I was a delegate to the Democratic Convention in Philly in July of 2016. Monday, the first day of the convention, was a tough day. Bernie wanted me to vote for Hillary, something I was loath to do. After much soul searching and some powerful remarks from my ADA mobility assistant, I decided to go ahead and try to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic. A few minutes after I decided to follow Bernie Sanders into the valley of the shadow of death and support Ms. Monsanto, I mean Hillary, for president, I left my hotel room to take my aide out to lunch. We walked down the street looking for a restaurant and noticed a sign pointed down a side street. It looked funky and local - just my style. When I got there, I found Bernie Sanders. I shook his hand. This really happened to me.
Clarification for people who continue to explain to me that the Democratic candidate for President cannot be trusted. Well DOH. I do not trust her. I am choosing the path that I think will allow me to be the most useful and effective. I think she and Obama are tools of Monsanto - I am working to change the power structure in the country using every resource available to me. I am keeping my eyes on the prize. We have to get beyond the point where we rely do NOT rely on leaders to manage our affairs. If they ARE trustworthy, they are corruptible. Look at Al Franken. He was good . . . now he's Monsanto in a funny suit. It is up to US to get organized and put/keep the pressure on - with phone calls, with delegation visits to Congressional offices, with boycotts, with petitions, with rallies, marches and demonstrations. With letters to the editor. With electing progressive candidates. My vote is not symbolic. I am working to take over the Democratic Party, to make it Progressive. Me and my kind already control 45% of the party. It should be a short step to get to 55%. Then WE control the party and the direction of the country. I want a CARBON TAX. NOW! I want HEALTH CARE FOR ALL. NOW! I want respect for PALESTINE. NOW! I want NO TPP, NO FRACKING, NO GMO, NO TAX CUTS FOR THE FOSSIL FUEL INDUSTRY (and the rest of those . . . corporations)
Los Angeles Times Op-Ed by Bernie Sanders 8/5/16 Bernie Sanders: I support Hillary Clinton. So should everyone who voted for me The conventions are over and the general election has officially begun. In the primaries, I received 1,846 pledged delegates, 46% of the total. Hillary Clinton received 2,205 pledged delegates, 54%. She received 602 superdelegates. I received 48 superdelegates. Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee and I will vigorously support her.
Donald Trump would be a disaster and an embarrassment for our country if he were elected president. His campaign is not based on anything of substance — improving the economy, our education system, healthcare or the environment. It is based on bigotry. He is attempting to win this election by fomenting hatred against Mexicans and Muslims. He has crudely insulted women. And as a leader of the “birther movement,” he tried to undermine the legitimacy of our first African American president. That is not just my point of view. That’s the perspective of a number of conservative Republicans.
In these difficult times, we need a president who will bring our nation together, not someone who will divide us by race or religion, not someone who lacks an understanding of what our Constitution is about. On virtually every major issue facing this country and the needs of working families, Clinton’s positions are far superior to Trump’s. Our campaigns worked together to produce the most progressive platform in the history of American politics. Trump’s campaign wrote one of the most reactionary documents.
What if Trump drops out?Clinton understands that Citizens United has undermined our democracy. She will nominate justices who are prepared to overturn that Supreme Court decision, which made it possible for billionaires to buy elections. Her court appointees also would protect a woman’s right to choose, workers’ rights, the rights of the LGBT community, the needs of minorities and immigrants and the government’s ability to protect the environment.
Trump, on the other hand, has made it clear that his Supreme Court appointees would preserve the court’s right-wing majority. Clinton understands that in a competitive global economy we need the best-educated workforce in the world. She and I worked together on a proposal that will revolutionize higher education in America. It will guarantee that the children of any family in this country with an annual income of $125,000 a year or less – 83% of our population – will be able to go to a public college or university tuition free. This proposal also substantially reduces student debt.
Trump, on the other hand, has barely said a word about higher education. Clinton understands that at a time of massive income and wealth inequality, it is absurd to provide huge tax breaks to the very rich. Trump, on the other hand, wants billionaire families like his to enjoy hundreds of billions of dollars in new tax breaks. Clinton understands that climate change is real, is caused by human activity and is one of the great environmental crises facing our planet. She knows that we must transform our energy system away from fossil fuels and move aggressively to energy efficiency and sustainable energy.
Trump, on the other hand, like most Republicans, rejects science and the conclusions of almost all major researchers in the field. He believes that climate change is a “hoax,” and that there’s no need to address it. Clinton understands that this country must move toward universal healthcare. She wants to see that all Americans have the right to choose a public option in their healthcare exchange, that anyone 55 or older should be able to opt in to Medicare, and that we must greatly improve primary healthcare through a major expansion of community health centers. She also wants to lower the outrageously high cost of prescription drugs.
And what is Donald Trump’s position on healthcare? He wants to abolish the Affordable Care Act, throw 20 million people off the health insurance they currently have and cut Medicaid for lower-income Americans. During the primaries, my supporters and I began a political revolution to transform America. That revolution continues as Hillary Clinton seeks the White House. It will continue after the election. It will continue until we create a government which represents all of us and not just the 1 percent – a government based on the principle of economic, social, racial and environmental justice.
I understand that many of my supporters are disappointed by the final results of the nominating process, but being despondent and inactive is not going to improve anything. Going forward and continuing the struggle is what matters. And, in that struggle, the most immediate task we face is to defeat Donald Trump. Bernie Sanders is the junior U.S. senator from Vermont.
TEXT OF THE EMAIL BLAST TO FREDERICKSBURG AREA FOR BERNIE SANDERS: Report from a Bernie Delegate I apologize in advance for the personal nature of this next section. I generally keep myself out of these emails, preferring to provide an objective and journalistic presentation. But in the case of this Report from a Bernie Delegate, I (Shelley Pineo-Jensen, Ph.D AKA Dr. P-J) was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention. This section is more subjective than your usual FABS email.
As per Bernie’s direction, I have identified a local progressive candidate – Matt Rowe. Please come to the next FABS meeting to learn more. I am hopeful that we will be able to support a school board candidate in Spotsy. Still looking for someone to step up to run for the Freddy school board in the Walker-Grant Middle School voting area.
The biggest accomplishment of the Progressive Wing of the Democratic Party (which was represented at the convention by 45% of the democratically elected delegates) was blocking the TPP. This is a HUGE success that requires bolstering. If you have not already called your Senators and Congressperson to tell him “No TPP” please take a moment to do that now.
My final answer is this: I’m #StillSanders and #ITrustBernie. Or to translate that into non-hashtag English, with great difficulty, I have overcome the obstacles in my mind to voting for Hillary Clinton for president because I am listening to Bernie Sanders. I recommend you join his newest group: https://ourrevolution.com/
LINKS TO BERNIE’S CONVENTION SPEECH:Video At 1:22 you can see some of my fellow Virginia Bernie delegates. At 5:02 a woman shouts “We love you Bernie” – that was me, Dr. Pineo-Jensen. At numerous points, starting at 14:01, you can hear your Virginia Bernie Delegation chanting “Bernie, Bernie, Bernie.” Virginia was seated in the front left section of the audience and we Berners were in the back of that section. You can hear us clearly in the video. At 28:25 he talks about the elements of the platform that the progressive wing was able to accomplish:
breaking up the major financial institutions on Wall Street,
the passage of a 21st century Glass-Steagall Act, and
strong opposition to job-killing trade agreements like the TPP.
At 28:50 you can hear our Virginia Berners, joined by many others, chanting “No TPP” and the video shows some of our “No TPP” signs. At 30:21 you can see me, Dr. P-J, in the lower right of the frame. I’m hold a “No TPP” sign, wearing a white baseball style Bernie hat, and a white T with rainbow Bernie (that most of you have seen.) NO TPP! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0tVD87cZew
LINK TO A POST-CONVENTION INTERVIEW:Link to video of Bill Mayer’s post-convention interview with Bernie in which he pushes for advancing the progressive agenda within the Democratic Party. Skip the first anti-Trump part and pick up at 2:29: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHCe7Muy7MU
Posted 8/5/16 (morning)
Neil Young sang "They give you this but you pay for that."
Our Tootsie Pop politicians (like Hillary) will give us what we want on social issues, but we pay for it with corporate domination. That is why Team Hillary fought so hard to keep those three little letters, TPP, out of the Democratic Party Platform. They did NOT want be held accountable on the TPP.
And the Progressive Wing of the Democratic, BERNERS if you will, chanted and waved signs ALL day on Monday, the first day of the convention. (Except when Michelle spoke which was stunning change in the temperature of the room.) The optics were disunity of the party. It was well covered by the media.
And on Tuesday, Day Two, the leadership of the party gnashed their terrible teeth and rolled their terrible eyes and then they did what they had to do to control the optics of the convention. They ceded on the TPP.
The party leaders signaled their defeat to the Berners in several ways, first when Nancy Pelosi gave an interview in which she said the TPP would not come to a vote during the lame duck session because “The Democratic Party opposes the TPP.”
On Wednesday, Day Three, party spokesmen (TPP supporters) – Congressman Connelly to the Virginia Bernie Delegation and Senator Chuck Schumer to the New York Delegation - confirmed that the TPP was dead, that it would not be coming to a vote in the lame duck session. And we won. We blocked the TPP. And I, clearly visible in the video of Bernie’s Convention Speech on Day One (link below), holding up my “No TPP” sign, chanting “NO TPP,” put down my sign and refrained from chanting on Day Three, because we WON. We blocked the TPP.
And I ask (again) that you to CALL YOUR SENATORS AND CONGRESS PERSON to consolidate the victory. Tell them “NO TPP” - Hillary’s against it, Tim’s against it, the Democratic Party is against it.
Here is the first material I published about the Democratic Convention, written during and immediately after the convention. =================== Here is some feedback and explanation, along with a primer on politics. FIRST SECTION – PLEASE stop thinking of this movement as something that depends on leaders. We will NOT win because a knight in shining armor comes to our rescue and leads us to victory. This is NOT about ANY one individual. Not even Bernie Sanders and certainly NOT Hillary Rodham Clinton. This is about YOU and ME, working TOGETHER to accomplish our goals, starting with the most critical issue of the entire time our species evolved to consciousness. =================== SECOND SECTION - Being a Bernie delegate was the most intense, most challenging thing I have done in my entire life, physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. I believe the sacrifices I and others have made* have been rewarded by the fact that the TPP is now effectively blocked from passage. During primary season, Bernie challenged Hillary to articulate a more firm opposition to the TPP, rather than accept the ambiguously worded statement she had earlier provided. Bernie delegates universally doubted her sincerity. When Tim Kaine became the Vice-Presidential candidate, he came out against the TPP. This also did not satisfy TPP opponenets. Perhaps they were motivated by the fact that by being pro-TPP, they position the anti-TPP Republican candidate as the lesser of two evils on the most important single issue of this time – corporate rule over countries in the name of profit empowered over humanity. At any rate, Monday at the convention saw waves of anti-TPP occupy-style protests sweep through the convention. The Democratic Party was embarrassed, confronting the reality of a divided party, live on prime time TV. Then, late in the day the media reported an interview in which Nancy Pelosi said she did not see how the TPP bill could be passed during the lame duck session when “The Democratic Party opposes it.” The next morning after the Virginia Delegate Breakfast, Representative Connelly visited the Bernie Sanders Delegation and said that the TPP was essentially dead in the water. That same morning, at the New York Delegation breakfast, Chuck Schumer was saying the same thing. Rejoice. The TPP is dead. And we did it, together. Keep calling your Senators and Congressperson. It ain’t over ‘till it’s over. Watch for the “Revenge of the TPP: TiSA and TIPP” . . . And wait for the sequel: “TPP 2: The Rise of the Zombies”
*Thank you go all the people who donated to me via GoFundMe and by direct donation. =================== THIRD SECTION (why Bernie endorsed early and more): I am still not recovered from the physical toll that convention has taken on my body. I will write later about what it is like to use ADA accommodations for mobility impairment while doing the people’s business in a city far from home, ALONE.
But after finally getting the first extended sleep since Sunday night, I am mentally restored. It is 3:30 in the morning and I am refreshed.
When Bernie endorsed her, I was blown away. He said we would have a contested convention. He is a man of his word. I trust him. What the hell was going on?
When I experience that kind of cognitive dissonance (about a person I love) I do not rush to judgment, I ask questions. In this case I had to wait, and trust that all would be revealed.
Two days after his endorsement announcement, I was privileged by my status as a delegate to participate in a conference call with Bernie and thousands of other delegates. I wrote up that call in a report to you all. As I expected, there was a quid pro quo arrangement, but not the kind that is usual in politics. Bernie negotiated that early-endorsement-and-no-convention-fight NOT for himself, but for US. He will NOT be the next Secretary of State, for instance. He negotiated for US, for the platform that we got and more. I reported that at the time.
But it was US – the Bernie delegates who represented YOU at the convention, who extracted the TPP-cancellation concession out of the status quo wing of the party. We (the Progressive Revolution wing of the party) represented 45% of the democratically elected delegates – not enough to win ANYTHING in the committee meetings. What we got for you was negotiated out of their desire to have a united party, but more importantly their desire to have a convention with good optics to sell their candidate.
There were three main areas of the platform that were weak – Bernie was worried about the TPP. First and foremost was the TPP. He urged us to call our Senators and Congressperson, which I did. Then I wrote up a report on it and urged you to do the same. And his campaign hosted a TPP workshop the morning of Day One of the Convention. Jeff Merkley moderated it. Susan Sarandon was there. I was there. We got the TPP signs that you saw on the television. We chanted “No TPP” a lot. You know us. We chant a lot. And we went to the convention charged up and ready to do battle to block the TPP. And we WON.
So we have won this victory, but it is built on sand, as you well know. People keep asking “Do you believe them?” Of course I don’t. They want the TPP and they want it bad. But this is our moment.
We MUST consolidate this victory. If you aren’t reading about it on MSM, it is because YOU are not making it real. Write about it. Post about it. BRAG ABOUT IT! WE ARE THE MEDIA! The revolution will NOT be televised.
We brought Hillary to heel on the TPP. Get the word out.
In addition to publicizing and promoting this great victory and getting it into the mainstream narrative, CALL YOUR SENATORS AND CONGRESSPERSON. That is 3 calls. TALK TO A PERSON. ASK what the official’s position on the TPP is. If the official is against the TPP (and a Democrat), THANK HER. If you get an ambiguous or negative (She’s for “Free Trade”) answer- ask them to “Join Hillary and Tim in opposing the TPP.” Remind her that Nancy Pelosi said “The Democratic Party opposes the TPP.” If the official is a Republican, then just sell NO TPP with any argument of your choosing – your view. If you need more information about the TPP, I have a page on my website about it. Google Dr. P-J TPP and it should top of the list.
So quit stewing about Hillary. Review your Serenity Prayer vis a vis the things you can/cannot change. Put your armor back on and get back into the battle. I just spent a week in the valley of the shadow of death and let me tell you baby, there were zombies there . . . and I’M READY TO FIGHT AGAINST THE TPP to build on our YUGE WIN at the convention. Please help me. Dr. P-J
Suppression and Non-Conformity at the Democratic National Convention in Philly by Shelley Pineo-Jensen One of my fellow members of the Virginia Delegation at the Democratic National Convention asked me to write up my personal experience of oppression at the convention. I would frame it as attempts to elicit conformity for various purposes. I’m a non-conformist so I noticed the aggressions. Sometimes I am willing to compromise to keep things moving – here are the three examples of attempts to elicit conformity that affected me personally.
SEATING On the first two days, every delegate was guaranteed a seat. The first day we voted to approve the Credentials, Rules, and Platform Committees, all by voice vote. On the second day we voted by roll call vote for our candidate for President. After that, a delegate’s seat was not guaranteed. On the last two days, there were not enough seats for everyone in our delegation. My perception was that this effect was visited on the Bernie Delegation and not the Hillary Delegation. I was told that the two front rows of our delegation were given away to VIPs. I cannot be sure of that information, but I did notice a tremendous jockeying for seats. Our Bernie Whip was looking for seats to bring people in who were in the third level. I was told that if I left to use the restroom, I would lose my seat. For a mobility impaired person, the notion that I, my wheel chair, and my bags would be forced to move up into the top outer level of the arena, or else try to negotiate for a seat with one of the other delegations, was appalling and upsetting. Seating was a big issue for members of our Bernie Delegation and created additional stress on me personally. After attempting to negotiate to leave to use the restroom without losing my seat, our Bernie Whip messaged us that we would not lose our seats while using the restroom. I observed that Bernie Delegates who were gone for a while lost their seats and were replaced with Hillary Delegates.
TWEETING On Friday, I was sitting on the left-most seat of my Row. A Code Pink pro-Palestine protester came down the aisle right in front of me. She was chanting something, something, “Palestine” and I joined her, chanting “Palestine” four times, until the woman seated next to me told me to stop. Shocked, I asked why; she said that I should not draw attention to our Bernie delegation on this issue, and instead continue my focus on the TPP. I agreed and watched the mini-demonstration unfold. I was surprised that no security moved in quickly to remove the woman, who was clearly not a member of the delegations she had invaded. Then a woman with a “Kate” sign (the 11 X 17 kind) came up the aisle from behind me to put her sign over the banner of the Code Pink demonstrator. Immediately, eight or more people from our own Virginia Delegation (NOT Bernie delegates) leaped up, rushed in, and placed their long tall (7 X 37) Hillary signs in front of the woman’s banner and her, obscuring her from view. At this point, finally, I picked up my camera and started taking pictures. I took pictures until she was finally removed by security. In the photo (above) you can barely see the Code Pink protester's banner - it is pink (of course) in the center of the photograph. Then, in consultation with my seat mate, I posted the (above) best picture to FB and Twitter with the caption “A Code Pink pro-Palestine protester being suppressed by Hillary delegates.” I advised my seat mate to remove the word “Virginia” from her tweet, which she did. Within three minutes, the Lead Whip of our entire delegation came back to me, got on one knee and said “Shelley, I’d like to talk to you.” I didn’t know he knew my name. He said words to the effect of “You just tweeted about the protester being suppressed by Hillary delegates and that makes our delegation (did he say convention?) look like a Trump rally.” There was a back and forth, and it became clear that it was the word “Hillary” in the tweet that was most problematic for him. He made the point that if I wanted our party to win the election this wasn’t helping. I eventually agreed to take down the tweet, and he aided me (I usually tweet on my PC at home, and I’d never taken a tweet down on my cell before). The funny part is that he didn’t mention the FB post, which is still up. He made some attempts to get my seat mate to take down her tweet as well but it was me he approached directly, by name. This was a blatant and successful attempt to suppress my duty to report to my (200 followers/small) Twitter audience. I reckon that the threat of being kicked out of the convention was on the minds of every Bernie Delegate, as we skirted the edge of what was permissible. I thought it was odd that my tweet had to come down, but the tweet of my neighbor, well not so much. And of course someone else from our delegation had captured the whole thing on video and that was posted already. I took the tweet down because I don’t need to win every battle, I need to win the war.
MY TPP SIGN On Thursday our Bernie Whip approached me right after I was seated and asked me not to hold up my TPP sign any more. I pushed back, saying that I thought it was appropriate to hold it up when the topic of trade was mentioned, and that my position against the TPP was held by Hillary and Tim Kaine, and that according to Nancy Pelosi, “The Democratic Party opposes the TPP.” He said that the “No TPP” signs would still be out in full force in California and other delegations that were not in front view of the camera, and repeated the request. I complied because we won the Lame Duck TPP Vote battle, a major goal of Bernie and myself. I did hold up my “No TPP” sign while the balloons fell. This is a picture I took in that moment:
Wonkblog Nancy Pelosi Declares Opposition To Obama’s TPP Trade Deal The House minority leader joins Tim Kaine in uniting the Democratic ticket against the Trans Pacific Partnership. 7/26/2016 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/nancy-pelosi-tpp-trade-deal_us_5797ab5be4b01180b5307124 ============ How the TPP became the most divisive policy in the Democratic Party By Max Ehrenfreund July 26 Another objection deals with the Trans-Pacific Partnership's provisions on resolving disputes between national governments and foreign investors. The deal would allow multinational corporations to sue a national government in an international tribunal. Opponents say this language would not only erode national sovereignty, but also make it more difficult for policymakers to regulate multinational companies. For example, after the Obama administration rejected TransCanada's plan for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, the oil company sued under a similar provision in the North American Free Trade Agreement. The company is seeking $15 billion from U.S. taxpayers as compensation. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/07/26/how-the-tpp-became-the-most-divisive-policy-in-the-democratic-party/ ============
I am so grateful to those who have donated to defray the cost of traveling to Philly for the Democratic National Convention. ======== I have signed up for two workshops during the first day of the convention, both organized by the Sanders campaign. The first is on the “Trans Pacific Partnership and Fair Trade” and the second is called “The Revolution Continues: Progressive Candidate and Engagement Training.” I look forward to learning more and meeting like-minded progressives. ======== Bernie gave a great interview with USA Today – I recommend that you check it out. USA Today by Nicole Gaudiano 7/15/16
======== Here is a revised report on my fundraising. My expense projection was way off - I thought I could manage with $2000 but found that it is essential that I stay at the Loews hotel and not the cut-rate airport motel, and therefore would be required to stay Thursday night to get into the convention block.
CONVENTION EXPENSE PROJECTION AND INCOME REPORT as of 7/15/16 Item ~ Cost calculation ~ Total EXPENSES Hotel 7/24-7/29 ~ $469 for 5 nights ~$2345.00 Room Tax ~ 15% of $2345 ~$351.75 Mileage Fredericksburg-Philadelphia ~ 400 miles round trip for driver twice @$0.50 / mile ~$400.00 Meals and other expenses (per diem) ~ $40 per day for 5 days ~$200.00 Grand Total Expenses ~ $3,296.75 ($1296.75 more than my original calculation of $2000) INCOME GoFundMe ~ $1,281.00 less 9% GoFundMe fee ($115.29) ~$1,165.71 Cash donations ~ $348.00 ~ $348.00 Grand Total Income ~ $1,513.71 STILL NEED (Expenses less Income)~ $1,783.04
Report from a Sanders Delegate by Shelley Pineo-Jensen 7/13/16 I was privileged to participate in a Sanders Delegate Conference Call last night. Bernie Sanders outlined his plans going forward – plans that involve delegates specifically and plans that involve all of us who support a progressive revolution in this country. This report is a blend of what Bernie said and my interpretation and extrapolation of what he said and what was included in an email he sent covering the same territory. First to the delegate specific information: Roll Call Vote: I had submitted two questions before the call. Both of them were answered. One question related to a petition I had received and signed in opposition to the claim that we would be denied the opportunity for a roll call vote for the nomination – that the status quo group that controls most of the delegates would force a voice-only vote. Bernie resoundingly denied this would happen. He insisted that we will have a roll call vote and that furthermore it is very important that we show the country and the world the extent of support there was for him and his progressive platform: 1846 pledged delegates, 48 super delegates, 13,000,000 voters, won 22 states, “lost by a hair” in several more, won by significant majorities in all state primaries/caucuses among people 40 or younger in every demographic (White, Black, Latino, Native American, Pacific Islander), and received an unprecedented number of small donations. He made it clear that he wants every single one of his almost 1900 delegates to get to the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia and vote for him. I know I will be there to vote for Bernie and to advance our progressive agenda in any ways that I can. I would say that in his judgment, he does not have the delegates to win. If superdelegates had been awarded by a proportional vote, he would have lost that way too. He wants to build on this progressive moment and I want to help him. Floor Fights - Platform: I had also submitted a question about whether there was going to be a floor fight about the TPP plank of the platform. Bernie said that he did not think we could win a floor fight on any of the issues that we lost in the Platform Committee: the TPP, health care, the carbon tax, and Israel/Palestinian Justice. He felt the resolutions were “weak” but noted that The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) supports the “trade agreement” language. He covered the situation about the TPP at length, particularly his fear that it will come to a vote during the lame duck session of congress. He recommended that we pressure our elected national representatives to block any TPP vote, given that both he and Mrs. Clinton have publicly opposed it. He thought that the health care plank was a step in the right direction, with increased Medicare coverage and a public option He said that Mrs. Clinton had agreed to a doubling of expenditures for government funded health clinics including coverage of dental, mental health, and low cost pharmaceuticals. He felt that the climate change and Palestine language was good, as far as they went, but not strong enough. Although he was not satisfied with the weak language of these planks, he did not see any way we can win a floor fight on these issues. He claimed this platform as the most progressive in the history of the Democratic Party. In answer to another question, he said that yes, he will be speaking at the convention. He said that he was counting on us to be there to hear the speech. I am looking forward to it. Floor Fight – Rules: Bernie said that we might need (and could probably win) a floor fight around some issues that will soon be addressed by the Rules Committee. He is advocating for language that would do away with super-delegates and closed primaries as well as embrace the 50 state strategy (financial and other support for Democrat candidates in every state). He also wants to convert the party away from big money financial donors and costly TV ads and rely more on people power – a grass roots effort that welcomes young people and involves knocking on doors to achieve personal one-on-one contact. Bernie suggested that it may come to a floor fight on these issues and that we could win there. It is my opinion that if we had had open primaries with same day registration in all states, Bernie would have won the nomination handily. Bernie did not bring this up – it is not his way. He is moving forward to advance our progressive agenda. Second, I was very encouraged by Bernie’s comments about the future of the Progressive Movement: Progressive Revolution: Bernie was proud that millions of people, in voting for him, were advocating for progressive ideas like health care for all (single-payer not-for-profit) and free higher education with redress for tuition debt. He asked the question “How can we continue this political revolution” and then made a commitment to continue to be a leader of the progressive movement. He said that in the next few weeks organizations will be formed to support progressive candidates with both money and technical expertise. He pointed to the identification of progressive candidates in this election cycle, like Tim Canova, and then went on to suggest that we must start running progressive candidates for offices at every level of government. Yes, we need progressive candidates for the Senate and the House, but also for governor and state legislatures and especially for the most local of elections, school board, city council, county supervisor, etc. Probably the only funny thing that he said, but it did make me laugh out loud, was when he talked about working with the Clinton team in the negotiations to produce a progressive party platform. He said that “many of them are decent people.” Perhaps he did not mean to make that left-handed compliment . . . Finally, some commentary: #StillSanders: Bernie’s description of coalition governments in Europe was key in persuading me that he is on the right track. He was saying that as the leader of the Progressive wing of the Democratic Party, he and the Sanders members of the Platform Committee have negotiated the best platform they could. I have often wished that we had a multiparty system that forces political factions to form alliances and make pragmatic compromises to get things done. Bernie has made compromises that led to the progressive platform. He indicates that our best plan involves bringing the Democratic Party in alignment with our goals. So Bernie endorsed Clinton. Prior to the convention. After participating intensely in the primary, it will be difficult or impossible for some Sanders supporters to vote for Clinton. But let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater. It is a fact that the most expeditious path to progressive legislation in this country is by moving the Democratic Party out of the dungeon of status quo “incrementalism” and into the sunlight of progressive values. There is still time to halt “progress” towards the cliff of biosphere destruction and ecosystem collapse We still need NO TPP and NO FRACKING. We still need single-payer not-for-profit health care for all, income equality, fair taxes on corporations and the richest Americans, a carbon tax, free K-16 public education, restoration of Glass Steagall, an end to Citizens United, restoration of voting rights, demilitarization of our police, reform of our prison system, less war and more diplomacy, and a whole lot more. If you have not checked out Bernie’s Issue page – please review it. These are the values and goals that guide Fredericksburg Area for Bernie Sanders. https://berniesanders.com/issues/ http://drpj.weebly.com/bernie-sanders-on-the-issues.html
Personally, I will remain in the Democratic Party and join Bernie’s fight to change our party to reflect the goals and values of working people in opposition to the agenda of those who would enslave us and destroy our planet’s biosphere (the oligarchy/the 1%/the transnational corporations who foist the TPP on us). Save the date: Fredericksburg Area for Bernie Sanders continues to meet (usually on the third Monday of the month at the central library) to plan local actions and long term goals in support of the progressive agenda promoted by Bernie Sanders. This month we are meeting Monday, 7/18/16 from 7:00 to 8:45 pm. https://www.facebook.com/events/1734062683541927/ https://secure.berniesanders.com/page/event/detail/volunteeractivityormeetings/gpldyl
In conclusion, #StillSanders ~ Still going to Philly ~ gofund.me/25ffwja4 Shelley Pineo-Jensen
If you did not receive this email from Bernie Sanders, you may find it of interest: I am writing you today to express my deep pride in the movement – the political revolution – you and I have created together over the last 15 months. When we began this historic campaign, we were considered fringe players by the political, economic and media establishment. Well, we proved them wrong. We showed that the American people support a bold, progressive agenda that takes on the billionaire class, that fights for racial, social, economic and environmental justice and that seeks to create a government that works for all of us and not just the big campaign donors. We mobilized over 13 million voters across the country. We won 23 Democratic primary and caucus contests. We had literally hundreds of thousands of volunteers across the country. And we showed – in a way that can change politics in America forever – that you can run a competitive national grassroots campaign without begging millionaires and billionaires for campaign contributions. Most importantly, we elevated the critical issues facing our country – issues the establishment has pushed under the rug for too long. We focused attention on the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality in this country and the importance of breaking up the large banks who brought our economy to the brink of collapse. We exposed our horrendous trade policies, our broken criminal justice system, and our people's lack of access to affordable health care and higher education. We fought aggressively to address the crisis of climate change, the need for real comprehensive immigration reform, the importance of developing a foreign policy that values diplomacy over war, and so much more. We have shown throughout this election that these are issues that are important to voters and that progressive solutions energize people in the fight for real change. What we have accomplished so far is historic – but our work is far from over. This movement of ours – this political revolution – must continue. We cannot let all of the momentum we have achieved in the fight to transform America be lost. We will never stop fighting for what is right. It is true that in terms of winning the Democratic nomination, we did come up short. But this election was never about me or any candidate. It was about the powerful coming together of millions of people to take their country back from the billionaire class. That was the strength of our campaign and it will be the strength of our movement going forward in the months and years ahead. In the coming weeks, I will be announcing the creation of successor organizations to carry on the struggle that we have been a part of these past 15 months. I hope you will continue to be involved in fighting to transform America. Our goal will be to advance the progressive agenda that we believe in and to elect like-minded candidates at the federal, state and local levels who are committed to accomplishing our goals. In terms of the presidential election this November, there is no doubt that the election of Donald Trump as president would be a devastating blow to all that we are fighting for. His openly bigoted and pro-billionaire campaign could precipitate the same decades-long rightward shift in American politics that happened after the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980. That rightward shift after Reagan’s election infected not just politics as a whole but led to the ascendancy of the corporatist wing of the Democratic Party – an era from which we are still recovering. I cannot in good conscience let that happen. To have all of the work we have done in elevating our progressive ideals be dashed away by a complete Republican takeover of Washington – a takeover headed by a candidate that demonizes Latinos, Muslims, women, African Americans, veterans, and others – would be unthinkable. Today, I endorsed Hillary Clinton to be our next president. I know that some of you will be disappointed with that decision. But I believe that, at this moment, our country, our values, and our common vision for a transformed America, are best served by the defeat of Donald Trump and the election of Hillary Clinton. You should know that in the weeks since the last primary, both campaigns have worked together in good faith to bridge some of the policy issues that divided us during the election. Did we come to agreement on everything? Of course not. But we made important steps forward. Hillary Clinton released a debt free college plan that we developed together which now includes free tuition at public colleges and universities for working families. This was a major part of our campaign’s agenda and a proposal that, if enacted into law, would revolutionize higher education in this country. Secretary Clinton has also publicly committed to massive investments in health care for communities across this country that will increase primary care, including mental health care, dental care, and low-cost prescription drug access for an additional 25 million people. Importantly, she has also endorsed the enactment of a so-called public option to allow everyone in this country to participate in a public insurance program. This idea was killed by the insurance industry during consideration of President Obama’s health care program. During the Democratic platform proceedings in St. Louis and Orlando, we were victorious in including amendments to make it a clear priority of the Democratic Party to fight for a $15 an hour federal minimum wage, expand Social Security, abolish the death penalty, put a price on carbon, establish a path toward the legalization of marijuana, enact major criminal justice reforms, pass comprehensive immigration reform, end for-profit prisons and detention facilities, break up too-big-to-fail banks and create a 21st century Glass-Steagall Act, close loopholes that allow big companies to avoid taxes by stashing their cash in offshore tax havens and use that revenue to rebuild America, approve the most expansive agenda ever for protecting Native American rights and so much more. All of these progressive policies were at the heart of our campaign. The truth is our movement is responsible for the most progressive Democratic platform in the history of our country. All of that is the direct result of the work that our members of the platform committee did in the meetings and that you have been doing over the last 15 months. But none of these initiatives will happen if we do not elect a Democratic president in November. None! In fact, we will go backward. We must elect the Democratic nominee in November and progressive Democrats up and down the ballot so that we ensure that these policy commitments can advance. It is extremely important that we keep our movement together, that we hold public officials accountable and that we elect progressive candidates to office at the federal, state, and local level who will stand with us. As part of that effort, we still have a tremendous amount of work left to do in the Democratic Rules Committee that will be meeting in the coming weeks. We have to enact the kinds of reforms to the Democratic Party and to the electoral process that will provide us the tools to elect progressive candidates, to allow new voices and new energy into the Party, and to break up the excessive power that the economic and political elites in the Party currently have. As with our fights on the platform committee, that will only be possible if we stand together. You should know that I intend to be actively campaigning throughout this election season to elect candidates who will stand by our agenda. I hope to see many of you at events from coast to coast. In conclusion, I again want to express my pride in what we have accomplished together over the last year. But so much more must be done to make our vision a reality. Now more than ever our country needs our movement – our political revolution. As you have throughout this historic campaign, I ask for your ongoing support as we continue through the fall and beyond. On a personal note, I cannot say with words how appreciative Jane and I are of the kindness, dedication and love we experienced from so many people across the country. We are deeply touched by it and will never, ever forget it. Please let me know that you will stand with me to defeat Donald Trump, and to elect candidates who will stand by our agenda as part of the future of our political revolution. Add your name now. Forever committed, forever fighting, forever forward, Bernie Sanders