I’m hard wired as an optimist, but today—post-Super Tuesday and after a 72-hour period which saw Bernie Sanders drop from the definitivie presidential front runner to underdog—has really put this to the test.
These results should be a major wake-up call for our movements along with some hard questions we need to ask of ourselves. I am pulling myself away from any woulda, coulda, shoulda, results of Texas, Maine, Massachusetts, and Minnesota and instead offer these five positive thoughts and action ideas.
- BOTTOM-UP VICTORIES: First off, while all the focus is on this never ending Presidential race, elections happening on the local level actually have huge impacts on our communities and also can represent our future candidates for larger offices. On Super Tuesday, Rights & Democracy VT had 11 of our 13 endorsed candidates win seats as city councilors, school board and select board members.
- WE CAN STILL WIN THIS: This primary has been all over the place and gone full circle. There is no reason to believe Biden could not implode again as a candidate, his victories were the result of key endorsements strategically coordinated by the political establishment. What started as a huge field is now a two-way race. Bernie Sanders is the most popular politician in this country, and still has the largest base of contributors, volunteers and people’s organizations behind him. Let’s get out the vote in Michigan and send another contribution.Volunteer: https://berniesanders.com/volunteer/Donate: https://secure.actblue.com/donate
- OUR JOB IS THE SAME NO MATTER WHAT: If we are left with a President Sanders, President Biden or tragically, four more years of Trump, we have the same exact job of organizing to help unite our communities and lift up the voices of those most impacted by the issues we are fighting to win. No matter who is president, we will need local mass organizing and recruiting movement candidates for Medicare For All and a Green New Deal which will need to be implemented on every level. One thing we can do is help build for the largest climate strike in history on Earth Day. If you want to work with RAD on this, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
- OUR MOVEMENT IS BIGGER THAN CANDIDATES AND ELECTIONS. We have the tall order of uniting our communities into a transformative people’s movement. A movement centered around a just transition away from capitalism’s destruction of the planet and toward an economic and political system that creates thriving communities for all. “The ruling class isn’t trying to stop Bernie, they are trying to stop the unification of the working class. Remember that.” – Nijmie Dzurinko
- STRONGER PEOPLE’S MOVEMENTS: Tens of thousands of people have been trained as organizers, have knocked doors, phone banked, text banked and talked to their friends and neighbors to get out the vote. There will be a new generation of movement candidates like Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley who come out of this movement no matter who wins. And we will build even stronger grassroots people’s movement organizations that are rooted in local communities but part of a network across this country and beyond. We have come far since 2016, but still are just scratching the surface.
PS: Check out this video of the co-chair of the Rights & Democracy Board Alison Nihart, speaking at Bernie’s rally in Vermont.
PPS: This is the best tweet I saw today:
— James Haslam, Executive Director, Rights & Democracy
In case you missed our email from yesterday, here’s some other good news:
Super Tuesday was a win for Bernie.
And for all of us.
We have so much gratitude for the dedication of our members and allied organizations. From Town Meeting Day races to the presidential primary, you showed up and put in the work – knocking on doors, making phone calls, and having conversations with friends and family. This is how we build a movement for change. We are honored to be doing this work with you.
We can’t stop now.
You can count on us to keep growing our movement into November and beyond, and we are going to need your help.
So take a moment to breathe, celebrate, and recharge. Then let’s keep going, supporting each other and stronger than ever.
Thank you for being a part of this movement with us.
Together We Win!
In addition to Bernie winning big in Vermont, 11 of 13 other RAD-endorsed candidates won their races on Town Meeting Day! In Burlington, seven of our eight candidates won their races: Ali Dieng, Zoraya Hightower, Brian Pine, Jane Stromberg, and Max Tracy for city council, and Aden Haji and Monika Ivankic for school board. In Rutland, Kevin Kiefaber and Cathy Solsaa won seats on the school board and Michael Talbott was elected to the Board of Aldermen. In Bennington, Bruce Lee Clark was elected to the Selectboard. Thanks to all our candidates for stepping up to run and our members for supporting them!