Political Revolution, Flooding a Town Hall Near You

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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.

Then there were the protests against Trump’s travel ban at airports throughout the country that were more spontaneous than the Women’s March but still required legwork by working-class and immigrants’ rights groups to get off the ground. Continue reading

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 57 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

Sanders Activists Energize Struggles in the South

By Mike Elk, senior labor reporter at Payday Report and member of the Washington-Baltimore NewsGuild. This article is reposted from Talking Union with the permission of the blog’s owner.

CHATTANOOGA, TENNESSEE – Khristy Wilkinson, a 34-year-old, tattoo-adorned, stay-at-home mom, doesn’t look like your typical Eastern Tennessee politician. Before this year, she had never even considered running for public office, but says that she was inspired to run by the success of Bernie Sanders.

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Until recently, Wilkinson was an adjunct philosophy professor teaching at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She has been active in her community, Highland Park, for years, and has been disturbed by the changes gentrification has brought to her neighborhood.

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Don’t Mourn, Organize!

The way Bernie Sanders is mishandling the endgame of his 2016 presidential campaign is almost criminal.

First, he promised after losing the California primary to press on, to continue fighting for the nomination all the way to the convention floor in Philadelphia. Then he unexpectedly reversed him and endorsed Hillary Clinton at a joint event in New Hampshire just before the convention but at the same time did not suspend his campaign. Now he has been reduced to pleading to his own delegates via text message not to boo and jeer during Clinton’s coronation.

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Political Revolution Comes to Brooklyn

By Nicole Disser. Originally published by Bedford and Bowery. Primary day is September 13, 2016.

To meet with Debbie Medina, New York’s first Democratic Socialist candidate for State Senate, I was invited not to a campaign office, nor a public appearance, not even to join her on a campaigning stroll through the 18th district, but to Medina’s Williamsburg apartment– specifically, her dining room table. Here, she advised me not to take off my shoes. “You’ll ruin your socks if you do that,” she laughed.

It became clear to me immediately that Debbie Medina, who’s running her second grassroots campaign to snatch the 18th-district seat in the fall, isn’t at all like other politicians. For one, hers isn’t the sort of practiced, regal charisma that most politicos have– a perfect grin and an unerring face, both provided with extra protection from the elements by a layer of effervescent self-assurance so infectious that if you’re not careful it can briefly paralyze your capacity for doubt, and turn you into a nodding, agreeable dimwit.

Medina is not only an unusual candidate because she’s a member of the Democratic Socialists of America (an organization that recently endorsed her campaign), but because she doesn’t really look like most other politicians (white, old, male) or carry herself like them either– in fact, at a recent public meeting filled with City and State leaders (in such high concentration that the place felt like a police academy graduation ceremony), Medina tiptoed into a seat amidst all the bigwigs and began talking in a low voice, which drew the apparent ire of a woman seated in front of her. True, Medina didn’t really fit in with all the suited-up men around her, but something about the way she didn’t seem to notice or care, and the way her unwitting audience seated ahead might as well have been clutching actual pearls, that made it seem like Medina’s just keeping it real. Continue reading