesday contests. Though it is yet to be seen if the high energy and turnout of the rally will translate into votes this Tuesday.