Sen. Bernie Sanders' 2020 presidential campaign asked volunteers and supporters to take to social media on Monday and share their personal reasons for supporting the senator's White House bid—accompanied by the hashtag #MyBernieStory—in an innovative effort to expand Sanders' grassroots movement.
"The Bernie 2020 campaign is a movement, and we have the largest volunteer base in the race."
—Claire Sandberg, Sanders 2020 national organizing director
The response was "overwhelming," Sanders' national organizing director Claire Sandberg said in a statement on Tuesday.
Just hours after the launch of the #MyBernieStory campaign through the BERN app—an online organizing tool that allows supporters to record a video, share it on social media, and encourage others to participate—the hashtag soared to the top of Twitter's trending list as Sanders backers flooded the platform with a diverse array of personal stories.
"Our campaign motto is Not Me, Us," said Sandberg, "and that is directly reflected in this incredible show of support from working people across America. It's these grassroots volunteers who will ensure Bernie Sanders wins the primary and defeats Donald Trump."
— The Bern Identity (@bern_identity) August 12, 2019
Amal Altareb, a Yemeni-American and Yale University student whose close family lives in the war-torn nation, said she supports Sanders' presidential campaign because she believes the Vermont senator would end U.S. complicity in the world's worst humanitarian crisis and bring the years-long war to an end.
"If Bernie is elected," said Altareb, "my family and the Yemeni people will have hope again that the war can stop."
Imagine the US with Bernie as president? The world? Voting for @BernieSanders because he’ll make moral & humane foreign policies (ending the US intervention in Yemen’s war)! #myberniestory lmk how you feel about this election by taking this 1-min survey: https://t.co/Se7BBaMjdb pic.twitter.com/Z6mTec6Qc5
— Amal Altareb (@amal_altareb) August 12, 2019
Other Sanders backers cited the Vermont senator's consistent and principled advocacy for Medicare for All, his support for the Green New Deal, his plan to cancel the $1.6 trillion in student loan debt that is crippling millions, his fight for a living wage, and more.
"Imagine teaching hungry kindergarteners," said one Sanders backer in his #MyBernieStory post. "I support Bernie Sanders because that should be dystopic speculative fiction and not a common feature of our education system."
Imagine teaching hungry kindergarteners. I support @BernieSanders because that should be dystopic speculative fiction and not a common feature of our education system.#myberniestory pic.twitter.com/46FIQa7w62
— little jon quijote (@brotherbeat) August 12, 2019
Sandberg said the success of the #MyBernieStory campaign is a testament to the strength and enthusiasm of Sanders' grassroots support across the United States.
"The Bernie 2020 campaign is a movement," she said, "and we have the largest volunteer base in the race."
Watch my video to learn why I support @BernieSanders & how my life experience has contributed to me becoming a progressive. Then please take the survey on the 2020 election when you're done. https://t.co/ce2Zy5EtSL #MyBernieStory pic.twitter.com/Lev3xiYOHi
— Teri Gidwitz (@terilg) August 12, 2019
As Common Dreams reported in February, the Sanders campaign said it reached one million volunteers less than a week after the senator launched his White House bid.
The Sanders campaign said in a statement Tuesday that it has also "developed the largest student organizing program of any 2020 presidential campaign," reflecting the senator's strong youth support.
"This is how we're going to win," tweeted Sandberg.