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California Baby Boomers For Bernie

"Berner" Nina Pattillo

If you listen to the mainstream media, the only voting bloc Bernie Sanders attracts is white millennials.

Of course, research proves Sanders has dominated a number of other groups in many states:

  • the single woman vote,
  • the Asian American vote,
  • the Hispanic vote, and
  • black men under 50.

But apparently that hasn’t fit the mainstream narrative.

And neither did the long lines of seniors gathering across California Sunday afternoon.

Hundreds of Baby Boomers stood in line for over an hour talking about voter suppression and corrupt corporate media and recommending Internet shows to each other like The Young Turks and Lee Camp’s Redacted Tonight.

Nina Pattillo, a 71-year-old retired nurse, said it didn’t matter there were no chairs or water. “I’m Bernie or Bust,” she smiled. “And I want to vote in this caucus to make sure the person going to Philadelphia won’t vote for Hillary.”

Julieanne Faze, the 74-year-old art gallery owner standing behind her, said she drove over an hour to get there. “I always vote by mail. But it felt important to make the drive,” she said. “I haven’t been to a caucus in ages. I used to be for Hillary. I wanted a woman to be President, but I’ve been so upset by the election problems in New York and Illinois. And I just don’t want to go to war again. I have to vote for Bernie.”

This was the sentiment throughout the crowd, where hundreds of Baby Boomers stood in line for over an hour talking about voter suppression and corrupt corporate media and recommending Internet shows to each other like The Young Turks and Lee Camp’s Redacted Tonight.

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California Congressional District 26 was expecting about 85 people, but an hour before the caucus opened over 500 seniors were standing in line. They traveled in from Los Angeles, Ventura, Westlake Village, Simi Valley, Oak Park, Oxnard, Santa Paula, Port Hueneme, Moorpark, Newbury Park, Ojai, Oxnard, Thousand Oaks, Camarillo, and Santa Paula.

California Baby Boomers For Bernie

Many of them couldn’t vote in the caucus because they were registered No Party Preference, which allows them to vote in the upcoming primary, but prohibited them from voting for district delegates in Sunday’s caucus. The Democratic Party had voter registration on the premises and indicated that not only was Democratic Party registration up 185% over 2012, nearly one million new voters have registered in California, with Latino registration being 98% larger this year than in 2012.

But voters like Sam Wield, a 75-year-old veteran, said he didn’t want to be a Democrat anymore.

“I’ll vote for Bernie in the primary. But I’m Bernie or Bust. I don’t want to register as a Democrat until I know progressive voices count. I registered No Party Preference. I’m just here to see for myself that Baby Boomers are still around. The media seems to be reporting we’re all dead.”

California Baby Boomers For Bernie

The 41 delegates running for the six potential Bernie Sanders district delegates, ranged from Vietnam War-era activists, to retired lawyers, to semi-retired filmmakers, to a single millennial—a 17-year-old planning to vote in his first election this November. A presidential candidate winning at least 15 percent of the district’s vote will be able to send a delegate to the convention. Once chosen, the delegates pay their own way for travel and lodging, which can be $3,000 to $5,000.

[dc]“I[/dc]t’s not cheap,” echoed a few of the delegates running, “But we love Bernie and this election is important. It’s worth it.”

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Voters could only participate in one caucus, so Hillary Clinton's event was on the other side of the county. Clinton’s caucus gathered a crowd of 239 voters.

Laurie Agard