How to Take Over Your Local Democratic Party Step by Step

By MrBrainStorm.

Do you want to change which people get elected to the Democratic National Committee (DNC)?

Read this for all of your answers!

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!

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How Richmond Progressive Alliance Broke Chevron’s Stranglehold over Local Politics

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Book review by Ryan Haney, first published by Talking Union.

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

Bernie Sanders’ Book Offers Roadmap

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.

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Burlington’s Political Revolution and Bernie Sanders’ Forgotten Run for Governor

Thesis by Catherine Alison Hill

ABSTRACT

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.

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All of Our Revolution’s Down-Ballot 2016 Victories

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Our Revolution (OR) bounced back from a rocky start and survived the Trump wave on November 8 to help elect 56 down-ballot progressives and rack up 23 progressive victories in ballot initiatives all over the country. OR endorsed a total of 106 general election candidates and worked for/against 31 ballot initiatives, achieving a success rate of 53% and 74%, respectively, in OR’s first general election. Additionally, OR backed 9 candidates in primaries and 7 of them won. (The full list of OR’s 2016 wins and losses can be found at the bottom of this post.) Continue reading

Bernie Sanders on Capitalism, Radicalism, and How Progressives Win (1987)

The following is a December 1, 1987 interview with then-mayor Bernie Sanders by the Gadfly, a University of Vermont (UVM) student newspaper. It is reproduced for the first time here in full  with addition of relevant hyperlinks, images, and video.

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Gadfly: How did you in your youth view electoral politics, both on a national and on a local level?

Sanders: I don’t think any differently than anybody else in my family, my family was a reasonably non-political family. So the issue: electoral/non-electoral was not relevant. When I was a kid, I think I was reasonably sensitive to the plight of the underdog. Both within the context of classrooms as well as nationally: Black people, Native Americans, these sorts of issues.

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Radicals in the Democratic Party from Upton Sinclair to Bernie Sanders

By James N. Gregory. First published by The Conversation.

As we watch Bernie Sanders’ supporters struggling to come to terms with the nomination of Hillary Clinton, it makes sense to ask why leftists are involved in the Democratic Party in the first place.

It started in 1934 when Upton Sinclair, author of “The Jungle” and a socialist for most of his life, announced that he would run for governor of California as a Democrat. This began a unique relationship that has been important to American politics ever since.

Why unique?

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