Primary season comes to town on January 11 when local organizers and supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders are holding a kickoff rally at the Columbus Theatre at 2:30pm. The Ocean State is typically an afterthought in most presidential election cycles, with big name candidates usually only having private fundraisers hyped up through the local press.
“It’s very much a local event,” says Nick Frayn, an organizer with RI for Bernie Sanders, the main group behind the rally. “It speaks to the number of speakers and bands and people who wanted to get involved in this, it speaks to his popularity in Rhode Island.” Senator Sanders sadly won’t be making an appearance, but the event is stacked with local progressive notables, ranging from Aaron Regunberg to Kat Kerwin, and performances by What Cheer? Brigade, La Neve and Justice Ameer Gaines.
“It’s about having an actual discussion about the politics we want to see,” says Frayn. “And talking to people about that. It’s never too early to have that conversation.” RI for Bernie Sanders is building to win in RI — they’re not treating the Ocean State as an afterthought. They’ve been sending volunteers every week to New Hampshire to canvass, and on January 18 they’re planning on sending a bus (hopefully two) of Rhode Islanders to help.