In the gym at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, the crowd clapped excitedly and chanted “I’m with her,” while people whooped and yelled and screamed.
With wide eyes and a raised finger, Hillary Clinton called back “and I’m with you,” which was met with raucous applause and cheering from the audience.
This was the spirit of the Women for Hillary Town Hall that the presidential candidate hosted along with Flatbush Congresswoman Yvette Clarke.
Present were various elected and public officials, including City Councilmember Laurie Cumbo, Public Advocate Letitia James, NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray, and Congresswoman Yvette Clarke -who co hosted the event with Clinton.
The event served to illustrate Clinton’s views on issues like social justice, criminal justice reform, women’s rights, reproductive rights, gun control, and the war on drugs, in which the former Secretary of State attempted to position herself as the most equipped candidate to take on issues that minorities and women primarily concern themselves with.
“Too many of our sons and daughters are being taken away from us by the courage of gun violence. This is not a fight that we can back down on,” announced Clarke before introducing Clinton.
Clinton spoke at length about women’s rights, emphasizing her positions on abortion rights, equal pay, and anti discrimination measures.
“My goal as your president is to knock down every barrier for everyone. We still have a long way to go before we can really say to our daughters that you can really be whatever you want, including president of the United States,” she said.
Clinton spent a great deal of time attacking Donald Trump and Republicans in general, illustrating her strategy to largely ignore her primary opponent, Senator Bernie Sanders, instead campaigning as if the nomination was already secured. She did, however, attack Sanders in a small segment of her speech.
“I’m not promising free college. Because if you look at the fine print from my opponent’s plan, it reads that governors have to chip in a third of the cost in. I know a lot of republicans who just wouldn’t do it. And when I say affordable college, I don’t mean that rich people like Donald Trump will send your kids to college -you’ll do that yourself. I mean affordable,” said Clinton.
Asked about their support for Clinton, the audience mainly cited similar reasons -more experience, more realistic plans, more implementable plans, more foreign policy expertise, and that she’s a woman.
“I’m a democrat. I’m a woman. I don’t like Trump,” said Estcher Nunez, a professor of political science at the college. “We need to unify people in terms of ethnicity, and we want to transcend these stigmas and barriers. Hillary is a realist. I believe that her policies are implementable.”
Clinton has been campaigning actively in New York, having just hosted a rally in Harlem at the Apollo theater last week. After losing Wisconsin to Senator Sanders yesterday, she is in danger of losing what was once a large lead in New York State. With a looming debate coming next week, the two are going to continue to campaign at a breakneck pace.
The winner of the New York Primary could very well be the winner of the nomination.