by Michelle Salvador is from Worcester, Vermont, and is the founding chair of Rights & Democracy. Janice Kelble is from Franklin, New Hampshire, and is a founder of Rights & Democracy in New Hampshire.
Rights & Democracy is a new regional grass-roots, community-based organization in Vermont and New Hampshire that is proud to have endorsed Bernie Sanders for President. We launched this organization because the political revolution Sanders has called for must be broader than his campaign, and go beyond electoral politics. Ultimately, it is about building on every level — Congress, state legislatures, municipal government, and year-round grass-roots organizing to push forward on an agenda after all the ballots have been cast.
Senator Sanders’ slogan “Enough is Enough” has sparked a nationwide insurgency within the Democratic Party base. His campaign includes a broad agenda that mirrors the struggles of people’s movements. For decades, Sanders has stood with our communities and grass-roots organizations working for positive change. He has been with us pushing for the minimum wage to be a livable wage. He has joined us at countless picket lines to stand up for working families. He has rallied with us against corporate greed.
Sanders has been at the forefront talking about the critical need to address climate change, showing early leadership on renewable energy and a willingness to take on powerful fossil fuel interests. He has partnered with us to say health care is a right. Like us, he believes in a universal Medicare-For-All system for everyone by eliminating waste and profits. He is calling to abolish for-profit prisons, combat racism, and overhaul our broken criminal justice system. He is pushing for tuition-free public college and to invest in public infrastructure by taxing Wall Street.
We thank Senator Sanders for bringing so many of us together through his campaign and his call for a political revolution. In many ways he has already won — he has started something in our communities that will continue to build the change we need. Organizations like Rights & Democracy are using the national attention on Sanders to push his agenda at the local and state level, and the stakes are too high not to give it everything we have. We hope you will join us.
published Times Argus Feb 29, 2016 - http://www.timesargus.com/article/20160229/OPINION04/160229648