Sanders Supporters in California Are Asking: Where Do We Go From Here?

Apr 23, 2020
5:01 PM

Sen Bernie Sanders addresses the crowd during a rally in Venice Beach, CA in December 2019. (Francisco Lozano/Latino Rebels)

LOS ANGELES — It’s been two weeks since Vermont senator Bernie Sanders dropped out of the 2020 race. The feeling among his supporters, at least the ones in California, is still one of resignation and sadness.

To his supporters, Sanders is not just a candidate—he is the conviction of core beliefs of many young and old progressives who have longed for someone to vindicate their struggles.

Here are what some Sanders supporters from California told Latino Rebels recently:

Thomas Bonfigli, 58

I am very distraught and disappointed that Bernie ended his campaign, but I’m immensely proud of him for changing the trajectory of American politics as much as he has, given the current divisiveness which has permeated this country’s political process, and shows little to no signs of waning in the foreseeable future. I proudly supported Senator Sanders and will continue to support him as he enthusiastically fights for the betterment of all of those community members who have been disaffected and disenfranchised by our socio-economic disparities and deficiencies.

Will I support [Joe] Biden? Depends. I’ll have to wait and see and listen carefully for any verbal extension of a political olive branch to the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, which it would behoove him to do sooner rather than later.

Bernie Sanders supporters at the L.A. Convention Center two days before Super Tuesday, 2020 (Photo by Francisco Lozano/Latino Rebels)

Nicole Morales, 30

I voted for Bernie then and I got discouraged of the whole system. It was the first time that I voted in my life. This year, I was trying to decide whether to vote at all on the primaries. I didn’t want to get my hopes up high only to be brought down by a rigged system. Now it feels the same as in 2016. Not sure if I will be voting in November.

David Janda, 73

I don’t believe the system is salvageable. He [Bernie] has lots of attention now, but unless he can create a mass movement outside that system, he is tinkering and people are getting their hearts broken.

Michaele Morales, VP of Sonoma County Latino Democratic Club

I’m somewhat sad and disappointed to see Bernie ending his campaign, but glad to see that he’s going to keep working for the people and keep the pressure on. He had a lot of good ideas that we need to implement, and the Democratic Party definitely needs to get way more progressive. And yes, although I was a Bernie supporter, I’m not the hardcore type of supporter who would not vote for Biden. Of course, I will vote for Biden. I would vote for any Democrat any day over Trump.

Bernie Sanders supporters great the Vermont senator, Venice Beach, CA, December 2019. (Photo by Francisco Lozano/Latino Rebels)

Jon Jackson (Did Not Reveal Age)

Yes, I’m a Bernie supporter. He is really the only candidate who represents my values and beliefs. Elizabeth Warren is second. I’m very sorry to see him drop out of the race. But, while I felt some hop early on, it did start to seem inevitable when the Democratic Party (including Obama!) turned against him. Will I vote for Biden? Yes, of course. All of my life, I’ve been voting Democrat most of the time simply to keep Republicans from winning. But, I am not a member of any political party. I think the Dems rejecting the progressive answers we need right now is not a good sign. Also, the Republicans seem quite organized (and have been for some time), and they are tapping into the fear and anger that many, many people are caught up in right now. The Dems do not seem organized, and they don’t seem to be doing well in addressing the fear and anger. Bernie did, and he did it well. I hope he continues to be an active voice in the campaign, even though he’s no longer a candidate.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Sanders at a rally in Venice Beach, CA, December 2019. (Photo by Francisco Lozano/Latino Rebels)

Ignacio Ventura, 20

I did not become an official Bernie supporter. The reason I did not was because I still had some doubts about him that I wanted to resolve. However, had he stayed a little longer in the race, I probably would have given him my full support.

In regards to him ending his campaign, I knew it was inevitable. I didn’t expect it to be so soon, though. I wasn’t too surprised about it when I first heard about it in the morning.

Two days before Super Tuesday 2020, Ignacio Ventura spoke to Latino Rebels about why he was at the Bernie Sanders rally. After Sanders dropped out of the race, Ventura shared his thoughts again. (Photo by Francisco Lozano/Latino Rebels)

I am a very open-minded person. I would be willing to vote for Joe Biden if he or any of his supporters can change my mind with their reasons. Right now, the answer is no because they have not convinced me enough. Firstly, I do not think that Biden is mentally or physically fit to be the commander-in-chief. Secondly, I do think the DNC did a lot to ensure Bernie didn’t secure the nomination. Thirdly, I’ve seen an overview of Biden’s history as a politician and I disapprove of it. I can tell you right now that I definitely wouldn’t vote for Trump either.

Francisco Lozano is a freelance news photographer based in Los Angeles. You can follow him @FrancisLozano7.