Mpls. Black America forum moved to meet Sanders crowd

A Friday forum on issues facing black Americans that will feature presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has been moved to a north Minneapolis high school partly to accommodate more people.

The Neighborhoods Organizing for Change forum will focus on questions of race, economic investment and equity, which are major issues this campaign, said Executive Director Anthony Newby.

“It’s essentially a conversation about his plan to reinvest in America,” Newby said. “He’s referenced big dollar amounts, trillion dollar figures. We think that’s great, but we want to know specifically what’s his plan to direct those funds to communities that have historically been passed over for those types of investments and, in particular, his plan for the black community.”

Only about 1,200 people will be able to fit into the event at Minneapolis Patrick Henry High School. It was originally going to be held at the Capri Theater on West Broadway Avenue, which could fit an audience of only about 400 people.

Free tickets will be available at NOC’s office at 1101 West Broadway Avenue in Minneapolis starting at 4 p.m. on Thursday.

For those who can’t make it into the event, Newby said it will be streamed live online. He said there have been requests from as far away as Nevada and Chicago by groups of people wanting to organize parties to watch the forum.

Presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declined to participate in the forum. Newby said he hopes she’ll attend a future event.

Neighborhoods Organizing for Change has not endorsed Sanders.

“This is not a Bernie Sanders rally,” Newby said. “It’s really an attempt to get a candidate to engage on this issue, have it anchored in a community that’s been historically, and even very recently, the center of a lot of these racial disparity gaps.”

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