Voter Profiles: Reno Activist Feels The Bern

Dec 30, 2015

Theresa Navarro, a local political activist, volunteers at the Bernie Sanders campaign in Reno.

Ahead of the 2016 election, we're profiling local voters to find out what issues are most important to them. Just a few days after Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders made his second stop in town, Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey caught up with a local political activist who's feeling the Bern.

In a purple sweater with matching eyeshadow, Theresa Navarro is brimming with energy as she make calls at the Bernie Sanders campaign office in Reno. Navarro is a retired political consultant and full-time activist who's lived in Nevada for 45 years.

"Last year I was arrested twice, protesting on immigration," she says, laughing. "I work on immigration, I have for 15 years, so that's a very important issue for me."

The daughter of Mexican immigrants, Navarro says she's involved in a number of other causes and organizations.

She was drawn to the Sanders' campaign after attending a protest in Washington, D.C. to increase the minimum wage. That’s when she noticed the Vermont senator was actually standing in the crowd.

"That really struck me as something that, 'Here's a man — a senator — and he actually was walking with all of us and he spoke," she says. "And I really believe that he is concerned the middle class and lower class and all of us that are struggling."

Navarro has a history of supporting alternative candidates. Before joining Obama's bid in 2008, she backed former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson.

Hillary Clinton still holds a commanding lead over Sanders in polls, but the senator has been adding more staff and opening more office in the state ahead of the Feb. 20 caucus.