Bernie Sanders talks immigration, Native American history at Yakima rally
YAKIMA, Wash. —
For the first time in over a decade, a presidential candidate made a visit to Yakima on Thursday. Thousands of people came to the Yakima Valley Sundome to support that Democratic candidate, Bernie Sanders.
The Bernie Sanders rally in Yakima began in rhythm with support from members of the Yakama Nation. Young White Swan dancers performed for the crowd.
The chair of the Yakima County Democrats, Susan Palmer, then introduced Sanders with an endorsement.
"I've read that the naysayers write that Yakima isn't feeling the Bern," Palmer said to the crowd. "Are we feeling the Bern?"
Thousands cheered, waved signs and stomped their feet as Sanders made his way to the stage. The candidate revealed his own shock at the turnout of supporters.
"I thought we'd get a few thousand people out," he said. "We did not expect 7,000 people."
Sanders then touched on many topics relative to the Yakima Valley, including comprehensive immigration reform.
"Immigration reform is uniting people's families, not dividing families," Sanders said.
He also spoke on the history of Native Americans, saying his campaign is listening to them and pledged he would form a new relationship with the Native American community as president.
"This country owes so much to the first Americans," he said.
The applause thundered as Sanders talked about free healthcare and free education, saying the top 1 percent shouldn't have power over our country. Many supporters held signs approving of both the notions.
Sanders also spoke of curbing climate change and raising the minimum wage. They were all promises he said he'll fulfill if elected president of the United States.
Sanders ended the night with handshakes and pictures with members of the audience, leaving those who were "feeling the Bern" with encouragement to participate in Saturday's caucus.