Bernie Sanders returns to Iowa City on Sunday to accept Sunrise Movement endorsement

Iowa City Climate Rally with Bernie Sanders, Ro Khanna and Rashida Tlaib

The Graduate, Iowa City — Sunday, Jan. 1 at 1:30 p.m.

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaking during Political Party Live at Coe College’s Sinclair Auditorium, Jun. 7, 2019. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

Sen. Bernie Sanders is returning to Iowa City on Sunday for a climate town hall at the Graduate Hotel, where he’ll officially receive the endorsement of the Sunrise Movement. The nonprofit, which has become well-known for its Green New Deal proposal, describes its mission as “building an army of young people to make climate change an urgent priority across America, end the corrupting influence of fossil fuel executives on our politics, and elect leaders who stand up for the health and wellbeing of all people.”

Sunrise was founded in 2017, and has grown to include local “hubs” across the country, including six in Iowa, located in Ames, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Dubuque, Grinnell and West Branch.

In a video posted on social media, Sunrise co-founder and executive director Varshini Prakash explained why the organization supports Sanders.

“We’re seeing the climate crisis isn’t 30 or 40 or 50 years in the future. It’s right now,” Prakash said. “We need a president in office who understands the immediate threat of the crisis and Bernie Sanders is that guy.”

Prakash praised both Sanders’ approach to addressing climate issues in a broader context (“He understands that it is a social justice issue, that it’s about racial and economic justice, that it’s about the fight of our lives.”), and the senator’s long history of environmental advocacy.

“So we really trust Bernie Sanders in a way that we haven’t been able to trust many other politicians,” she said.

According to Sunrise, more than 75 percent of its members nationwide voted in favor of endorsing Sanders.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Rep. Ro Khanna of California will join Sanders and representatives from Sunrise at the town hall on Sunday. Tlaib and Khanna support the Green New Deal, and both have endorsed Sanders. Khanna is one of the national co-chairs of Sanders’ presidential campaign.

The town hall will be held in the Wayne Ballroom at The Graduate in downtown Iowa City. It’s scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public, but due to space limitations, the campaign is asking people planning to attend to register.

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