Brandon Johnson campaign changes rally location with Bernie Sanders, Vic Mensa – NBC Chicago

A rally scheduled for Thursday for Brandon Johnson’s mayoral campaign has now changed location, with organizers expecting a large crowd.

The pre-election rally was originally scheduled to be held at the UIC Forum, but has now been moved to the larger UIC Credit Union 1 Arena.

According to Johnson’s campaign, those who responded to the previous event need not do so again.

The rally is led by U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, and will also feature Illinois Congressmen Jonathan Jackson and Delia Ramirez, Chicago-based rapper Vic Mensa, and Martin Luther King III.

When Sanders endorsed Johnson last week, he tweeted the news to his 15.5 million Twitter followers.

But his greatest value to Johnson has always been his potential to join Johnson at a pre-election rally in Chicago to energize Johnson’s progressive base and boost voter turnout from just over 35% on Feb. 28.

Now it will happen for Johnson five days before what could be a biting election.

Neidhardt argued that Sanders’ potential to help “energize the base” that Johnson is trying to build among black, progressive white and young Latino voters cannot be overstated. The Vermont independent senator and two-time presidential candidate “has a higher favor rating than virtually any other Democrat,” he said.

“Young voters will hear the big name in music. They will hear from a politician who is very popular with them” and they will come to the UIC Forum, said Neidhart, who served as deputy state manager for Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign in Iowa.

“It’s not progressive versus moderate. It’s Democrat versus Republican. It will help show it. … This is a city that votes 85% and over Democrats. What we want to do is tell every Democrat, “We are the Democrat in the race.” Vote for the real democrat. It will help to do that. Paul Vallas cannot touch it.

If history is any indication, the UIC Credit Union 1 Arena could be packed.

Ahead of last year’s midterm elections, Sanders headlined two rallies in Chicago. One in Teamsters City drew over 1,200 people. Another at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare included a crowd of about 2,000 people, Neidhardt said.

“Having worked for Bernie’s campaign in Iowa, where our core constituents were actually older union members, it’s not just for young kids. Bernie Sanders also showed in his presidential primaries that he was hugely popular with Latino voters, hugely popular across the board. Democrats love it. It’s definitely something where we play with the broad base that we have,” Neidhardt said.

“It’s a big rally, something that (Paul) Vallas can’t do. Vallas cannot organize a gathering of more than 300 people.

Throughout the campaign, Vallas has pushed back against accusations that he is an anti-choice, anti-union, pro-bono “Republican” posing as a Democrat.

Vallas’ campaign was bracing for the possibility of a Sanders rally – and downplaying the potential impact.

“If Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders come here, it will probably help Vallas’ participation more,” former Chicago Board of Education president Gery Chico, one of the strongest supporters, told The Sun-Times earlier this week. of Vallas. “People will wonder why two of the progressive national leaders are coming here to Chicago. We don’t need them to come here. We’ve heard it before on Brandon Johnson’s program.

“Chicago has a pretty good history of dealing with its own issues. We don’t need outsiders telling us how to live and how to vote.

NBC Chicago

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Sara Adm

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