By Michael Corcoran

Anna Callahan is an organizer with infectious energy and an unceasing desire to act. The Berkeley resident was so motivated by Bernie Sanders’s presidential run in 2016 that she quit her job and volunteered for the campaign full-time. Since the campaign ended, she got a tattoo of Sanders’s iconic hair and glasses and has continued to fight for his agenda — this time from the bottom up.

“Our goal is to create thousands of Bernie Sanders and fill all levels of government with incorruptible service leaders who represent the needs of the 99 percent.”

Callahan, who is speaking about this approach at the Democracy Convention this week, recently co-founded a new group called the “Incorruptibles,” which aims to build a progressive base in cities and towns across the nation to help run candidates for local offices: in state houses, city councils, planning commissions, select boards and more. “There is only one Bernie Sanders,” she told Truthout. “Our goal is to create thousands of Bernie Sanders and fill all levels of government with incorruptible service leaders who represent the needs of the 99 percent.”

The Incorruptibles, which hopes to focus on base building in local chapters so there is a permanent infrastructure of support for candidates in each area, is just one of many organizations that have sprung up since the Sanders campaign to embrace the “down-ticket strategy.” The idea is that by starting off with local offices, over time a generation of like-minded politicians who seek to fight for the people, instead of for the ownership class, will emerge up the ballot as well.