Democratic presidential candidate and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders rallied supporters at Seattle’s Safeco Field Friday night.
This post is no longer updating. Read the full story about Bernie Sanders’ rally at Safeco Field here.
Here is what happened:
- Doors opened at 4 p.m. Speeches started later in the evening, including one by socialist Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant. Admission was free.
- Commuters should expect traffic congestion near Safeco Field in the evening. The Washington State Department of Transportation tweeted that traffic for the Bellevue-Seattle commute would be about the same as during an afternoon Mariners game, and there will be traffic as the rally ends and people file out.
- Democrats across the state will caucus Saturday, dividing up 101 delegates between Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Find your caucus location here. If you’re wondering how it all works, check out our explainer.
- Bernie Sanders’ last appearance in Seattle
- Hillary Clinton’s last appearance in Seattle
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UPDATE, 8:53 p.m.:
Sanders finished his speech after an hour, calling for support and high turnout in Saturday’s caucuses.
“Please come out tomorrow, bring your friends and your relatives.”
UPDATE, 8:46 p.m.:
Sanders pitched universal health and praised liberal Seattle, saying the rest of the nation should follow the city in passing a $15 minimum wage.
“Right here in Seattle, your city council said we’re going to raise the minimum wage to 15 bucks an hour,” he said saying other places, such as Los Angeles and San Francisco then followed suit.
UPDATE, 8:33 p.m.:
Sanders has switched to talking about climate change, saying the United States needs to lead the world in sanding up to the fossil fuel industry and shifting to sustainable energy. “Their profits are not more important than the planet.”
UPDATE, 8:24 p.m.:
Sanders is talking about comprehensive immigration reform and giving people a path toward citizenship.
The crowd gave deafening cheers after Sanders vowed to improve the country’s gender pay gap. He went on to recite lines on inclusion within his campaign and promise to make tuition free at public colleges and universities.
UPDATE, 8:17 p.m.:
“It should not be a federal crime,” Sanders said of marijuana. Drug and alcohol abuse “is a health issue not a criminal issue.”
UPDATE, 8:11 p.m.:
UPDATE, 8:06 p.m.:
Distancing himself from Clinton, Sanders said his campaign made a decision from the start to avoid creating SuperPACs, and attacked her for paid speeches and contributions from Wall Street interests.
“We don’t represent Wall Street, corporate America, or the billionaire class.”
UPDATE, 8:03 p.m.:
Sanders told the crowd not to worry, that Donald Trump won’t become president.
Sanders joked he’d dreamed as a boy of being at home plate at a major league ballpark. “But I didn’t know I would be giving a speech. I thought I would have a bat in my hand.”
Firing up the tens of thousands on hand, Sanders said a win in Saturday’s caucuses would send a message “loud and clear the billionaire class cannot have it all.”
Citing recent favorable polls, Sanders said a win in Washington could propel him to later victories in Oregon and California and eventually the nomination. “And if we win the Democratic nomination we’re going to win the general election.”
“So don’t let anybody tell you Hillary Clinton is the strongest candidate to take on the Republicans. It is just not true.”
UPDATE, 7:52 p.m.:
UPDATE, 7:49 p.m.:
Bernie Sanders is being introduced, and will step out shortly. The crowd of about 20,000 has filled up most of Safeco Field’s lower bowl, from first base to the left field foul pole.
UPDATE, 7:26 p.m.:
Still waiting for Bernie Sanders to take the stage. In the meantime …
UPDATE, 6:59 p.m.:
UPDATE, 6:42 p.m.:
UPDATE, 6:26 p.m.:
UPDATE: 6:20 p.m.:
UPDATE, 6:15 p.m.:
Bernie Sanders is scheduled to speak in 45 minutes. What are the odds he could get a visit from a little birdie twice in one day?
UPDATE, 6:06 p.m.:
UPDATE, 5:51 p.m.:
UPDATE, 5:45 p.m.:
Sawant is talking about her own campaign win, and leading the crowd in a chant of “When we fight, we win! When we fight, we win!”
She told the crowd to stand against “bigotry, misogyny and homophobia of billionaire Donald Trump.”
Sawant also took a shot at Hillary Clinton: “We do not need a president who has taken millions from Wall Street banks.”
UPDATE, 5:35 p.m.:
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UPDATE, 5:31 p.m.:
UPDATE, 5:24 p.m.:
UPDATE, 5:20 p.m.:
Heather Yarbrough brought her 5-month-old daughter, Kaimana, and her 9-week-old pit bull puppy, Madame, to the rally. Yarbrough said that with two young children and a new puppy, she hadn’t been keeping up with the presidential campaign. “My friends have been raving for Bernie. I had to see for myself.” She’s from Kansas but is relocating to Steilacoom with her husband.
UPDATE, 5:16 p.m.:
UPDATE: 5:02 p.m.:
April Sims brought her two daughters to the Bernie Sanders rally, and while waiting in the long line outside Safeco Field, she gathered signatures for a statewide initiative seeking to raise the minimum wage.
Sims, who works for the Washington State Labor Council, a coalition of labor unions, said she had signed up at least 85 people in a couple of hours.
“I’m just taking advantage of being surrounded by so many like-minded people,” she said.
Sims noted both Sanders and his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, had endorsed the proposed measure.
Initiative 1433 seeks to raise the statewide minimum wage to $13.50 per hour over four years and give workers up to seven days of “safe and sick leave” credit per year.
Daughter Niah Sims, 13, said she was excited to see Sanders.
Her favorite thing about him?
“That he’s not like Trump,” she said.
UPDATE, 5 p.m.:
UPDATE: 4:48 p.m.:
Sean Donatello, from Washington, D.C., took time out of his vacation in Seattle to attend Bernie Sanders’ rally. He said he supports Sanders’ socialist policies including free college tuition, revamping the Affordable Care Act and his support for women and minorities. “It’s not just that he isn’t a bigot. He’s got the longest history of standing up for the little people.”
UPDATE: 4:42 p.m.:
UPDATE, 4:38 p.m.:
Lynn and Mike Treseler of Edmonds came to Seattle to support Bernie Sanders. Lynn said she feels passionate about the inequality in the country and Sanders’ message that it’s a rigged economy. “Corporations are controlling so much. The richest people are getting richer. There’s terrible poverty. I’m surprised there hasn’t been a revolution already.”
UPDATE, 4:29 p.m.:
Wearing a shirt that reads, “99% love Bernie Sanders,” T-shirt vendor Andrew Houston, 51, of Vancouver, said he had sold about 150 shirts in three to four hours outside Safeco Field.
Houston’s company, yugewear.com, donates $3 from each shirt sale to the Sanders campaign, he said.
A sign taped to Houston’s arm displayed prices as follows:
“Bernie? Not for sale. This T-shirt? $20.”
UPDATE, 4:22 p.m.:
UPDATE, 4:08 p.m.:
The line from Safeco Field stretched across the street past CenturyLink Field, snaked through its north parking lot, then doglegged around a building to Occidental Avenue.
Near its end three teenagers from Mill Creek held signs reading “Gays for Bernie,” “Feel the Bern,” and “Latinxs Por Bernie.”
Miguel Carroll, 17, said by the time of the presidential election, he will have turned 18.
“So we are caucusing tomorrow,” Carroll said.
He and friends Shione Borgal, 18, and Molica Perry, 17, said they support Bernie Sanders because he appeals to a more diverse group of people, including immigrants, gays and low-income families.
“I absolutely love his consistency,” said Carroll. “You can’t see that in Hillary.”
Perry added that Sanders’ stances on the environment, reducing student debt and racial-inequality issues attract her the most to his candidacy.
UPDATE, 4:01 p.m.:
UPDATE, 3:54 p.m.:
UPDATE, 1:53 p.m.:
The Sanders campaign kicked off the day bright and early with this tongue-in-cheek tweet promoting the event: