Story by Phillip Quinn and Jonathan Bach
Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders held a rally at Island Park in Springfield today.
By 9 a.m., hundreds had gathered at the park to wait for the Vermont senator. An Ethos reporter estimates that there were easily more than 1,000 people in attendance once the rally started around noon.
Sanders spoke on student loan debt, health insurance, the war on drugs, racism, the militarization of police forces in America, and climate change.
“The human species will not survive if we continue to destroy nature,” said Sanders. He later added: “Climate change is real. Donald Trump is not quite right when he says it’s a hoax developed by the Chinese.”
Sanders said he advocates a tax on carbon, which he sees as a needed step to cut carbon emissions.
Earlier in the day, Sanders was seen near the University of Oregon campus in Eugene before the rally across the Willamette River in Springfield.
Dozens gathered near the intersection of Alder St. and 13th St. to see him.
UO sophomore Samantha Zilly said she reached out to the presidential hopeful, adding that his hands were “really soft.”
“Our hearts were racing,” said Zilly of herself and a friend.