Below you see two articles showing the circumvention of Federal laws especially with HUD funds. HUD specifically places the disabled at the top of the list for housing----Baltimore uses a lottery that ignores these laws. Below that you see Baltimore using HUD money specifically to move poor out of the city and as the article states uses far more HUD funds placing Baltimore's poor into communities where research shows they do not integrate or get the services they need and often simply abandon those housing deals coming back to the city. HUD does not allow Federal funding to be used in ways that waste what could house 3 people safely in their own communities...this is why they say they are 'changing the rules'.
FOR CITIZENS IN BALTIMORE WANTING TO GET RID OF CONCENTRATED POVERTY---TO GENTRIFY CITY CENTER TO CAN BE DONE JUSTLY. BALTIMORE DEVELOPMENT MASTER PLAN WILL MOVE THE MIDDLE-CLASS AND AFFLUENT OUT TOO----SO YOU WILL BE NEXT.
If this relocation came with the wrap-around services they claim as the poor are moved to middle-class neighborhoods it might serve to stabilize. Guess where most of these more affluent neighborhoods are that this Section 8 program targets----black middle-class communities that are now having property devalue taking the brunt of this relocation.
Lottery wait list time unknown for Section 8 housing in Baltimore
25,000 people receive preliminary approval
UPDATED 5:47 PM EDT Oct 16, 2015
BALTIMORE --Last October, the Baltimore City Housing Authority did something it hadn't done in more than a decade. It opened up applications for low-income families to receive rental assistance, and 25,000 people got preliminary approval. But when will they actually get help?
"Not only will they have to fork out more money," Barley said, "but neighborhoods are going to complain about poor people coming in."
HUD considers change to Section 8 rents
Workers renovate low-income, Section 8 housing on East 23rd Street a few years ago.
(ALGERINA PERNA / Baltimore Sun)
Natalie ShermanContact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun
HUD considers change to Section 8 rents that could upend rental marketThe federal government is considering an overhaul of its subsidized housing program that would change the way it determines rent limits from a one-size-fits-all approach for metro areas to a more localized approach that could allow more people to move to Baltimore's suburbs.
The proposal is designed to allow people to use Section 8 vouchers — known as Housing Choice Vouchers -- for apartments in areas that are currently too expensive, offering families a better chance at the lifelong benefits that come from growing up in more stable neighborhoods with less crime, lower poverty rates and better schools.
The change could have broad implications for the Baltimore region's rental market and for poor families in the city, where at least one recent study found a child's chance of escaping poverty is the worst in the country.
"It would be awesome because of course people want their kids to be in a safer neighborhood, a nicer neighborhood with better schools," said Cynthia Barley, 50, a voucher recipient who is disabled and pays about $130 a month toward the $1,088 rent her landlord charges for a two-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn.
Housing advocates welcomed the possible change, calling it long overdue, but some officials voiced concern about its unintended consequences for the city and others said it could disrupt otherwise stable neighborhoods in the counties. Voucher holders represent about 7 percent of the region's renters and 9 percent in the city, according to a recent Baltimore Metropolitan Council report.
Thousands sign up as city's Section 8 wait list opens for first time in a decade "This is nothing more than a big push to try to spread government-subsidized rentals in all the areas of the county," said Del. Patrick L. McDonough, a Republican who represents Baltimore and Harford counties. "I think it's going to turn out to be a big issue. ... I'll fight it in any way I can."
Under the current system, voucher holders typically pay about 30 percent of their incomes in rent, with the voucher covering the difference, up to a HUD-determined limit that supposedly reflects market prices in a metro area.
HUD could change to a ZIP code-based approach by 2017; the department started seeking comments on it this month, said Kathy O'Regan, HUD assistant secretary for policy development and research.
Shortage of housing for poorest families grows Philip Tegeler, executive director of the Poverty & Race Research Action Council, a Washington-based civil rights policy organization, said he expects HUD to implement the change, even if it generates some pushback.
"This administration at HUD is not afraid to do reform. The question is how quickly they'll get the rule out and when it will go into effect," he said. "It's not an imminent change but it's a really important policy shift."
Baltimore Housing Commissioner Paul T. Graziano worried about the potential effect on the city. Lower rent limits could discourage badly needed investment in vacancy-plagued areas or force voucher holders who wish to remain in the same neighborhoods into lower-quality units, he said. If average subsidies increase, fewer people might be able to participate.
"We're not attacking this thing. We understand the goal of expanding areas of opportunity on the one hand," Graziano said. "But we're very concerned about the impact in the city on the other hand and, again, we just think that it needs a lot more scrutiny and a lot more analysis."
HUD began using the ZIP code system in Dallas in 2010 after a lawsuit that argued that metro-wide voucher rent limits steered recipients to slums, contributing to racial segregation and limiting families' ability to find housing in better neighborhoods.
In Dallas, the switch has already prompted some families to move into better areas, while the program's cost remained neutral because the rent increases as families moved to better neighborhoods were made up for by reduced payments to landlords elsewhere, O'Regan said.
Among the Baltimore region's roughly 25,000 voucher holders, more than 60 percent — or about 14,664 households — live in areas deemed "low opportunity," based on measures including education, poverty and crime, according to a report issued last year by the Baltimore Metropolitan Council.
A recent study led by Harvard University economists found that for children under 13 whose families moved to better neighborhoods, each year made a difference in terms of higher annual incomes in their 20s and increased college attendance rates. Their research found separately that of 100 metro areas in the United States, children in Baltimore have the lowest chances of escaping poverty.
Stefanie DeLuca, a professor of sociology at the Johns Hopkins University, who has examined the ways neighborhoods affect family outcomes, said the change will go a long way toward expanding opportunity for families in these neighborhoods.
"In many ways," she said, "this change is a no-brainer."
Shonda Billings, 34, is less persuaded that the change will help families.
Accepted into the Section 8 program in 2014 after more than a decade on the waitlist, she found a two-bedroom place in Hamilton Hills for herself and her two children for $855 a month, calling it a big step up from Park Heights, where she rented before.
If the program encourages people to move to more expensive neighborhoods, she said, their other costs could rise.
"That defeats the purpose," she said. "To me, I really think they're trying to push minorities out of the city and bring the majority back in."
To have the desired effect, DeLuca and others said, any change would have to be accompanied by counseling for families about the opportunities in other areas and outreach — or legal action — to change the minds of landlords now unwilling to accept tenants from the program.
Even then, minimal public transport and the scarcity of social networks in outlying areas might sustain the appeal of traditional neighborhoods, said Richard Hall, who served as state planning secretary under former Gov. Martin O'Malley and is now executive director of Citizens Planning & Housing Association Inc. Still, he said, taking a more targeted approach "makes sense."
The ZIP code approach builds on efforts underway in Baltimore, thanks to a lawsuit filed against HUD in 1995. That suit led to the establishment of a Baltimore-area mobility program that allows vouchers to be used for apartments with higher rents if they're located in higher-opportunity areas.
HUD's proposed change goes further by reducing the rent limit for some areas.
Jack BeVier, a partner at The Dominion Group, which rents to about 500 voucher holders in Baltimore and performs rehabs, said reducing voucher payments could discourage investment in low-rent, high-poverty areas.
Graziano shares that concern and expects to seek changes to the formula for the new rates proposed by HUD — many of which are below current levels in the city.
"We're going to look at it a lot more closely, but the preliminary [signs] are that it would really dramatically undermine what we're doing and severely limit people's housing choice and reduce the quality of the housing they would end up with," he said.
If many people used the vouchers for more expensive areas, it also could reduce the total number of recipients — a blow for a city where nearly 74,000 people applied last fall for a spot on the waiting list.
On the other hand, if the average subsidy declined, more people might have access to assistance.
Eva Rosen, a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University, who lived in Park Heights and researched landlords in the Section 8 program, said many Baltimore property owners seek voucher tenants, for whom they know the government will guarantee the majority of the rental payment at a premium rate.
Tailoring rents to local markets could reduce the incentive to steer voucher recipients to units in lower-rent areas and potentially reduce housing costs, even for people who don't have vouchers, she said.
"If it works the way it's supposed to … then the fair-market rents in poor neighborhoods will go down and fair-market rents in wealthy neighborhoods will go up," she said.
County leaders said they are reviewing the proposal to see what effects it might have.
"These new guidelines could provide increased housing opportunities for families and individuals to give them better access to education, transportation and job opportunities," said Ellen Kobler, a spokeswoman for Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.
Clifton Martin, CEO of the Housing Commission of Anne Arundel County, said the idea has merit and he expects it to be implemented, but he worries it could make the program more difficult to administer, more complicated for tenants looking for properties and more opaque for landlords. It also may reduce the number of voucher holders since rent limits increase in Anne Arundel, he said.
Even those who stand to benefit recognize HUD's proposal could spark opposition.
"Not only will they have to fork out more money," Barley said, "but neighborhoods are going to complain about poor people coming in."
Everyone will be killed by the ending of NEW DEAL and War on Poverty. These social policies protected small businesses and local economies---access to food and food quality----environmental justice----worker's rights and wages. By large these policies protected families and by extension WOMEN AND CHILDREN. It was the Women's movement in the 1960-70s that won the protection for families in poverty----for health and welfare and safety nets for seniors and the disabled.
WOMEN ARE THE BACKBONE OF FAMILY AND AN ATTACK ON NEW DEAL AND WAR ON POVERTY IS AN ATTACK ON WOMEN AND CHILDREN.
Many of the pols leading this systemic corporate fraud are women----many of the leaders of justice organizations----of health and education telling me to go away ARE WOMEN. So, as I have shouted before by educating the difference between Hillary global corporate wealth and power feminism with its idea that civil rights for women is not equal rights---but the right of an individual to become rich.
THAT IS WHAT MARYLAND'S WOMEN ORGANIZATION LEADERS ARE TIED TO. THIS IS WHY WOMEN ARE NOT OUT EN MASSE OVER THE INJUSTICES IN BALTIMORE.
You can tell a Hillary global corporate group because they are almost only backing reproductive and GBLT rights.....not that this is not a good thing. These two issues are the NEW HUMAN RIGHTS----one's that are not tied to social welfare.
The group below may very well have people at the grassroots level wanting women's rights. The leadership promotes Hillary and neo-liberal NEW CIVIL RIGHTS. Unfortunately, they are mentoring and training women candidates to run in Democratic elections in Maryland all using the same global market----innovation/startup/public private partnership policy saying nothing about the dismantling of all New Deal/War on Poverty programs. NEVER HEAR IT IN MARYLAND----WOMEN LEAD IN THESE ISSUES.
Maryland Women’s Legislative Caucus: The First in the Nation
Author: Jill Moss Greenberg 1 February 2012 The Women Legislators of the Maryland General Assembly, Inc. celebrates its 40th Anniversary this year. Established in 1972, “to foster cooperation among women holding state legislative office and to increase the participation of women in politics.” our Maryland Women’s Caucus was the first of any state in the nation. The founders and members of the Women’s Caucus have earned our congratulations and appreciation.
The Caucus was founded at a time when it was difficult for women to obtain legislative leadership roles, despite being elected by their constituents in the same way as the male legislators, and despite similar years of service in the legislature. The newly issued history of the Caucus notes that, as of the early 1970s, women were completely shut out of key positions in both the Maryland Senate and House of Delegates.
After numerous complaints from women legislators, women’s commissions and other women’s organizations, then Speaker of the House, Thomas Hunter Lowe, decided to appoint the first woman chair of a House committee. In front of the assembled delegates, Speaker Lowe announced that he was appointing the first woman chair, Delegate Pauline Menes of Prince George’s County, as Chair of the Ladies Restroom! To add insult to injury, he proceeded to present Delegate Menes with a fur-covered toilet seat as a symbol of her new “leadership” position. Menes managed to turn this around by stating that, since she was now a chairperson, she assumed she would be included in the Speakers’ leadership meetings. After she attended the first House leadership meeting following her appointment, she was notified by Speaker Lowe that she was not to continue to attend—because the men were uncomfortable having a woman present!
Moved to action by this lack of inclusion of women in state-level legislative leadership roles, a shortage of women in other elective offices statewide, and significant disparities in the number of women appointed to Boards and Commissions at local, county, city, and state levels, the Women’s Caucus was established in 1972. Twelve women legislators were among the pioneering founders: Senators Rosalie Silber Abrams, Mary L. Nock, Margaret C. Schweinhaut, and Verda Welcome, and Delegates Hildagardeis Boswell, Ann R. Hull, Helen L. Koss, Lena K. Lee, Lucille S. Maurer, Pauline H. Menes, Margaret A. Murphy, and Loretta Nimmerrichter. Today, the Women Legislators of the Maryland General Assembly has fifty-eight members and is 31 percent of the Maryland General Assembly.
The mission of the Caucus is: To improve public policy that affects women’s lives and increase the number of women elected and appointed to public office in Maryland. The Caucus continues its important mandate: to research and develop legislation assisting women; to encourage the greater participation of women in Maryland government; and to communicate and cooperate with other women’s organizations.
In 1985, the Women’s Caucus joined with the Maryland Black Caucus for the first time “in a successful effort to increase funding for programs dealing with teenage pregnancy, maternal health, and infant mortality. Also in 1985, the Caucus joined with the Maryland Commission for Women to establish the Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame, now housed at the Maryland Women’s Heritage Center in Baltimore.
During the four decades since its founding, the Caucus has provided leadership in significant legislative priorities, including many of particular relevance to women. The women’s issues should sound familiar to all of us: centers for displaced homemakers, rape law reform, protection for battered spouses, property rights, pension and insurance equity, and strengthening the Maryland Human Rights Commission. Economic well-being, health care services including developmental disabilities, child care, juvenile services, prison reform, employment practices and pay equity, family violence and sexual offense legislation, and human trafficking were some of the issues that have been—and continue to be—addressed. These women have been dedicated, strong and tireless in their commitment to better the lives of women and girls throughout the State of Maryland. Their efforts, in turn, have improved the lives of every family and community in our state.
To Delegate Susan C. Lee, current Caucus President, to Marsha Wise, Executive Director, and to all of the members—past and present—of the Women Legislators of the Maryland General Assembly: we send hearty congratulations and profound thanks for a job well done and for what we know you will achieve this year and in the future to address ongoing and emerging issues of importance to all Marylanders.
Please access the Caucus’ website for additional information on this incredible group of women and their work: www.WomenLegislatorsMD.org
Jamal Bryant is known to be Mayor Rawlings-Blake's right hand man----he is a young Al Sharpton who even in the 1970s civil rights movement was called a 'poser and self-promoter' -----everyone knew Sharpton was a Wall Street tool. He made himself the voice all over the nation taking the spotlight from local black leaders as happens in Baltimore with this Jamal Bryant. His voice is heard because Baltimore Development and Johns Hopkins knows he will not use his voice against THE GORILLAS IN THE ROOM. Then we see these very 15 black ministers tied to the corruption and policies killing Baltimore communities receiving funds for a youth center----controlling the mentoring of youth. This is Clinton/Obama neo-liberalism controlling black churches just as Hillary is controlling our women's organizations. WE THE PEOPLE----MAKING UP OVER 80% OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY---MUST STOP ALLOWING THESE NEO-LIBERALS CAPTURE VITAL SOCIETAL STRUCTURES----INCLUDING BLACK CHURCHES.
Most of the funding pouring into Baltimore after these riots are going to the same crony structures operating in all of the fraud and corruption creating the injustice in our social services as with my homeless friend. When these leaders come out every election to support the most crony of politicians----then being the ones receiving all the funding for youth mentoring ----neo-liberals are grabbing into the next generation ----- It is critical for social Democrats to build outreach to youth at every level-----universities are being filled with the Clinton Initiative especially here in Baltimore----as is happening in the black communities. These are the target populations Clinton/Obama neo-liberals are desperate to control.
Freddie Gray youth center, mentors aim to protect Baltimore children this summer
$1.1M youth center, hundreds of mentors among efforts to protect Baltimore's children.When April Hopps' son, Jordan, graduated from high school, he left Baltimore. He had grown up, she said, believing the city "didn't have anything for him."
Hopps is proud of her now 21-year-old son's accomplishments — getting into college in Miami, completing an internship with a major sports network — but she wants to make her hometown a better place for youngsters to grow up.
As the city, state and other groups spend millions of dollars to step up summer outreach to children following Freddie Gray's death and April's civil unrest, Hopps and hundreds of other volunteers are working with community and faith leaders to create opportunities for them and keep them safe from violence.
The Empowerment Temple is converting a building in Bolton Hill — where Hopps has been volunteering — to a children's center named for Gray; it will offer free meals and camps. Volunteers are flocking by the hundreds to Big Brothers Big Sisters, offering to mentor youths in Sandtown-Winchester, where Gray was arrested.
Others are collecting money, food and school supplies for some of the city's poorest neighborhoods. A fire dispatcher in the city donated $30,000, and raised even more from businesses, to revitalize the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center in West Baltimore. And the 300 Men March, a community group that takes to city streets to de-escalate violence, is recruiting for its youth leadership program, which pays adolescents to take training in peer-to-peer mediation and other violence prevention methods.
Gray, 25, died a week after sustaining a spinal cord injury while in police custody, leading to protests and then riots that prompted officials to declare a state of emergency, deploy the National Guard and implement a citywide curfew.
Ten children have been killed in the city this year, up from seven during the same period last year. The number of children wounded in shootings has jumped to more than 20 this year from three during the comparable period last year, according to City Councilman Brandon M. Scott, the vice chair of the public safety committee.
Hopps and Gail Evans were among the volunteers who have spent recent days painting bright colors on the walls of the Freddie Gray Children's Empowerment Center, in the former Labor Union headquarters building on Eutaw Place.
Murals and gardens in Sandtown-Winchester "Playing outside in Baltimore City is no longer safe," Evans said. "This is a place to feel safe and to have adult supervision."
The massive building has more than 40 rooms, including nine classrooms, a computer lab, a game room, seven offices and a main hall and an auditorium that can each fit 300 people.
The center will offer three free camps, starting Tuesday: a course teaching science, math, language arts and computer skills; a cultural arts program featuring painting, music and creative writing; and an athletic camp with basketball, indoor soccer, fitness and weight training. Programs for younger kids will take place in the morning and afternoon; teenagers will be able to stay until 10 p.m.
Volunteers at the center will also hand out 500 free meals a day to local children ages 8 to 17.
The Rev. Jamal H. Bryant, the Empowerment Temple's pastor, said the church put the building up for sale two years ago but took it off the market after the unrest. When Bryant told his large Northwest Baltimore congregation about the idea for a youth center, they donated nearly $30,000 in one day, he said.
"Part of what it is we're endeavoring to do is be a lamplight example of what can be done when the community comes together," he said.
The renovations will cost about $50,000, Bryant said. He said the church has won a grant to provide the food, which volunteers will serve at breakfast and lunch.
Children must register to attend, and volunteers will canvass poor westside neighborhoods to sign them up, Bryant said. Volunteers will be required to undergo background checks to be involved.
Joseph Greene, the Empowerment Temple's maintenance facilitator, said the center will be an escape for kids who don't have a place to go when they aren't in school.
"At a time where if you turn on the news, it's so much violence outside, I think kids really need a safe house," he said. "This will be a nice, happy, safe house for that time period, where they can come in and feel free to not worry about what's going on on the outside."
The city's youth curfew allows for children between 14 and 16 years old to stay out until 11 p.m. on weekends and in the summer, and 10 p.m. on school nights. Children under 14 must be off the streets by 9 p.m. year-round.
Gray's death and the ensuing unrest grabbed international attention and galvanized many to take part in volunteer work in some of the city's poorest neighborhoods.
More than 600 people have asked to become mentors with Big Brothers and Sisters of Central Maryland since Gray died. That's about two years of volunteers in two months, said Terry Hickey, president and CEO of the nonprofit group.
"There's a far greater sense of urgency" among those who apply, Hickey said. Applicants are rapidly completing the paperwork and background checks needed to mentor a young person with the organization.
Ashlee Banks, a 23-year-old news anchor for WEAA, Morgan State University's NPR affiliate, is among those who signed up to volunteer with the organization.
"The Freddie Gray situation made me want to help," said Banks, a Howard County resident. "I know I can extend my hand to help a young woman growing up in Baltimore City or County."
Kevan Marvasti, 34, who moved to Baltimore about two months ago, also signed up to become a mentor with Big Brothers and Big Sisters.
He and his wife had been living in Germany before moving to Baltimore, and had vowed to become involved in volunteer work here. Gray's death helped cement Marvasti's desire to pitch in.
"We have the opportunity to help shape a kid's life, to empower them to let them know they can achieve," said Marvasti, a consultant living in Brewer's Hill.
Even children have been inspired to help Sandtown.
Jason Byrd, a sixth-grade student at New Market Middle School in Howard County, is raising money to provide school supplies and uniforms to students at Gilmor Elementary, a school a short distance from the location of Gray's arrest.
Jason toured the school with his mother and was struck by the poverty of the surrounding community.
"It seemed way different than you would think of Baltimore … than the skyscrapers and stadium where we normally go," he said. "There were no playgrounds for kids, but lots of liquor stores."
Jason's father, Eric Byrd, helped him set up an online fundraiser called Jason's Backpacks for kids at the school. The 12-year-old has raised more than $5,000 of his goal of $40,000 — which will cover new backpacks, uniforms and school supplies for the school's 328 students.
Women have always come out in majorities for social democracy-----and even the polls that try the hardest to make it appear women are supporting Hillary cannot move that figure high enough The importance of a national election and platform of social democracy is what allowed Obama to win over Hillary---again women moving to Obama. So, the Democratic base want a social democrat----it is simply being made hard at the state and local level after a few decades of Clinton control of the Democratic Party.--especially in cities like Baltimore that has such a crony political pay-to-play simply working for institutions.
Rebuilding social democracy must start locally and statewide as we press for a social democratic President
AMONG THE BERNIACS07.29.151:00 AM ET
Bernie Sanders Builds a People’s Army
Across the country, left-wing activists and veterans of the Occupy movement are organizing for Bernie Sanders—and think the Vermont socialist can topple Hillary.Every year since 2000, Tyson Manker has voted for the winning presidential candidate. And this year, he’s got his sights set on Bernie Sanders.
Manker, a Marine Corps veteran, co-founded the group Veterans for Bernie and said he’s confident the Vermont senator will make it to the Oval Office.
“You could say I’ve got a pretty good history of picking the president, and my support is enthusiastically 100 percent behind Bernie Sanders,” he said. “I expect him to win the nomination.”
Manker isn’t alone. According to organizers, more than 150,000 people have RSVP’d for house parties Wednesday evening to listen to a simulcast from the Democratic presidential candidate and coordinate their volunteer efforts. And what Sanders lacks in funds—he raised about $15.2 million this quarter, while Hillary Clinton raked in more than three times that figure—he may make up in true believers with experience in grassroots organizing. This is not a fluke; some of the most dogged pro-Bernie volunteers are alums of the Occupy movement, where they honed their activism skills.
“The graduates of Occupy are now skilled organizers,” said Katherine Brezler, a Yonkers schoolteacher and national digital organizer at People for Bernie.
She said some of the core organizers at People For Bernie—a grassroots group unaffiliated with Sanders’s campaign that works to mobilize Sanders volunteers—first met in Zuccotti Park during the 2011 Occupy Wall Street protests.
“After Occupy, people didn’t just go and sit in a hole,” Brezler said. “After Occupy, people became very involved in their communities and broadened their skill sets, broadened their networks, and now are revisiting a new campaign with revived interest in electoral politics because the candidate is speaking the language of their issues.”
There are numerous constituency groups in the People For Bernie family, said organizer Stan Williams. They range from those representing essential constituencies—including Women for Bernie, African Americans for Bernie, and Labor for Bernie—to slightly more niche groups (the Deadheads for Bernie Facebook page had 1,308 likes at press time). And they relish their independence from the official campaign.
“You could write terrible things about me and no one’s going to care because I’m not Bernie,” said Charles Lenchner, one of the co-founders of People For Bernie. “We’re free. We use that freedom to do what we can.”
Sanders supporters slam Clinton for limiting debates
That includes curating social media content, training constituency groups, helping smaller organizations write press releases, and generally cheerleading pro-Bernie efforts around the country. They also reach out to some constituencies where Sanders has struggled—especially African-American voters. Nadya Stevens, who works with African Americans for Bernie, said her group is angling to increase Sanders’s name ID among black voters while reminding them of the damage that Bill Clinton’s tough-on-crime policies incurred.
“The Clinton administration—and that includes Hillary—did some terrible things that adversely impacted the black community,” she said.
She added that she thinks Bill Clinton recently apologized to the NAACP for that legislation because it was the politically expedient thing to do.
“At the end of the day, Hillary supporters will be Bernie supporters after the primary.”“I think that he’s doing that for Hillary because Hillary’s not going to do it herself,” she said.
As for organizers’ levels of confidence in the likelihood of a Sanders presidency? They vary.
“I have so little faith in the system to begin with,” Lenchner said. “I would just say that an election is an opportunity to organize, and the organizing that we’re doing is likely to have an impact for years to come.”
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Brezler, the Yonkers schoolteacher who said she spends 19 hours a day working on the pro-Bernie efforts because school is out, is more bullish.
“I’m really excited about this possibility and I believe that we will win,” she said.
She added that volunteers are in for the long haul.
“We also know that it’s important to practice self-care and to encourage your teammates to go for a walk, and to check in and have a normal non-Bernie conversation from time to time with people,” she said.
“At the end of the day, Hillary supporters will be Bernie supporters after the primary,” she added.
But not all Sanders backers would jump to Team Clinton. Manker, an independent who voted for both Bush and Obama twice, said he would consider voting Republican again if Democrats nominate Clinton.
“I have yet to meet or speak with a single veteran or military person who supports Hillary Clinton for president,” he said, adding that Clinton’s false claims that she ran through sniper fire in Bosnia still anger veterans.
“That’s not a minor deal,” he continued. “That has not gone away. For everyone who has ever served in combat, to attempt to put herself in our shoes without ever taking the time to hear our stories does a disservice to all of those who have given their lives and have served in the line of duty.”
“Nothing bugs a combat veteran more than someone claiming to also be a combat survivor who wasn’t,” he added.
And Rand Wilson, a volunteer at Labor for Bernie, has found hope in a funny place.
“Who would think that Donald Trump would be taken seriously?” he said. “If you’d asked me two months ago, is anybody going to take Donald Trump seriously, I would have said, ‘Are you crazy?’ That guy’s out of his mind. But look what’s happening. It’s weird.”
Winnie Wong, a co-founder of People for Bernie, said the next two months are key to their efforts, and that the crowds and volunteers Sanders has attracted mean his presidential prospects are likely being underestimated by the political media.
“This is unprecedented, this is amazing,” she said. “And what happens next, I think, will be historical.”