By Jim Coughlin
For the past several weeks the WRTA bus terminal in Worcester – The Hub – has been the scene for a gathering of anywhere between five and 10 supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, and they are going under the banner of “Worcester for Bernie.”
Cold temperatures that have hit the city in recent days have not deterred members of this group from getting out there to show their unconditional support for their candidate! They are somewhat of a “fluke” in local politics because no other candidate has supporters braving the cold weather to rally support for their individual candidacy – only Bernie’s people.
♥️♥️ pics submitted
Their presence is especially noteworthy because Massachusetts does not vote in a Presidential primary until March 3. … Several members of the group interviewed last Wednesday said they are doing this because of an intense love for the leading presidential candidate from the neighboring state of Vermont.
“I love Bernie because he is changing our world, he has already changed mine, by fighting for me who he does not even know, and showing me how to fight for those those I don’t know”
They even made several handmade spontaneous signs indicating their support.
The local woman who has spearheaded this effort is Mary Depew, 63, formerly of Clinton, a Worcester resiident since 1985. She said she has been active politically with the Sander’s campaign since 2015, (just prior to the start of Sanders 2016 unsuccessful campaign in 2016) which he very narrowly lost to former United States First Lady and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton that year.
Depew said she has the title in the local effort of “Bernie Victory Captain.”
“We are an active group of local supporters who have been organized since 2015 and have previously met monthly, but shortly, we are going to start meeting weekly,” she said.
Depew has never done anything like this before, and was never politically active for any other candidate in the past according to her son, Joseph, 43.
“My mother has spent her own money for campaign expenses, driven people around in her car and has brought together a widely diverse group of people in this effort for Senator Sanders,” he said.
“There are people who are disabled, (including her son who has Multiple Sclerosis, MS) elderly people, and people of different ethnic backgrounds and young people who have never even voted before,” he said.
To prove the validity of her son’s claim of diversity, there was even a former Peace Corps volunteer among their ranks: Gabriel Connolly of Millbury.
Depew said that members of her group have also been involved in calling voters in the two early presidential contests in both Iowa set for February 3rd and New Hampshire on February 11.
“We got lots of hang-ups,” she said. She indicated that many of the voters who she personally reached by telephone said they were undecided. Those voters, she said “will be called back later.”
Depew along with other volunteers have also gone to New Hampshire to campaign for their candidate. Not only that, Depow said that she even had the opportunity to dance and to be photographed with the popular United States Senator at a reception for campaign volunteers held n Manchester, NH in 2019.
When asked what kind of a dancer Sanders was, Depew flashed a broad smile and said, “He has his (dancing) moves.”
“There was a line waiting to dance with him,” she added.
“After Sanders finished dancing with one partner, he would say, “Next,” she said, as he went onto dance with the next woman in line.
In a follow-up interview on Sunday, she said, “ I thought, ‘I got to hug the man who is going to lead the world to peace.” I am not kidding. My first world leader hug ! Bernie!”
City resident Rena Grasso, a retired Psychology and Literature professor was among the more passionate of Sander’s supporters Wednesday.
When interviewed, she spoke about Sanders with the passion of a religious convert, continally using her hands to emphasize what she was saying about Sanders.
“He is not only trustworthy but has 40 years of unassailable uncorrupted principles and speaks with a moral voice,” she said.
For those interested in the local campaign, they can call (508) 963 – 1399 or email them at: Chris44horton@gmail.com