There are currently 7,383 state legislators in the United States. Nine of them are affiliated with the Vermont Progressive Party. One of them is an independent from Alaska who caucuses with the Democrats.
This is the grand sum of the left presence in American state legislatures outside the Democratic Party. There has been a single instance of federal-level victory in my lifetime—Bernie Sanders’s election as an independent to the U.S. House, then Senate, in Vermont. No one else has even come close. And Sanders, after 30 years as an Independent, elected to seek the presidency through the Democratic primary. Continue reading →
Bernie Sanders’ vision of a political revolution in which millions of people stand up and fight back against the establishment by getting involved in the political process is no longer an inspiring vision but a fact of life and a force to be reckoned with.
First there was the ‘yooj,’ historic Women’s March the day after Donald Trump was sworn in as president of the United States organized by Planned Parenthood and other establishment liberal groups.
Just kidding. Here’s the short version of how the DNC delegates are elected:
The State Executive Committee (SEC) drafts a Delegate Selection Plan that is used to pick delegates to the DNC. The only stipulation for this in the state party’s Plan Of Organization is that an even number of men and women are elected as Delegates (section 7.02).
SEC members are elected by the Executive Committees from each county.
The County Executive Committees are made up of a few elected officers and the elected precinct Chairs.
This means the more precincts that are chaired by progressives, the more voting power progressives have to change the party platform, put more progressives in leadership positions at the DNC and state level, and get corporate money out of the DNC.
TL;DR: Changing the Democratic Party starts at the precinct level!
Steve Early’s Refinery Town is a compelling read on multiple levels. It paints an interesting portrait of Richmond, CA (pop. 110,000), a Bay Area city that is home to a massive Chevron refinery. It also works as a journalistic deep dive into contemporary municipal politics, with a cast of reformers and establishment actors clashing over approaches to problems in a city wracked by disinvestment, toxic waste, corruption, and crime.
In November 2016, the Richmond Progressive Alliance (RPA) won a majority on the City Council, overcoming massive campaign funding for their opponents by Chevron. Continue reading →
Reblogged from Talking Union. Written by Steve Early and Rand Wilson.
Bernie Sanders’ segue from presidential candidate to barnstorming author was seamless. In between the Democratic National Convention in July and hitting the stump this fall to boost Hillary Clinton’s stock in battleground states, Sanders cranked out a 450-page book, which hit bookstores November 15. The author was not far behind, with sold-out appearances from Boston to San Francisco.
This thesis is the story of Bernie Sanders, the socialist mayor of Burlington and his campaign for governor of Vermont in 1986. The campaign is used as a prism to explore his version of socialist politics and policies within a capitalist state. The policies which Sanders developed in this campaign for lowering property taxes for middle and lower income people, increasing social spending, increasing citizen participation, and raising the taxes for wealthy people and corporations are examined in detail. Sanders claims that city governments can work for poor and working class people; however, this thesis demonstrates the difficulties leftists have in getting elected and in implementing policies whenever they do win. In conclusion, I examine the questions about left participation in the electoral process, the autonomy of the state, and what socialist municipal and state policies should be.