‘People’s organizations from coast to coast are flexing our political muscle together to help elect Bernie Sanders.’
by Jake Johnson
A diverse coalition of progressive advocacy groups has launched what it is billing as “the largest independent mobilizing commitment for any candidate” in order to turn out an additional 1.4 million voters in a slate of key primary states on behalf of Sen. Bernie Sanders and the working class movement his campaign has built.
Called “People Power for Bernie” and launched just days ahead of Monday’s Iowa caucuses, the voter mobilization effort was organized by nine progressive groups representing millions of people across the U.S.: Center for Popular Democracy (CPD) Action, People’s Action, Dream Defenders, the Sunrise Movement, Make the Road Action, Our Revolution, Democratic Socialists of America, Progressive Democrats of America, and Student Action.
“This is the political revolution in action,” Natalia Salgado, political director with CPD Action, said in a statement. “Black, Brown and working people are the core of Sanders supporters. Together, this powerful network of organizations will ensure that Sanders becomes our nominee.”
“People’s organizations from coast to coast are flexing our political muscle together to help elect Bernie Sanders,” Angélica Romero, a member of immigrant group Make the Road Action, said in a statement.
Salgado stressed that the grassroots mobilization will continue into the general election against President Donald Trump if Sanders wins the Democratic nomination. “When he does,” Salgado said, “we will work together to ensure that our political future includes us all – Black and Brown people, women, immigrants, working people, queer, trans and gender non-conforming people.”
The coalition said it plans to knock on doors, host rallies, phone bank and organize on college campuses in key states and districts across the U.S., including the crucial early-voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina; delegate-heavy Super Tuesday states like California and Texas; and battleground states like Michigan and Wisconsin.
The groups will operate independently of Sanders’ presidential campaign.
“People’s organizations from coast to coast are flexing our political muscle together to help elect Bernie Sanders,” Angélica Romero, a member of immigrant group Make the Road Action, said in a statement. “With his commitment to stopping deportations that are tearing communities apart, standing up for workers and tenants, and ending the school-to-prison pipeline, Sen. Sanders has struck a chord with immigrants, Black and Brown, and working-class voters across this country.”
“We will be knocking on thousands of doors in critical primary and caucus states like Nevada to make sure our voices are heard,” said Romero.
The grassroots initiative comes as Sanders continues his polling surge in the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire as well as nationally.
A national Wall Street Journal-NBC News survey released Friday found that Sanders is narrowly leading the Democratic presidential primary field, just a percentage point ahead of former Vice President Joe Biden.
“Bernie Sanders’ campaign is about more than one election. It’s about changing politics and shifting power from corporations and billionaires to the working class,” said Megan Svoboda, chair of the DSA for Bernie Campaign. “But Bernie cannot do this alone.”
“To win this election and the demands that he’s running on, it will take a movement,” said Svoboda. “A movement that will mobilize historic numbers of young people, union members and working families across the country and keep fighting to the election, and then every day after.”
Jake Johnson is a staff writer at Common Dreams, where this story first appeared. Follow him on Twitter: @johnsonjakep.