Sanders Supporters Vocal on Day 1 of DNC

On the first day of the Democratic National Convention, the Illinois delegation is divided among Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders supporters, and the latter are divided on whether or not to get behind the party's presumptive nominee. 

Sanders supporter Troy LaRaviere, a former Chicago Public Schools principal who is now head of the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association and critic of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, says he has nobody left at this convention to vote for and is considering the Green Party candidate.

"I came into the Bernie campaign based on issues and I'm still going to be fighting for those issues: Fighting to make sure that we don't have trade policies that put us in a race to the lowest wages, that we recognize health care as a human right, [and] that we have education policies that support our public education system," LaRaviere said.

But Sanders' former Illinois campaign manager, Clem Balanoff, says the fight was successful because it forced the Democratic platform to move further to the left. Balanoff says a Trump campaign would be the worst possible outcome for Sanders supporters.

"We hope they really all start to come around for Hillary over the next few days," Balanoff said.

That sentiment was echoed by Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, who is also a Sanders supporter.

Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia (Evan Garcia / Chicago Tonight)Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia (Evan Garcia / Chicago Tonight)

"If we want to win and have a Supreme Court with current American realities, if we care about a living wage, health care for all, public education, then the choice is supporting Hillary Clinton,” Garcia said.

Sanders himself was booed at a convention hall earlier Monday afternoon when trying to rally his convention supporters around Clinton. The Democratic National Convention itself got off to a chaotic start as loud chants of "Bernie! Bernie!" drowned out the delegates chanting "Hillary!" 

It was up to Illinois delegation 'whips' like Ald. Danny Solis to get Clinton supporters to cheer and wave signs during convention speeches to counteract the support coming from the Sanders delegates.

Sanders sent a text message to his own delegate whips urging an end to the floor protests for the rest of the night.

"I ask you as a personal courtesy to me to not engage in any kind of protest on the floor," the text reads. "It is of utmost importance you explain this to your delegations."

Join “Chicago Tonight” for continued coverage of the Democratic National Convention all week.

Follow Paris Schutz on Twitter: @paschutz


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