NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent, officially kicked off his 2020 presidential campaign at Brooklyn College, in the borough where he grew up.
The lines of people waiting to be part of the rally included first-time voters, people from all walks of life and all ages and many who are seeing this campaign as a very personal one.
"I watched my mother almost die," Nicole Rubino said.
Rubino traveled from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, to show her support for Sanders and his platform for universal healthcare, especially for her mom.
"She was arguing with the doctor about whether or not to go into surgery because she couldn't afford it," Rubino said. "He had to talk her into emergency surgery so she wouldn't die of sepsis."
Rubino is among the hundreds in line, many who are feeling the Bern: Sanders' campaign motto.
"Bernie! Bernie! Bernie come to the 'Boogie Down Bronx!" shouted one woman.
"I'm offering up blank signs so people can express themselves!" hollered another woman.
"Thank you all for being part of a political revolution, which is going to transform America," said Democratic Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders.
Sanders first ran in 2016 but lost to Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination. His platform includes free college for all, raising the minimum wage, tax cuts for the middle class, to name a few. He also doesn't accept donations from corporate PACs, only his supporters.
Critics say that he is more a socialist than a Democrat.
"It's not because we're into a 77 year old dude from Vermont who says the same things for 40 years. It's because he stands for something bigger," one supporter said.
"I'm a first-time voter and I'm trying to make an informed decision," said a man, who traveled from Albany.
"I came mostly out of curiosity. I can't say I'm supporting for 2020," said a Brooklyn woman.
"I think he can do a lot for this country," said a New Jersey native.
"At least for me, I'm a father of two children. So I want them to have a world they can grow up in," said Louis Nunez from Staten Island.
"If we stand together believing in justice and human dignity, if we stand together believing in love and compassion, if we stand together, brothers and sisters, the future of this country is extraordinary. There's nothing we can't accomplish," said Sanders in his closing remarks.
Sanders said he hasn't forgotten where he came from. In fact, officially announcing his presidential run in his hometown of Brooklyn.