Bernie Sanders hosts town hall on college affordability in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The halls of the Hilton in San Francisco's Union Square were alive with presidential candidates Friday night.

Sen. Kamala Harris, Sen. Cory Booker, Tom Steyer and Andrew Yang were just some of the 2020 hopefuls seen maneuvering from caucus meeting to caucus meeting making their pitch to Democratic National Committee members during the second day of the Party's summer conference.

RELATED: Candidates face opposition on Day 2 of Democratic summer meeting in San Francisco

"Work, work, work," Booker said when asked what he needs to do to win in California. "The more people hear about me, about my message of unity, of healing, of bringing this country together, helping define what we're for not defined by what we're against, these are the kinds of themes that are inspiring folks and helping us to gain more and more momentum."

Blocks away from the DNC meeting, Senator Bernie Sanders addressed 1,400 supporters in a warehouse for a town hall on college affordability.

Most of the people in attendance said they planned to vote for Sanders, but San Francisco resident Sean Doran said she's still shopping around.

Asked what he was hoping for at the town hall, he replied, "I guess to be inspired."

That feeling was shared by many.

Cosimo Fabrizio is a student at Cornell University who attended the DNC meeting. He said he's leaning towards Vice President Joe Biden, but is still exploring his options.

"The one good thing that's come out of this is everyone's super excited," Fabrizio said. "Senator Harris was able to rally the crowd."

RELATED: Senators Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker speak at DNC event in San Francisco

Wendy Davis, a member of the DNC from Georgia, is in a similar position.

"The biggest surprise to me today was Andrew yang," Davis said. "You know, we have so many talented folks it's hard to pick between them."

Another common theme of the DNC meeting: climate change. Young activists want the party to allow for a climate debate. It was voted down, but even candidates told ABC7 News they support it.

"I mean, I'm ready for a climate debate if it comes up," Senator Harris said, "And I think it's one of the most pressing issues facing us and probably one of the most urgent reasons why we need a new president."

The DNC summer meeting, hosted this year in San Francisco, is the last time the DNC will meet before the convention next summer where the Party will nominate a presidential candidate.

RELATED: Chaotic scene as DNC votes down climate change debate at San Francisco meeting

Thirteen presidential candidates addressed party members Friday. There was one front-runner noticeably missing: Vice President Joe Biden, who skipped the conference to campaign in New Hampshire.

"I think it might be a little bit of a strategic error," Davis said of his decision. "We all love Uncle Joe, right? So I think maybe he missed an opportunity to be here, but it's a long campaign and a big country to cover."
Copyright © 2022 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.