Bernie Sanders supporters open Lafayette office

(Photo: Scott Clause/The Advertiser)

(The Advertiser)– A supporter of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has opened an office for volunteers in Lafayette as voters prepare for the March 5 Louisiana primary.

The office, located at 415 S. Pierce St., will be the first office in Lafayette of any of the candidates in the 2016 presidential election.

Local organizer Zachary Edwards said once the primary in Louisiana is over, volunteers will shift into campaign mode, putting out yard signs, creating posters, conducting community outreach, volunteering around the community and possibly holding marches in support of Sanders.

With at least 150 volunteers committed to working with him, and about 600 people who have shown some interest, Edwards said volunteers will focus on calling registered Democrats for the next month to contribute Lafayette-area polling data to national Democratic National Convention data, or “phone banking.” This practice gives candidates a good pulse on the area in terms of support.

As for areas of focus, Edwards, a lifelong Lafayette resident and medical worker, said they plan to start in neighborhoods with younger populations, like Freetown.

“We’re going to be doing some work there,” he said.

Edwards, 21, said the secrecy of U.S. politicians and large corporations influencing them and their policies left him feeling disenfranchised.

“I didn’t care,” he said. “I thought whoever would get elected would just keep peddling the same old stuff. I was honestly not going to vote.”

But then he said he heard about Sanders, and after researching the Vermont senator’s positions on various issues, he “felt the Bern.”

“I think he’ll give his 100 percent for all Americans,” he said.

A meet and greet for local Sanders supporters is scheduled for Friday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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