Back to his grassroots! Bernie Sanders to open campaign office in native Flatbush

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Flatbush will soon feel the Bern.

Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign is opening its second Brooklyn office — this time a stone’s throw from the Midwood-native-turned-Vermont-senator’s childhood home, organizers announced just 12 days before the New York primary. The Madison High School-educated presidential hopeful is opening the operation at the corner of Flatbush and Bedford avenues to reach communities other candidates have overlooked, a representative said. But the politician who previously occupied the building panned Sanders as a Bernie-come-lately — because opponent Hillary Clinton headquartered her entire operation in Brooklyn Heights last year.

“It’s great that he has an office here, but people should remember that Clinton has her entire national office [in Brooklyn],” said state Sen. Kevin Parker (D–Flatbush), who previously kept a district office where Sanders’s now is setting up shop. “Welcome to the party, Bernie.”

The new office will be a base for phone-bankers and door-knockers hoping to woo a neighborhood organizers say hasn’t gotten enough love from candidates.

“The campaign is serious about reaching out to voters across the state and across the city — and I think the Senator demonstrated that by holding a rally in the South Bronx — to neighborhoods that are not usually visited by politicians,” said spokesman and Crown Heights resident Karthik Ganapathy. “So I think it’s partly to make sure we’re reaching out to everyone.”

Critics have slammed Sanders for a poor record on issues affecting people of color. And the senator from Vermont — the second-whitest state in the Union — has been courting black leaders in an apparent attempt to improve his brand with minority voters.

Sanders opened his first Brooklyn office in Gowanus — where whites comprise 62.6 percent of the population in census tracts within a half-mile of his outpost — on March 26. Conversely, whites only account for 11.5 percent of the population within a half-mile of Sanders’ Flatbush office, census data shows.

Congresswoman Yvette Clarke (D–Flatbush) — whose own office is less than a mile away — took the stage with Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton in Crown Heights on April 5.

Organizers are still negotiating a lease and haven’t set a date to Sanders’s new office, Ganapathy said.

Sanders and Clinton will take the stage at the Navy Yard in Fort Greene on April 14 for a final debate before the New York primary on April 19.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Sissy's Dad says:
Sissy, what did I say about going on the internet before you had your pills?
April 8, 2016, 8:35 am
Russell Se from Vermont says:
Why does the media portray Vermont as color hating people. If you live in Vermont you know here we do not look at people by color ethnicity or social economic status. That is one of the great reasons Vermont is such a great place. We might not have a thousand shops and restaurants in every town or the ability to get anything one wants anytime one wants but we do have plain and simple respect for people and planet.
Plain and simple.
April 8, 2016, 9:19 am
Morris from Mill Basin says:
Vermonters may not hate non-white people, but they don't like to live around them. Bernie was part of the "white flight" of the late 1960s and the 1970s when white people fled Brooklyn specifically because blacks and Puerto Ricans (the largest nonwhite groups back then) were moving in.

James Madison H.S., Bernie's school, was nearly all white and very Jewish went he (and Sen. Schumer and Justice Ginsburg) went there. By the 1970s, Madison had more and more African-American students, just as African-American and Hispanic and -- with the passage of the 1965 immigration bill -- other nonwhites were moving into formerly all-white neighborhoods like Flatbush, Canarsie, Midwood, etc. -- the places where Bernie lived.

He escaped to a place where he didn't have to deal with nonwhite people. His lack of experience with them shows in his campaign and his demeanor. A lot of us white (and Jewish) people stayed in Brooklyn and welcomed the diversity and the changes in our borough and worked with others of every race and nationality to make it a better place.

Bernie's supporters tend to be millennials and hipsters, the gentrifiers who are taking over Bushwick and Bed-Stuy and Crown Heights and now Flatbush, and are pushing out the minority population who've been the majority in those neighborhoods for years.

White flight in the 1970s was the gentrification of the 2010s. In both cases, whites who didn't want to be around nonwhites either fled Brooklyn or are chasing out the existing population.

No wonder all the racist millennials are supporting Bernie. But those of us in the borough who value our diversity reject the 98%-white Vermont values.
April 8, 2016, 11:11 am
Trollerskates from Moving Target says:
That is a lot of garbage, Morris. Some people would rather live in a rural environment, and do so when they have the financial means to make it happen. It doesn't make them racists. You know what makes someone seem racist? Demanding that black youth be brought to heel. It seems that ole Bubba's white sheet was slipping a bit yesterday, but yeah, let's call Bernie a racist.
April 8, 2016, 1:21 pm
Benny from Park Slope says:
When Sanders stops believing his own hype about his messianic "revolution," I might start paying attention to him again. In the meantime, his petulant, entitled, whiny followers are some of the worst possible advertisements for a political candidate I've seen this side of a Trump rally. Jeezus! Do these clowns even listen to themselves? "I'll never vote for Hillary, no matter what! [Insert baby-crying noises here]!"
April 8, 2016, 2:46 pm
Lolita from Crown Heights says:
Those of us in the Caribbean-American community of Brooklyn has known Hillary for years, even before she was our Senator, she came here when she was First Lady going back almost 25 years. She has been to our churches, she has helped some of us out with problems.

The Vanguard Independent Democratic Association has endorsed Hillary, and we have a lot of members in our area. Una Clarke, the first Jamaican on the City Council and the mother of our Congresswoman who introduced Hillary at Medgar Evers College the other day, is backing her.

As Una said, "Bernie now seems to want to identify with Brooklyn, but what has he ever done for Brooklyn?"

We'll see a week from Tuesday night whether Brooklyn voters can be fooled by this Johnny-come-lately. I hope not.
April 8, 2016, 3:05 pm
Mom from Clinton Hill says:
Um, didn't Bernie leave Brooklyn for Chicago initially? Hardly, white flight land... then March on Washingon then Israel?
April 8, 2016, 6:31 pm
Me from Bay Ridge says:
"White flight in the 1970s was the gentrification of the 2010s. In both cases, whites who didn't want to be around nonwhites either fled Brooklyn or are chasing out the existing population." ...And many "white flighters" were chased out by the habits and crime of the newcomers.
April 8, 2016, 7 pm
Matt from Greenpoint says:
Well, at least Hillary is not doing that corny Southern accent thing anymore.
April 9, 2016, 6:59 pm

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