Standing with Bernie

PRINCEVILLE — Meshell Pappas, owner and mastermind behind the business Thee Button Pusher, said she’d love to make buttons that say “Trump is not it.”

Instead, she was making buttons in support of presidential candidate Bernie Sanders at Monday night’s Rally 4 Revolution, held at the Church of the Pacific in Princeville by a group of passionate residents united under the name Kauai 4 Bernie.

The rally, which had food, music and movies, was a fundraiser for some local delegates to attend the democratic state convention on May 28 and 29 on Oahu.

“This isn’t a fundraiser for the democratic party or for the Bernie campaign, it’s a fundraiser for us, for the people from Kauai that want to affect positive change locally and nationally,” said Mahana Dunn, one of the delegates.

Charlie Grotsky, from Kapaa, said he wants to see more support for Sanders because he thinks the super delegates are all focused on voting for the democratic frontrunner, Hillary Clinton.

“I voted in the primary,” Grotsky said. “A total of 80 percent of Kauai that voted in the (March democratic caucus) voted for Bernie, we need people to stand up and represent what all of us want.”

Dunn said for each of the delegates, it could cost upwards of $1,000 to attend the May convention and many of them need help with the expenses.

“A lot of the delegates we’re sending over are regular people with families,” said Nancy Norelli, one of the Kauai 4 Bernie organizers. “They can’t afford to cover it all themselves, so we’re raising money to help.”

Felicia Cowden, also a delegate planning to jet to Oahu, said she’s excited to represent the people of Kauai.

“An outstanding number of people support Bernie Sanders,” she said.

It wasn’t just those front and center in Kauai’s political area that were devoted to the cause being celebrated Monday night. Tangled Roots guitarist Adam Neaves said it was an honor for the band to provide the opening music.

“Bernie stands for everything we stand for — the rights of the people,” Neaves said. “He’s not just talking about it either, he’s been living it for 40 years.”

In the midst of the clusters of about 125 people sitting around tables and spread out across the lawn, Rehna Pueo Fox decided she wanted to pay $5 for a button for Bernie, and she approached Pappas’ button-making station.

“I want to see a sane person named president, an honest person,” Fox said. “I to see someone (in office) who is unafraid to support everything that matters. I want a button for Bernie.”

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Jessica Else, environmental reporter, can be reached at 245-0452 or jelse@thegardenisland.com.

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