By Nyesha Stone
Over 1,100 people attended the Milwaukee rally with Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Tammy Baldwin, Congresswoman Gwen Moore and other Wisconsin Democrats this past Monday at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM).
Guests were allowed to enter into the Wisconsin room—where the rally was held—starting at 8 a.m., and by the time the rally actually started, almost two hours later, the crowd’s energy never once died down.
The room wasn’t as diverse as some would expect. Most of the crowd was white and 40 years of age or older, and this could be due to the fact that the rally was held at 8 a.m. on a Monday morning, while students were in class.
Sociology UWM student Lindsey Stafford was one of the few youth who came to see Sanders speak. She skipped class to join to the rally.
“We’re the future generation [and] we have to clean up the mess of the past generation,” said Stafford. She also stated we need new future leaders who encourage a view of all people—someone who isn’t one-sided, and who actually listens.
The rally was held an open space with water available in the back and the rock band, Trapper Schoepp, playing upfront before the speakers took over the stage.
Wisconsin Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Mandela Barnes started his speech by saying it is time to give the government back to the working people. Healthcare expansion was one of his main topics. He plans to expand it once elected with Wisconsin Democratic candidate for governor, candidate Tony Evers, he said
“Healthcare for all, for everybody,” shouted Barnes.
He then stated him and Evers will win in the elections on Nov. 6 and it all starts with a vote.
“We vote because they don’t want us to vote,” he said. “Vote for someone who can’t vote.”
Congresswoman Gwen Moore also graced the stage with a speech. Just like Barnes, Moore joked with the crowd but made it clear that voting was a serious matter—specifically addressing the youth in the room.
“Young people it’s really in your hands,” she said. “We have left you nothing but a mess.”
Once Evers stepped on stage, he also stated that he would be replacing Scott Walker as the governor of Wisconsin—the crowd couldn’t control their applause.
Evers said Walker cut $800 million from K12 education and $250 million from higher education. When state funding is cut from supporting education, everyone suffers, so Evers said he will be taking that stand to fix the system.
“We’re going to fund education in the state of Wisconsin,” he said.
Ohio State Senator, Nina Turner, arguably was the most well-spoken speaker of the event. Her charisma got the crowd on the tip of their toes in excitement of what the future could hold.
“[The system] has been rigged on purpose,” she said. “But we the people can unrig it on purpose.”
Then the rally ended with Baldwin and Sanders taking stage.
Baldwin discussed her component Leah Vukmir and how Vukimir would have been the deciding factor to get rid of the Affordable Health Act (ACA) last year.
“I wasn’t sent to Washington to take people’s healthcare away,” she said. “Every Wisconsinite deserves healthcare.”
And, it was no surprise Sanders received the loudest applause once stepping on stage. After running for President in 2016, Sanders has become a household name. Sanders said that the 2016 election received the lowest voter turnout history since WWII.
“We have learned our lesson,” said Sanders. “We are going to have the highest voter turnout in history,” on Nov. 6.
To find out how to vote visit https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/
A complete list of the speakers:
Trapper Schoepp, Curtis Schmidt, Randy Bryce, Mandela Barnes, Gwen Moore, Tony Evers, Fight for 15, Jake Spence, Nina Turner, Tammy Baldwin and Bernie Sanders.
This article originally appeared in the Milwaukee Courier