Bernie Sanders presidential rally draws thousands to Fort Mason

For the local politicos who backed Sen. Bernie Sanders Sunday at a campaign rally in San Francisco, the presidential hopeful is “the real deal” who has espoused progressive values since before they became popular.

Sanders drew thousands of supporters to the afternoon rally at Great Meadow Park in Fort Mason. With the backdrop of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Vermont senator reiterated his calls for free college tuition, affordable health care for all and raising the minimum wage to $15.

“Four years ago the Democratic and political establishment were telling us how crazy these ideas were,” Sanders said. “Today Democratic candidates from school board to president are talking about exactly these same issues.”

Sanders began his lengthy speech by reacting to news that U.S. Attorney General William Barr had released a summary of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, which did not conclude that President Donald Trump had committed a crime.

“I don’t want a summary of the report,” Sanders said. “I want the whole damn report because nobody, especially this president, is above the law.”

Sanders then returned to his talking points and went on to call for aggressive action to stem climate change, an end to private prisons and making housing affordable.

“We are going to transform this economy and government and create a system that works for all of us, not just the 1 percent,” he said.

Former Supervisor David Campos, who currently chairs the San Francisco Democratic Party, was one of the speakers to introduce Sanders. Speaking personally, he said Sanders has stood for immigrant rights and against corporate interests.

“Bernie Sanders has been doing it since before it was popular because he is the real deal,” Campos said.

Former Assemblyman Tom Ammiano reiterated that sentiment. Ammiano said during his time in Sacramento, he saw “so many DINOs,” referring to politicians he viewed as Democrats in name only.

“Time to walk the plank boys and girls,” Ammiano said.

Software engineer Daniel Jin, 24, was among the thousands in the crowd.

“I just think he’s the candidate that has the most progressive vision,” Jin said. “He’s been the leader on all these issues that all these other candidates have been following.”

Sanders struck an optimistic note about the future.

“Now is the time to complete what we began,” Sanders said. “We are going to win this election and we are going to defeat Donald Trump because we are going to get together an unprecedented grassroots campaign.”

mbarba@sfexaminer.com

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