Freshman Cal State Bakersfield student Elizabeth Palencia has a strong connection to Democratic nominee hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders: he's the reason why she switched her major from pre-nursing to political science.

When she heard the senator would not be in attendance at his planned CSUB appearance Thursday following a heart procedure, she was disappointed. But she's confident he will be back on his feet in no time.

"People posted comments saying their friend's dad had this surgery and he was fine," Palencia said.

Though Sanders would not be there, it was still important for Palencia to come out to Thursday's Bakersfield Barnstorm, especially since she will vote for the first time in the 2020 presidential election.

"He has interested me the most," she said. "The biggest thing is his plan for free college tuition. My mom is a single mother, and I'm just a freshman, so I know it'll be tough for us the next few years."

Around 100 Sanders supporters joined Palencia to share their stories and explain why the Vermont senator is their top choice for the next president of the United States.

His campaign announced Wednesday it was canceling all of the senator's upcoming events and appearances following a heart procedure for a blocked artery.

However, his campaign informed the CSUB community that a smaller event would still be held on campus.

Guadalupe Monreal, a social worker graduate student, said she and her classmates RSVP'd Monday when it was announced Sanders would be coming to Bakersfield. Without him there, she decided to come anyway because she wanted to hear about his plans and policies.

"I want to know how he'll better the lives of more than just the rich and the middle class," Monreal said before the event began.

Sanders is her top candidate because he is focused on helping minorities and larger groups of people, not just the establishment, she said.

Arvin Mayor Jose Gurrola spoke at the event and said he supports Sanders because he believes in climate change. Having a president who acknowledges scientific data will greatly affect Kern County, he explained.

"We're not talking about the polar bears or ice caps melting, we're talking about something that affects us locally," Gurrola said. "There's data that shows if this continues, our ability in the Central Valley to produce and grow food and export food will severely decrease. So does our economic livelihood and the ability for people to find good work here in the Central Valley."

The senator previously visited Bakersfield during the 2016 Democratic primary campaign, when he drew a crowd estimated at 3,000 to the Kern County Fairgrounds, according to a press release.

(11) comments


LOL! I work at CSUB and there were less than 50 people there...also - as soon as you start paying taxes you'll realize NOTHING is free. Let me reiterate...NOTHING.


Just watched all the election night meltdowns on Youtube again. It just never gets old....!!


Biden is going to beat Trump like a drum!



Poor Reps who don't have the balls to publicly unite like this without having to look over their shoulders. At least without our supporting leader, we still make sure we discuss the important matters among ourselves. I have yet to see or hear of a rep gathering without any yelling about certain matters.


Oh, like discussing and proposing the eating of babies at AOC gatherings (to help the environment). I see. Loons.


Why would Reps have to look over their shoulders if and when they unite? Are you threatening them? who is threatening them? Reps allow other voices to be heard and engage in intelligent debate. Dems want to silence those that don't agree with them. Very tolerant - so long as you follow their agenda.


Poor Dems. Looks like a bunch of "winners" looking for handouts. How about free feel the Bern. You all know treadmills are electric, not coal powered, right? Electric Cars don't use fossil fuels at all, right? The Mayor of Arvin walked to CSUB and Berned 52 calories. LOL.


I see you haven't taken your psych meds today. It must be tough having all these absurd, non-sequitur ramblings constantly encouraging you to sound like the village idiot.


Projecting again? Hang in there.


just go and vote for any shade of Blue this time folks....Donald really needs to go...don't stay home...Bernie is my least favorite but I'll vote for anyone who the Dems put forth in 2020

Gene Pool Chlorinator

"I'll vote for anyone who the Dems put forth in 2020"

This kind of partisanship is what's damaging this country- on BOTH sides of the aisle...

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