BERKELEY (KPIX 5) — One Bay Area Bernie Sanders supporter on Tuesday said she is hoping to capture the magic and momentum from his 2016 campaign with the Vermont senator’s renewed bid for president.
The Sanders campaign said the independent senator has raised more than $4 million in the 12 hours since announcing his 2020 presidential bid.
Previously, the biggest first-day fundraiser in the race had been California Sen. Kamala Harris. She raised $1.5 million in the first 24 hours of her campaign.
Many supporters across the Bay Area say they’ve been preparing for this since Presidential Trump took office.
Claire Lau, Chair of the San Francisco Berniecrats, wasted no time showing her support by wearing her Bernie 2020 pin.
During the last go-around, she met Sanders while he was in San Francisco. She also organized bi-weekly “Bern Baby Bern” disco dance parties in the Mission that raised $40,000.
“The reason why I’m still supporting Bernie is that, for over 30 years, he’s been championing the same issues and he’s been walking the walk. You know, he participated in the Civil Rights Movement,” said Lau.
Lau said though Sanders had tremendous grassroots support, the organization here in the Bay Area wasn’t cohesive.
“This time around, we’ve been trying to build a lot of solidarity and ‘allyship’ between a lot of organizations and communities,” Lau added.
Sanders is the 10th candidate officially jumping in the race for the Democratic nomination. Fellow senators Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren have all launched campaigns.
“In 2016, many of the ideas that I talked about, all of those ideas and many more are now part of the political mainstream,” Sanders told CBS This Morning’s John Dickerson on Tuesday.
The 77-year-old progressive said his 2020 campaign will be a continuation of his 2016 run.
“I think it’s really clear that Senator Sanders has really championed a lot of the issues that are really important to me and important to the Cal students here,” said Varsha Sarveshwar, President of Cal Berkeley Democrats.
Sarveshwar spoke at a rally for Representative Barbara Lee headlined by Sanders last fall.
“From free college tuition to Medicare for all to $15 minimum wage, those are values that really resonate with my generation,” said Sarveshwar. “We’re a generation that is really bearing the brunt of the economic insecurity that I think all Americans are feeling. We’re feeling it really hard here in Berkeley.”
However, Sarveshwar said it was still too early for her to throw her support behind any one candidate.