With the announcement of Bernie Sanders run for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States has come a plethora of grassroots support. As the party itself seems firmly convinced to support Clinton, and only Clinton, even this early in the election stage it has become incumbent upon supporters of Sanders to conduct their own campaigns on his behalf.
Unlike the traditional campaigning methods of other candidates who DO have the support of their party, Sanders electorate crowd has had to utilize new and exciting means to spread the knowledge of just who Bernie Sanders is and what his stance on issues are. The majority of Bernie’s campaign contributions have come from small donors of less than $50 per donation.
During the last “money-bomb” while other candidates for the nomination are touting the amount of money raised as a victory, Bernie has been lambasting the emphasis placed upon the monetary numbers. Rather than focusing on how much money he has raised, Senator Sanders has instead strongly emphasized the number of people who are donating money to his campaign, and specifically targeting the fact that they are all individuals who are donating as little as $3. His populist message has caused him to become an internet sensation, garnering awe-astounding and record-breaking crowds throughout his campaign stump.
Rather than fancy $1,000-plate dinners, courting wealthy oligarchs, and schmoozing with the elite 1%, Bernie has eschewed such methods – something consistent with his long legacy of “doing it the wrong way, but still getting elected”. The “wrong way” has apparently been the right way for Bernie all along. Never one to run a negative ad campaign, he instead focuses on issues and those issues seem to resonate with voters.
Voters like Cindy Koch (no relation) of California decided the best way for her to spread the message of Bernie’s populist appeal was to put up a fund-raiser for him in a new and peculiar way. She had extra gear from around her house lying around and decided she would put on a yard sale, complete with Bernie banners, flyers, handouts, and giving general information to all the people who came to buy her wares. She made $250 and to top it off 100% of the proceeds were then donated to Bernie Sanders campaign.
I want to do all I can to support Bernie and I thought, how can I get word out about Bernie and make him some money? Throw a yard sale and the people will come to me! That’s it in a nutshell but let me tell you what I did. When people walked up I asked them if they knew who Bernie Sanders is. All said no except for one!
They were all so eager to take it and said they would definitely look into him! Plus, he was on Real Time w/Bill Maher the next Fri. and everybody who had HBO couldn’t wait to see him!
This has encouraged others to do the same thing and Cindy hopes that it catches fire as a #YardSales4Bernie grassroots effort.
This is by far one of the most inventive and creative efforts I have ever witnessed for a presidential candidate. Cindy also suggested ‘Bake Sales for Bernie’ and has encouraged her fellow supporters to join her in posting pictures online of these sales, and tracking the amount of money raised by local supporters in this effort.
While it may not garner as much money as the monolithic Clinton machine, it is certainly bound to get more people talking about and researching Bernie Sanders. At the end of the day the only thing that really matters is how many people get out there and vote.
We shall wait and see just how effective such a campaign can be.
Featured Image: Flickr user Donkeyhotey