Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders held a digital rally Monday (March 16) where he stressed the importance of local music and emerging artists. During the livestream, musicians Neil Young, My Morning Jacket's Jim James, The Free Nationals and actress Daryl Hannah appeared in support.

Not that Sanders has ever shied away from his affiliations with underground subculture or punk rock. But during Monday's rally — which one can see down toward the bottom of this post — the United States senator emphasized local music's impact on the arts, as reported by music critic Liz Pelly on Twitter.

"All over this country, we have met so many great musicians," Sanders said. "Some of them, like Neil and Daryl, are internationally known. Some of them may only be known in their community — a small band."

He continued, "If we make it into the White House, what we will do is more than increase funding for the arts — that's easy. But what we will try [to] do is integrate the arts into the culture, into who we are as Americans."

Pelly went on to point out Sanders' previous championing of the arts. In a 2016 video for the nonprofit Arts Action Fund, the politician said he would be "an arts president" and underscored his standing on the matter.

"I will continue to advocate strongly for robust funding of the arts in our cities, schools, and public spaces," Sanders said after explaining how he helped to create the Burlington Arts Council when he was mayor of the Vermont city. "Art is speech; art is what life is about."

Sanders is currently pressing on in the race against former Vice President Joe Biden to become the Democratic presidential nominee in 2020, as The New York Times reported. Amid the Democratic Party's ongoing presidential primaries and caucuses, Biden leads in estimated delegate count.

Berne Sanders Digital Rally With Neil Young + More (March 16, 2020)

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