Supporters prepare to 'feel the Bern' in Palo Alto

Thousands of people wait in hot sun at Cubberley field to listen to presidential candidate speak

More than a thousand people waited in the scorching sun to listen to Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speak during a rally called, "A Future to Believe In," at Cubberley Community Center in Palo Alto on Wednesday.

A crowd packed the fields at the community center when doors opened at 11:30 a.m. Volunteers said between 2,000 and 3,000 people RSVP'd for the rally, though they expected the number of attendees to be much higher. Sanders was scheduled to speak at 2:30 p.m. (Read "With race tightening, Bernie Sanders rallies supporters during Palo Alto stop")

Susan Kalish, who is retired, drove down from San Francisco with her husband to listen to Sanders talk.

"I'm concerned about the country we're leaving in the hands of Clinton," Kalish said of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. "We should listen to the millennials because it's their future."

Brianna Griffin, a Stanford University medical student, said her support for Sanders is mostly "ideological."

"It's the ideology behind what we have to fix from the ground up. ... These are conversations we need to be having, and I'm glad Bernie is bringing these into the limelight," Griffin said.

Palo Alto resident Gray Norton said he's a "big supporter" of Sanders and even took the afternoon off from work to be at the rally.

"In this unusual election cycle, people on both sides are feeling disenfranchised. It's time we did something about it," he said. "Bernie is channeling that sense of disenfranchisement into something positive, unlike the other side."

Carrie Schrupp, also of Palo Alto, said Sanders' campaign is similar to then-Senator Barack Obama's bid for the White House.

"It's similar to the Obama election. You know Bernie has the best interest of everyone deep in his heart," she said. "I like when he admits when he's wrong."

"When I hear him speak, he actually sounds like a real person," added 23-year-old Palo Alto resident Lucas Fodor. "For example, he's the only one taking climate change even remotely seriously."

San Francisco resident Julie Minoff said she feels women over the age of 50 who are voting for Sanders "don't get as much representation in the media as they deserve."

"I'm not voting for Hillary just because I have the same genitalia as her," Minoff said. "She's a hawk who's in bed with Wall Street. Even if I have to vote for her, I still stand by Bernie's ideas.

"I've been voting for the lesser of two evils all my life, and I feel like this is the first time I could vote as left as I want to vote," she added.

Hayward resident and Sanders volunteer Silvia Brandon-Perez said Sanders is everything she's ever dreamed about.

"He has integrity. When do we ever see that in a politician?" said Brandon-Perez, 67, who was sporting a black T-shirt with a graphic of Sanders riding a unicorn and the words, "Bernie Sanders is Magical," written below.

Jake Warga, of Palo Alto, said he likes Sanders' positions on education, immigration and the economy, but questioned why the rally wasn't held at Stanford University instead.

"I think that's his target voter demographic," Warga said.

Even non-Sanders supporters turned out for the rally, including Bob Wachs, who called the 2016 presidential election "fascinating."

"The Bernie phenomenon would be a major story in that he is a self-described socialist, but it's been eclipsed by the Trump story," he said, referring to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

A rally attendee who wanted to stay anonymous said he was there just to observe.

"Bernie is in the lead as far as aligning with my ideology, but I'm still on the fence," he said.

While the crowd waited for Sanders to take the podium, many mingled with each other and took selfies and photos, all while trying to keep cool from the burning sun.

Attendees held signs that read "A Future to Believe In," and wore buttons with sayings like "Babes for Bernie" and "Bernie 2016." One rallygoer donned a Sanders costume complete with a grey wig and fake rim glasses.

Vendors traveling the Sanders rally circuit were selling Sanders gear, including colorful T-shirts, hats and buttons with slogans like "Feel the Bern," "Bernie Viva la Revolucion," "Heisenbern," and "Birdie 2016," in the parking lot of Cubberley.

Related content:

With race tightening, Bernie Sanders rallies supporters during Palo Alto stop

• To see a social media collection photos and videos, visit the Weekly's Storify page.

Editorial Interns Eric He and Ian Malone contributed to this story


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34 people like this
Posted by Hopenchange
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 1, 2016 at 5:06 pm

Go Bernie!


A Trump sympathizer.

P.S. Even a socialist is better than Hillary Clinton!

9 people like this
Posted by Plane Speaker
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 1, 2016 at 6:09 pm

Donny, "Shady Deals" Trump is amazing ... he is like having an unlimited number of candidates in one clumsy blathering bull in a global China shop who can't figure out what he wants to do except deliver sales lines like "make America great again" ... "we'll be winning so much we'll get sick of winning"?

How responsible are people who do not deconstruct the sales banter we get from "Shady Deals" Trump and apply some logic to them? Seems like some of these people are intellectually incapable of criticizing someone who flatters them. They seem to want to stick us with a lemon.

11 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Egan Middle School (Los Altos)
on Jun 1, 2016 at 8:04 pm

Many software engineers and friends took time off work, walked over to Cubberly at 11:30AM, thinking that was the time of the talk. After two hours of waiting, very disappointed, they walked back to work, resuming their intense work schedules, never seeing Bernie at all. Bernie needs to post the start time of his talks more clearly, so that responsible people with difficult jobs, who take time off for his speech, are treated with a little more respect.

Also, holding a rally in California in the middle of the day, then keeping people waiting for hours in the sun, is poor planning and again NOT considerate of others.

9 people like this
Posted by FeeltheBern
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 1, 2016 at 10:16 pm

Amazing to have the opportunity to listen to a presidential candidate with high moral values and ideals for our country. All I can say is this is the opportunity of a lifetime. A man with such integrity should definitely be our next President!
Vote Bernie!!!!

6 people like this
Posted by Bart Anderson
a resident of Mayfield
on Jun 1, 2016 at 10:37 pm

Great spirit at the rally! I think the estimate of 1,000 is too small. I would have said 2,000-3,300. Any other estimates? The venue was full, but still comfortable, with some empty seats up in the bleachers. It was nice to see the ethnic and age mix - very diverse - just like California.

6 people like this
Posted by Joe
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 1, 2016 at 10:56 pm

> Brianna Griffin, a Stanford University medical student,
> said her support for Sanders is mostly "ideological."

Wonder how many Bernie supporters in the medical field have been following what is happening in Venezuela, in a "socialism" that seems to be crashing and burning?

Venezuelan's suffering from tragic shortage of medicine:
Web Link

6 people like this
Posted by Dan
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 2, 2016 at 8:05 am

Please don't confuse "democratic socialism" with free stuff that someone else is going to pay for. How about a 20% VAT, 1-2$ per gallon higher gas tax and way higher income taxes on the middle and lower middle classes? All those young idealists are going to grow up someday and develop a career that they have poured their blood, sweat and tears into and they'll have to support a family too. Then the "ideal" of giving the highly efficient government more than 50 cents out of every dollar they earn from their work won't look like the future they believed in.

1 person likes this
Posted by Me
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 2, 2016 at 9:08 am

Magical thinking is so cute.

1 person likes this
Posted by @Me
a resident of Mountain View
on Jun 2, 2016 at 9:11 am

"Magical thinking is so cute."

What else would Trump supporters have, really?

24 people like this
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 2, 2016 at 9:35 pm

Bernie Sanders the self-proclaimed Socialist and lifetime politician? No thank you.
Hillary Clinton? No way!

I'll take my chances with Trump. Despite the obsession by the press to cover and attack the guy over the last year, I'd rather give Trump a try for the next year than an ultra-Left Wing ideologue like Bernie Sanders or a corrupt narcissist like Hillary Clinton.

I know that I am a minority in Palo Alto (in more ways than one), but I will gladly vote for Donald Trump before either of the career politicians running for the Democratic Party's nomination.

Now, before anyone equates a Trump supporter with "ignorance" or "hate," you might want to look at footage of the anti-Trump radicals who paraded their hate in San Jose this week.

2 people like this
Posted by @Nayeli
a resident of Mountain View
on Jun 2, 2016 at 9:38 pm

So you prefer the con artist, venom spewer, and out-and-out bigot?

Oh my my.

And remember: The Donald actually WANTS violent counter-demonstrators. And he is on record stating that he will pay the bail for those who assault counter-demonstators.

14 people like this
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 2, 2016 at 9:55 pm

[Post removed.]

7 people like this
Posted by All Aboard
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 2, 2016 at 10:46 pm

A vote for Hillary is a a vote for private email servers, $300K speaking fees and $100Ms of dollars in foundation donations from unscrupulous foreign governments. Time to break the chains of the corrupt political establishment and hop on the Bernie Bus or the Trump Train!

Like this comment
Posted by @Nayeli
a resident of Mountain View
on Jun 2, 2016 at 11:37 pm

[Post removed.]

12 people like this
Posted by Freedom on the line
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 3, 2016 at 12:05 am

The San Jose Police refused to protect peaceful citizens attempting to go to and return from the Trump rally. Instead, they were spit upon, beaten, threatened and had their cars and property damaged. So much for 1st amendment. I guess it does not apply to potential Trump supporters.

Coincidentally, there is a massive round of useless new gun control laws working there way through the California legislature this month. Their only effect will be to harass law abiding citizens as criminals will simply ignore them.

The result will be that only the police and the criminals will be able to protect themselves. We now know that our government will not defend our 1st amendment rights and is actively trying to take away our 2nd amendment rights. If it goes, so will the rest of them.

The double standard tyranny is out in the open now for all to see. That is why Trump will win.

Like this comment
Posted by Chris
a resident of University South
on Jun 3, 2016 at 9:18 am


If you are serious about supporting, you should move to a closely contested state.

You should know California well enough that your vote will go to waste here.

4 people like this
Posted by James Thurber
a resident of another community
on Jun 3, 2016 at 10:20 am

This seems to have turned into a political argument (these things frequently do). As a retired teacher (World History and mathematics) I would like to point out to everyone that the first Tuesday this November you have a CIVIC DUTY to vote. I don't care who you vote for - but VOTE. Study the issues. Study the candidates. Vote for somebody who would represent you. You. A valuable Citizen of these United States.

So please make no excuses and don't complain. Just get to the polls and vote. You truly do count so make your voice heard.


3 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jun 3, 2016 at 12:36 pm

Looked to me like the crowd was maybe 1500, including the 200 of us outside the fence. If TSA counted the number of people coming through the metal detectors, perhaps we'd have a better estimate. Not that it really matters. No massive traffic jams materialized, other than just getting out of the Cubberley parking lot at 3:45 when weekday Middlefield carried its usual rush-hour volume. Uber had to pick up their fares across on Montrose.

Thumbs up, @James. Nobody's vote "goes to waste".

6 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 3, 2016 at 6:35 pm

"I'll take my chances with Trump."

You certainly will. Trump is endorsed by the KKK. If your birth certificate is from south of the border as you claim, you may have a good chance for a nice one way southbound airplane ride, never mind any other paperwork.

4 people like this
Posted by HUTCH 7.62
a resident of Portola Valley
on Jun 4, 2016 at 9:39 am

After the violent Trump rally and Flag burning in San Jose. I think it's time we close the borders, and round up the ungrateful dissidents and cutoff the handouts. I'm leaning towards Trump more and more. It's gonna be a difficult decision in Sanders gets nominated. If Hillary well then Trump it is....

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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