Why I Volunteer for the Sanders Campaign

The ‘Bernie Bus’ on campus last Sunday. 

The ‘Bernie Bus’ on campus last Sunday. 

On my first day with the Sanders campaign, we gathered around a wooden table with Bernie posters and Brooklyn Brewery beers scattered throughout the room, and began the long process of finding out what it means to be a campaign organizer.

We were asked to sit and reflect about a challenge we have faced in life, the choice we had to make when faced with it and the action that we took. We understood that what was being asked of us was serious; to tell a story that comes from within, to a room full of almost complete strangers. Ten minutes later, we all sat captivated by the narratives that were being told. 

For many of us, there were stories lots of people could relate to; bitter tales of being young and thinking racism, sexism and classism were a thing of the past, until you were faced with the realization as an adult that not only are these things still hugely present in America, they adversely affect millions and millions of peoples lives, and have done so for centuries. Stories of living in a place desecrated by one of the decades’ largest forest fires, only to watch as our government came in with a “post-fire logging project” to log 500 million board feet, the single largest proposed timber sale in modern times. Stories of being a Latino American and an LGBTQQ individual, and realizing the massive discrimination that people you identify with have experienced for so long in America, and experiencing it yourself. Stories of having friends graduate from college, and end up in unsafe circumstances because student debt is draining them and their families so badly they can’t do the things they need to do to get out of the massive hole they are in. Stories of watching your brother sit in prison, across from you in chains, and not being able to do anything to help him or anyone else wrongly or too-harshly imprisoned for petty crimes, first-time non-violent drug offenses, or for belonging to the race they belong to.

We went two hours over schedule that day, and no one said a word about it. After that, dedicating myself to the campaign was easy. I will never forget the atmosphere of that room. This is what a revolution looks like! It is everyone sitting together, empathizing with each others’ struggles, and resolving to take action. 

Bernie Sanders is a candidate of the people who has been honest and consistent for decades in his support for Americans of every walk of life and every segment of society. He is the candidate who has most actively opposed ableism in our society, having worked hard to ensure that people with disabilities are provided equal access to education, healthcare, and employment. He is the only candidate to oppose the dangerous and irresponsible practice of fracking, which threatens our water supplies and our planet. He is the only candidate whose feminism is truly intersectional, with a foreign policy which acknowledges the experiences of women across across the globe who are victims of American imperialism. As a disability rights advocate, an environmentalist, and an intersectional feminist, I believe there is no candidate more qualified to be President of the United States than Senator Bernie Sanders. 

But, he cannot make it without the dedicated support of millions of organizers, activists, and volunteers. He is only as great as we make him and he cannot make it alone. That is why I show up to campaign every week, and reach out to my friends to get involved. 

As for my Story of Self, you will have to email me at lginsburg@gm.slc.edu if you want to hear it, and learn more about volunteering. If not, please visit berniesanders.com to learn more about where he stands on issues that may be of importance to you. 

As always, Feel the Bern and Long Live the Revolution, my friends.

Lily Ginsburg '19

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SLC Phoenix

The Phoenix is a non-profit, student-run publication representing the voices and opinions of Sarah Lawrence College community members. Our print edition publishes bi-weekly on Tuesdays, and our online edition is updated multiple times per week. Anyone may attend our open meetings at 9:00 PM on Wednesday nights in the North Room of the Pub.