Six national unions and 107 state and local union bodies endorsed Bernie. ‘Labor for Bernie’ is intending to fight on. This JPR Labor group welcomes ideas and debate on how unions can participate in the Revolution, promote progressive policies and influence the coming presidential, congressional and local elections.
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I received this from Labor for Bernie. I think it is very important that unions back more progressive candidates in congressional and local elections.
Our Revolution is just getting started
With the Democratic convention over, our Bernie Sanders-inspired campaign for “political revolution” moves on to its next phase.
Everyone who supported Labor for Bernie should be proud of the unprecedented grassroots effort to rally rank-and-file members on his behalf. With Larry Cohen’s tireless leadership and our network of tens of thousands of supporters (largely recruited via our website and social media), we campaigned in nearly every union to get organizational endorsements for our candidate.
Six national unions and 107 state and local union bodies endorsed Bernie. Just as important, Labor for Bernie activists kept many Internationals and the AFL-CIO on the sidelines during the primaries; enabling their members to more actively support Bernie.
But it wasn’t just about endorsements. Labor for Bernie was an all-volunteer army; a movement of members and leaders who took on the labor establishment. Labor for Bernie activists formed cross-union groups in dozens of states and many cities. They generated strong working class support for Bernie’s candidacy and carried his message into thousands of workplaces. We worked independently of the Sanders campaign, but in tandem with it.
Particularly in the later primaries (WI, IN, PA, CA) our workplace outreach helped to identify new Bernie supporters and get them to turn-out on Primary Day. In many states, the majority of union households went for Bernie, often accounting for his margin of victory.
More than 250 Labor for Bernie delegates from 37 states attended the Philadelphia convention (and undoubtedly there were many more). Labor for Bernie leaders played a key role in fighting for a more progressive platform and changes in the rules that could make the Democratic Party a more open and populist party in the future.
At the convention, our network of delegates carried 2,000 signs onto the convention floor opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and helped orchestrate “No T-P-P” chanting that briefly brought the convention to a standstill. It captured the attention of all the delegates and the national news media.
Several articles written after the convention highlighted the importance of Labor for Bernie’s role in the Sanders’ campaign and at the convention.
The political revolution doesn’t end in Philadelphia
The union members allied with Labor for Bernie now face the dual challenge of decisively defeating Donald Trump and stopping the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) treaty.
Yet, as Bernie argued at the Convention, we can’t allow this election to become only about the differences between Trump and Clinton. Wherever possible, we have to continue to inject our issues into this general election campaign.
And that’s where “Our Revolution,” a new organization that is emerging from the Sanders’ campaign, comes in. It will continue to bring together a new majority for economic and social change by supporting candidates at the local, state, and national level who support the mission, issues and values of the Sanders campaign.
Sen. Sanders will provide more specifics in a “live stream” video presentation set for the evening of August 24. Bernie’s volunteers in the labor movement are urged to host an event in your union hall or living room to help kick off “Our Revolution” and lead this effort. An email with more details will be sent from the campaign soon. Be sure to also let Labor for Bernie know if you plan to host an event by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As Labor for Bernie transitions to the future, we’d like to get your feedback about your priorities – and what you are ready to do in the days ahead.
Please fill out — and share — this short online survey indicating your post-campaign priorities, in terms of labor-related issues and political work.
We’ve all learned a great deal from Bernie’s campaign about how our unions might engage in politics in ways that enhances membership involvement and organizational clout, rather than reducing it. When labor organizations decide to endorse candidates, after a democratic process open to the entire rank-and-file, it changes the whole dynamic of union-based political activism. As a labor network strongly in favor of this approach, there is much that we can still do, together, at the local, state, and national level to back electoral campaigns inspired by Bernie’s run for president.
We look forward to hearing from you, about your individual or group plans, and collaborating further in the future.
Please take a minute to take this short online survey to tell us how you want to keep the revolution moving forward.
Labor for Bernie
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