Clinton hopeful Bay Area visit will help expand lead over Sanders

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- All three presidential candidates were in California on Friday. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was in the Bay Area for another visit. It's a sign of how important California has become in the race for convention delegates.

Candidate Hillary Clinton's convoy pulled up to the rear of the Home of Chicken and Waffles, avoiding the hundred or so supporters outside and the handful of supporters for her opponent, Bernie Sanders.

Clinton attracted a relatively small crowd outside the restaurant on West Embarcadero and Broadway, across the street from Jack London Square. Inside, Clinton said this visit was all about Oakland.

"I want to be a champion for Oakland and all the Oaklands of America. Places that have challenges like any other part of our country, but, places that are coming together," said Clinton.

RELATED: Huge turnout for Bernie Sanders rally in Southern California

She met with a panel that includes religious, education and business leaders, along with Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, a Clinton supporter, who had a few requests to make.

"I asked for more flexibility in spending federal funds, particularly when we try to help people make more positive life choices. They face a variety of barriers so one size doesn't fit all," said Schaaf.

Several other community leaders took part in the discussion, including the city's superintendent of schools and the leader of the East Oakland Youth Development Center.

Recently, Donald Trump made headlines for calling Oakland one of the most dangerous places in the world, a comment that received a sharp rebuke from Schaaf and Clinton.

"I want to be a champion for Oakland and all the Oaklands of America, places that have challenges like any part of our country and any kind of human endeavor. But places that are coming together. We are stronger together when we work together," Clinton said.

Working with Bernie Sanders supporters may prove to be a great challenge to Clinton. A few protesters showed up outside the event.

RELATED: Donald Trump holds rally in Downtown Fresno

"The Democrats will likely unify soon, but it's really important that concessions are made," Sanders supporter Ajit Smith said.

Clinton has watched what was once a big lead over Bernie Sanders shrink from double digits to just a couple of points, with the California primary a week and a half away on June 7.

Volunteers at Sanders Oakland campaign headquarters think he has a chance to win it, but some have a backup plan if he doesn't.

"I think a third party is another option. I think a lot of people would go Independent if Sanders chose that route," said one Sanders' supporter.

Clinton's next scheduled appearance in California is June 6, the day before the primary election.

For full coverage on the presidential election, click here.

Copyright © 2021 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.