Bernie Sanders visits Long Island City ahead of New York primary

Bernie Sanders Speaks before a Crowd at a Rally at Laguardia Community College in Long Island City Queens – Credit John McCarten
Photos by John McCarten

Presidential hopefuls have been flocking to the “World’s Borough” ahead of the New York Primary on April 19 and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, whose campaign opened an office in Long Island City recently, was the latest candidate to make an appearance.

Sanders held a rally on Saturday to a packed auditorium at LaGuardia Community College‘s Performing Arts Center in Long Island City. He outlined his vision for the country and also remarked on the progress of his campaign from a “fringe” candidacy to a legitimate movement.

“What has been happening in this campaign is that we began it, according to the media and experts as a fringe candidacy and it had a lot to do with the views we were bringing forth and a lot of experts said, ‘Who in America would agree with Bernie Sanders that we need a political revolution?’” Sanders said. “So it turned out that many millions of people did agree with us on that.”

Sanders, who was born and raised in Brooklyn and whose wife was also raised in Brooklyn, said his campaign has a “personal advantage” in the primary because of his connection to the state. He won the last eight of nine primaries and caucuses, and announced his latest win in Wyoming at the Long Island City rally, which was met with cheers.

He outlined his views on topics ranging from economic reform, healthcare, climate change and political reform. Sanders called Citizens United the “worst decision of the history of this country” and implored attendees not to “accept the status quo.”

“What I beg of you, do not accept that the status quo that we have today has to extend for decades,” Sanders said. “What we have got to do is envision a nation where in fact real change takes place.”

The candidate visited the Bronx earlier that morning and the Apollo Theater in Harlem in the evening.

There are 247 delegates up for grabs in New York’s Democratic primary. Sanders and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will hold a debate five days before the primary at Duggal Greenhouse on the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Clinton also visited Queens on Saturday when she made an appearance at the Greater Allen AME Cathedral in Jamaica on Saturday.

Watch the speech here: