Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and former Vice President Al Gore made a campaign stop at the Kendall Campus gymnasium, on Oct. 11, a week before the Florida voter registration deadline.
Before Clinton and Gore came to the stage the crowd chanted: “Sí se puede” (Yes we can), “Hillary” and “I’m with her.” With a focus on the critical issues surrounding climate change, the speakers also urged the audience to vote Democrat in Florida.
“Your vote really, really, really counts,” Gore told the 1,600 people in the audience. “You can consider me exhibit A. If you are not registered to vote do so today. If you are on the fence about whether to vote remember what is at stake in this election and if you think your vote doesn’t matter, take it from me, your vote can make all of the difference.”
Gore was referring to the 2000 presidential election, in which he lost the Electoral College vote in spite of winning the popular vote. The case went to the United States Supreme Court where a 5-4 decision, after a recount of votes in Florida, made George W. Bush president. Once again, Florida is considered a crucial swing state with Clinton and Trump making numerous campaign and fundraising stops here. The College has played host to multiple election events.
At the Kendall Campus event, the audience ranged from toddlers to senior citizens. It was a racially and religiously diverse encounter including white, black, Latino and Muslim people. Some held signs that read “I’m with HER,” but the vast majority frantically held up signs that read “Stronger Together.”
Whenever the Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump was mentioned, the crowd booed.
“I can’t wait to have Al Gore advising me when I’m President of the United States,” said Clinton, who spoke about clean energy and the economy. She mentioned the importance of bringing solar energy to the Sunshine State, which largely abstains from the energy source in comparison to states like New Jersey and Massachusetts.
The rally included opposition voices.
“Bill Clinton is a rapist!” a heckler screamed, but the audience quickly responded by chanting for Hillary Clinton.
Other protestors who interrupted Clinton were escorted out by the secret service.
Gore told the crowd to vote against Amendment One on the Nov. 8 Florida ballot. It has caused a large controversy because it holds accusations of misleading voters. It reads: “Amendment One would benefit the incumbent fossil fuels companies here in Florida by making it harder for homeowners to go solar.”
The stage was also shared with an MDC student.
“I want to make this state the progressive state that I know it can be,” said Miguel Zamudio, 18, a political science major at the Honors College at Kendall Campus. He spoke about the importance of immigration reform and the lack of quality in textbooks at public schools. Zamudio plans to become a Florida senator or serve in a public service position to help the country.
Among the other speakers were South Miami Mayor Philip Stoddard, Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, and Florida House of Representatives for District 109 Cynthia Stafford.
“I was just curious to see how everyone acted and see what [Clinton] had to say about climate change, and what Al Gore had to say,” said Isabella Rodriguez, a supporter of Donald Trump who registered to vote at Kendall Campus that same day. “Pretty much just wanted to see the environment and the atmosphere of the rally today here at this area.”
Other students who attended are still on the fence.
“I’m still not really sure for who I’m going to vote for, but I wanted to hear her side. I wanted to see her. It was a great experience,” said Joshua Elias, 18, international relations major at the Honors College at Kendall Campus. “Coming here changed it a little. I’m looking at things a little bit different.”
Early voting at certain locations begins on Oct. 24. For more information on polling place locations see miamidade.gov/elections
EDITOR’S NOTE: The Reporter attempted to get press credentials for two Donald Trump campaign events held in Miami within the past month but was denied access both times.