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KLCC News is covering many aspects of Oregon's May 2016 Primary Election. View KLCC's primary related stories below.OREGON PRIMARY ELECTION RESULTS

Bernie Sanders Rallies A Big Crowd In Springfield

Catia Juliana

Vermont Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders held a rally in Springfield Thursday. The campaign says about 8,000 people attended the event at Island Park.

People young and old held signs, chanted and cheered.
Sanders: “Eugene. Thank you.” [cheers]
Sanders touched on Oregon just a couple of times, citing child poverty and food insecurity. He also talked about free tuition for colleges and universities.
Sanders: “Ask yourself this question. How does it happen that when young people do what their parents tell them to do, what their teachers tell them to do, what their community tells them to do and that is go out and get the best education that you can? Young people are doing that and then they are finding themselves 30, 50, 70 thousand dollars in debt.” [boos]

Credit Julie Garton

Despite Sanders’s primary losses earlier this week, the candidate delivered an impassioned stump speech, calling for grass roots change.
Sanders: “This campaign is going to win because we are listening to ordinary people not just wealthy campaign contributors. We are listening to young people.”
And young people are listening to him. Remi Hagel is a junior at Churchill High. She got her parent’s permission to skip school so she could attend the rally. She liked what Sanders said about women’s rights and equal pay for equal work.
Hagel: “Because actually in one of our classes we’re studying women’s rights and the ERA and how it hasn’t been passed yet and so I just really am passionate about that.”
Hagel hopes Sanders will win even though she isn’t old enough to vote yet. Sanders urged people to vote in the May 17th primary. He said when there’s a large voter turnout, he does well. He convinced one person, Gabriel Chandler, who was a Hillary supporter:
Chandler: “Watching him speak and hearing his entire presentation and his answers to many of the questions that we have, just as people in this country, and we’ve just kind of learned to just put up with it. It’s like it’s definitely turned me into a voter for Bernie Sanders.”
Reporter: “Was there anything specific that was the turning point for you?”
Chandler: “Mental health. That’s an important issue. I used to be a mental health nurse and I’m just appalled at what happens to people in the justice system to people just on an everyday basis who really need mental health and have no access to it.”
Bernie Sanders also took time to visit some popular spots in Eugene Thursday. He was spotted at the Glenwood restaurant near the University of Oregon campus. He drew a crowd when he showed up downtown and visited Voodoo Donuts and Kesey Square.

Hear Bernie Sanders entire speech.

Copyright 2016 KLCC.

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s host for All Things Considered on weekday afternoons. She also is the editor of the KLCC Extra, the daily digital newspaper. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000.
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