Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker covered a variety of topics concerning New Mexicans at a campaign fundraiser. The event held at Marble Brewery in Downtown Albuquerque on Monday evening.
According to Damian Lara, 16A ward chair for Democratic Party of New Mexico, general admission tickets to attend the event started at $15 but were sold out within days of Booker announcing he was coming to Albuquerque. This limited the number of college students and millennials that we're able to join the event.
Lara said college students may not have been able to come because of the time of day and the cost to get into the fundraiser, which ranged from 15 to 500 dollars that evening.
“The economic cost for millennials and college students really prohibits their interaction and activity in the political system,” Lara said.
Lara said college students are participating in other ways, including using social media and going to free political events.
“Even though you don’t see them in as many events, they are voting in record numbers and participating in the political system in non-traditional ways,” he said.
Albuquerque Mayor, Tim Keller, welcomed Booker to the stage that evening. Keller mentioned that Booker is the first Democratic nominee to visit New Mexico for the 2020 election.
When asked how young people and college students can be encouraged to show up to events like the one that evening, Keller said he encourages student groups, including the University, to contact the candidates.
“I think next year as we get closer, the challenge is usually not anyone in New Mexico, it’s that our state often gets skipped, “ Keller said. “So that’s why we're glad when candidates choose to even come to this state, but invitations matter, so reach out and ask and we’ll join you.”
During the beginning of his speech, Booker described himself as a “policy walk nerd” and said he loved how the national conversation has been shaken up when it comes to essential topics including housing policy, gun legislation and making Medicaid more accessible to the elderly.
Booker said he thinks the election is not likely to turn on policy differences between candidates, or who has the best 10-point-policy plan. He said this election is not only about what comes from the head, but also the heart and soul of the nation.
“I call in this election, time and time again, for the revival of civic grace, for a more courageous empathy for one another and to remember that in this nation. Patriotism means love of country, but you cannot love your country unless you love your fellow countrymen and women,” Booker said.
Booker also spoke to issues that are undermining the United States’ democracy. He said he is asking more from democratic citizens than any president has asked before.
“If you want to create a climate where we can make a big change in America, it’s not going to be by getting one person elected, because Democracy is a team sport,” he said.
Two words that Booker’s mentor, Virginia Jones, told him after her son was murdered ended his speech that evening. Jones ran the Brick Towers tenants’ association when Booker lived in Newark. Those two words: “stay faithful”.
“If we stay faithful, if we will achieve a nation that really is a nation of liberty and justice for all — if we stay faithful — we will restore the hope of Americans who are losing it. If we stay faithful, no matter how much one guy tries to tear us down, we, America, will rise,” Booker said.
Amanda Britt is the photo editor at the Daily Lobo and can be contacted on twitter @AmandaBritt_ or at firstname.lastname@example.org