|Predecessor||Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, 2016|
|Bernie Sanders, Jane Sanders, Jeff Weaver, Bill McKibben, Nina Turner|
Our Revolution is an American progressive and social democratic political action organization spun out of Senator Bernie Sanders' 2016 presidential campaign to continue its work. The organization's mission is to educate voters about issues, get people involved in the political process, and work to organize and elect progressive candidates. Our Revolution is also the title of a book by Sanders released in November 2016.
The organization officially launched on August 24, 2016, designated as a 501(c)(4), with a presentation that was live-streamed online via YouTube to meetings across the country and shown by Free Speech TV.
Our Revolution's three main goals are:
More specifically, the organization aims to create, support, promote and elect progressive candidates from school board to US Senate; support and help pass progressive ballot measures; create, train and mobilize activists; and protest things such as oil pipelines and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The progressive issues Our Revolution promotes are almost identical to those of Sanders's 2016 presidential campaign: reducing income and wealth inequality, working for single-payer healthcare, reducing the price of prescription drugs, instituting a $15 minimum wage, expanding Social Security, creating jobs, and making public colleges and universities tuition-free. The organization will support minority rights, specifically African American, Latino and Native American rights, including government respect of treaties with Native Americans. Organizations that support Our Revolution include People for Bernie, National Nurses United, and the Communications Workers of America, among others.
The organization's staff include chairman Larry Cohen and president Jeff Weaver. Erika Andiola, the Sanders campaign's Latino press secretary, has joined the organization's communications staff. Our Revolution's 501(c)(4) designation prevents Sanders from playing a role in the organization because he is an elected official.
On August 29, 2016, the board of Our Revolution was announced as:
At the start, the organization faced a significant staffing challenge as eight of its initial 15 staffers left before the launch when Weaver was chosen as president. They objected to the way he had handled Sanders' presidential campaign and to his decision to make Our Revolution a 501(c)(4). Some staffers also left in protest of a lack of diversity among the organization's leaders. The remaining staff was subsequently joined by an additional three staffers, bringing the total to ten.
During the 2016 election, the organization supported several ballot measures and candidates, with $1.3 million raised. Of the 106 candidates and 34 ballot initiatives Our Revolution supported, 58 candidates and 23 ballot initiatives won in 2016. Our Revolution, like Sanders, opposed the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump. After Trump's election, Our Revolution issued the following statement:
We will do everything in our power to ensure that the president-elect cannot ignore the battles Americans are facing every single day. Our job is to offer a real alternative vision and engage on the local and national level to continue the work of the political revolution in the face of a divided nation.
Sanders himself announced, "I intend to work with President Trump on those issues where he will, in fact, work for the middle class and working families of this country. I will vigorously oppose him if he appeals to racism or sexism or some of the other discriminatory measures that he brought up during his campaign."
Chairman Larry Cohen cited populist sentiment and cautioned that political and economic elitists may face backlash in upcoming elections.
In January 2017, Our Revolution activists worked in local elections in California to advance Sanders' populist agenda. Executive director Shannon Jackson said, "We are going to continue to do this around the states".
Several progressive organizations, including Fight for 15, Justice Democrats, Democratic Socialists of America, National Nurses United, Working Families Party, and Brand New Congress, announced in July 2017 a push to encourage House Democrats to sign on to a #PeoplesPlatform, which consists of supporting "eight bills currently in the House of Representatives that will address the concerns of everyday Americans." These eight bills and the topics they address are:
Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act
College for All Act of 2017
Raise the Wage Act
Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH Woman) Act of 2017
Automatic Voter Registration Act
To improve Federal sentencing and corrections practices, and for other purposes.
Inclusive Prosperity Act of 2017
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