SAN FRANCISCO – Fourteen of the two dozen Democratic presidential hopefuls spoke at a two-day California Democratic Convention here this weekend, 12 of which called for bold change while two others offered more moderate views which the audience didn’t seem to care for.

Many of the party’s frontrunners attended, including Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT, and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, both of whom drew standing ovations during their speeches. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, former San Francisco District Attorney, state Attorney General and California Sen. Kamala Harris, along with Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, all took their turn at the podium. Author Marianne Williamson attended but did not share her views from the stage. Former Vice President and frontrunner Joe Biden attended a Human Rights Campaign event in Ohio instead.

Warren and others, including Buttigieg and Sanders, took advantage of Biden’s absence to take subtle swipes at him for not attending the convention. California will figure prominently in next year’s primary given lawmakers have moved up the date from June to March when Californians go to the polls to determine how the state’s nearly 500 delegates will vote at the Democratic National Convention.

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and Maryland Rep. John Delaney both were booed by the crowd after they came out against Medicare-for-all proposals. Hickenlooper told NPR, “We know this is not a popular message with a certain portion of the Democratic Party, but I think it’s a message that’s got to be said.”

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee followed Hickenlooper, and quickly changed the tone by declaring, “I am a governor who doesn’t think we should be ashamed of our progressive values. His speech, which embraced his signature issue of climate change drew raucous applause.

Speaking at a candidate forum away from the convention, Julián Castro, former mayor of San Antonio, said he hoped his running for president would inspire other Latinxs not to fear the president.

“That’s one of the reason I’ve determined in this campaign that we’re just going to be fearless,” he said.

Warren, a strong and consistent rival to Sanders’ progressive message, offered herself as an uncompromising fighter, touting plans for tax hikes for the richest Americans and zeroing out mounting student loan debt, which has crested $1.5 trillion.

Warren spent Friday evening at a rally in Oakland, just across the San Francisco Bay, and then used the convention to proclaim, “We will not be a party that nibbles around the edges.”

In 2016, Sanders was a virtual voice in the wilderness for progressive ideas, and he did well in California against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In this election cycle, Sanders’ pioneering progressive positions have been adopted by more and younger candidates, leading one local party activist, John Foster, who voted for Sanders in 2016 to say, “Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden feel a little tired to me.”

During an interview with POLITICO, Harris explained how she was seeking to appeal to progressives in California who didn’t support Clinton in 2016 and were drawn to Sanders, who lost the Democratic nomination to Clinton. The Californian drew large and enthusiastic crowds wherever she went, saying “They’ve been with me, shoulder to shoulder, arm and arm, through many fights together.”

Former Texas Rep. Robert “Beto” O’Rourke stumped for a higher minimum wage to free America’s working class from wage “bondage.” Buttigieg, the youngest candidate in the field at 37 argued he doesn’t fit the “dictionary definition” of a presidential hopeful that’s been “marinated in Washington.” He added, Democrats cannot promise a replay of the 1990s and early 2000s just as Republicans can’t “take us back to the 1950s.”

Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota touted her family’s union roots while attending a meeting on labor.

On Friday night in Oakland, Harris’s hometown, more than 6,000 lined the street for a half mile to pack Warren’s rally on a soccer field. Many of the Baby Boomers and Millennials in the crowd sported T-shirts emblazoned with “Persist,” or carried signs that read, “She Has A Plan,” which has become Warren’s slogan, since she consistently comes to rallies and is seen on the Senate floor with detailed plans for most of her platform.

At a forum on Saturday sponsored by, Booker proposed his “baby bonds” plan to mitigate wealth inequality by giving newborns savings accounts that are added to each year. He also has come out strongly on gun control through a federal registry, and called out locally-based social media companies in nearby Silicon Valley to not “become platforms for racism and bigotry.”