News & Politics

Ohio's Not Waiting for Bernie Sanders

Last week, Bernie’s first campaign office opened in Ohio… without the campaign.

A group of forward-thinking activists and die-hard Bernie Sanders supporters began planning and raising funds in November. They reached out to local legislators and community leaders, formed a steering committee, secured a location and made all the necessary arrangments to have the location open 50 hours per week.

On January 9, all their hard work paid off as 200 people showed up to witness the office's grand opening. Senator Michael Skindell and Bernie Sanders spokesperson Nina Turner gave the keynote remarks.

Logistically, the office is opening at the perfect time to be able to raise and train the army Sanders will need in the primary. “The focus of the office right now, in the next few weeks, is the early primary states,” said Steve Holecko, the office’s volunteer coordinator. With a bank of a dozen donated computers, anyone can come, get trained and start making calls to those important primary battleground states.

Already the 10 or so volunteer office staff have trained many to be local group leaders and helped to set up 15 new group meetings in the first week and contacted hundreds of new volunteers to help. Holecko knows this is no small task. “Our volunteer base has gotten bigger and bigger since we’ve contacted more people, and right now we have a bank of about 600 [new volunteers] that we’re trying to get through.”

All of this with little to no Sanders campaign support. But the volunteers don’t seem to mind; they know Sanders is working hard where he needs to and they look forward to working with him and his staff when they arrive. In the meantime, Ohio is preheating and starting a revolution on its own.