Our Revolution officially kicked off on Wednesday, August 24, but the excitement has been building for months now.
Senator Bernie Sanders addressed over 2600 meet-ups via an online livestreaming event. It was great to see familiar faces and meet new people, many of whom braved severe weather to attend our local watch party.
Bernie supporters have known what our marching orders would be for over a year now: we’re to take the political revolution to the streets, to the internet, to our state houses and Congress. The only thing different is now we have an organization backed by Bernie to support a new generation of progressive leaders, empower Americans to fight for progressive change, and help elevate the electorate’s overall political consciousness.
Some may argue there are already many progressive groups fighting for worthwhile causes, such as climate change and health care. But Our Revolution is unique in that it’s a large umbrella organization with the momentum of the Bernie Sanders’ presidential run behind it and many big names in the progressive movement on its board, such as Nina Turner, Jim Hightower, Ben Jealous, and actress Shailene Woodley. This energy could make a “yuge” difference in the fight to gain real headway against the entrenched establishment.
Bernie states we should focus on local, state and regional government because these institutions directly affect our everyday existence. Whether it’s fighting for clean drinking water or lowering the high costs of our prescription medicines (e.g., Mylan’s Epi-Pen price gouging), statewide initiatives currently on the ballots in many states are worthy of voters’ attention and assistance. Once a precedent is set (such as GMO labeling in Vermont), it encourages other states to follow suit and a domino effect takes place. Bernie gave examples of ballot initiatives in California to regulate drug prices and ColoradoCare as worthy issues for progressives to work for and support with our resources and time.
Bernie stated that electing progressive candidates from school boards to state houses is imperative to assist any progressive governor (and any future progressive president) enact progressive legislation. Our Revolution will support “Berniecrats” running for office at all levels. There are also other groups actively supporting progressive candidates, such as Brand New Congress. Together with Our Revolution, activists have more resources than ever before to help progressives successfully run for office.
Our livestream gathering agreed that most of us have been wasting valuable time recently over worrying about the remaining presidential candidates. In the grand scheme of things, the presidential race is a drop in the bucket. Our planet can’t wait–and it won’t make a difference who is in the White House if there’s nothing and nobody left to govern. We need to act now at the grassroots level.
We talked about issues that were important for Ohio, such as the TPP taking more jobs from our area; the perilous condition of Lake Erie water, due to excessive agribusiness chemicals run-off; and the lack of support for alternative clean energies, because of the Ohio fracking lobby. Tackling these challenges, we can make the most impact by working locally and regionally. Our failures and successes will help others across America devise stronger attempts to take on similar issues. Together, we’ll bring about positive change for our country and our world.
And isn’t that what the political revolution is all about?
Bio: Cindy A. Matthews is a freelance writer, novelist and editor of Our Revolution Continues–The Bernie Blog: http://bernie2016.blogspot.com
Photo Credit: Gino Santa Maria / Shutterstock.com