News from the Frontlines of the Political Revolution!
IT’S ANOTHER DON’T MISS MONDAY!
Don’t miss our National Organize to Win Call focused on Tackling the Climate Crisis by Ending Fossil Fuel Subsidies featuring US Rep. Andy Levin from Michigan and Michele Deatrick, DNC Environmental & Crisis Council Chair. We’ll also get an NY Election Update from Brad Lander, who’s poised to win the NYC Comptroller’s race, and activist Amy Vilela on building progressive power in Nevada.
OUR THEORY OF CHANGE
IN THIS WEEK’S ISSUE: Read about how Our Revolution is …
(1) Mobilizing our nationwide network of grassroots groups to take to the streets to fight for voting rights & labor reform;
(2) Holding our elected officials accountable to end taxpayer giveaways to the fossil fuel industry;
(3) Electing progressive champions like India Walton in Buffalo, and Tiffany Caban in New York City;
(4) Fighting for progressive policies to ensure police accountability and stop cuts to unemployment benefits;
(5) Transforming the Democratic Party by mobilizing party officials to call for an end to fossil fuel subsidies; and MORE!
Founded by Bernie Sanders, Our Revolution is America’s leading grassroots-funded progressive political action organization. Make a recurring monthly donation of $5 and help us keep the political revolution going strong!
This week, our National Organize to Win Call focused on our members’ #1 PRIORITY – defending democracy against right wing attacks on voting rights and fighting in support of the For The People Act.
The Hill interviewed Our Revolution Executive Director Joseph Geevarghese about the consequences for the progressive agenda if the For the People Act – which will safeguard voting rights – doesn’t pass. “This is a wake-up call,” he said. “If we lose on these procedural issues, it’s game over. We’re not going to make significant advances on our substantive priorities” like expanding health care, fighting climate change, and creating millions of new good union jobs.
Sen. Jeff Merkley, chief Senate sponsor of the For The People Act, said that Mitch McConnell’s “abuse” of the filibuster to block floor debate on legislation has turned the Senate into a “deep freeze.” What will it mean for our policy agenda and the midterm elections if the filibuster isn’t reformed? “It’s very, very, very bleak. It’s policy and political armageddon. Democrats will lose the opportunity to enact legislation for the people for possibly decades to come. If we don’t preserve voting rights, game over.” Our conversation with Sen. Merkley was covered by The Associated Press and other outlets.
Our Revolution Texas endorsed elected officials – including State Rep. Jasmine Crockett and State Rep. Gina Hinojosa – brought the fight to protect voting rights to the White House and Capitol Hill last week. Rep. Crockett – who led a walkout by Democratic state legislators to break quorum and kill a GOP voter suppression bill in Texas – joined our Monday National Organize to Win Call to talk about how DC Democrats need to have the guts to stand-up to the GOP. “We as Democrats are consistently saying, ‘Let’s all try to get along,’ but the reality is, we’ve got to fight. We need to ring the alarm.”
Longtime civil rights leader Barbara Arnwine spoke about the importance of the For The People Act in overturning the hundreds of voter suppression bills that are making their way through state legislatures. “This is how we stop them – with uniform national federal standards for federal elections.” She credited outside pressure on Congress for the progress made so far and said we need to keep pushing. “People power has always moved everything. The way we change things is by keeping the heat up.”
Our Revolution was featured in a CNN Politics story on how progressives are demanding action in the wake of the Senate’s failure to pass the voting rights bill – including calling on President Joe Biden to be more vocal and use his bully pulpit, and pressuring Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema to change their position on ending the filibuster. CNN interviewed Our Revolution Executive Director Joseph Geevarghese about how the power of outside people pressure will be necessary to keep our voting rights agenda moving forward:
“This is our call to action and we’re going to mount a nationwide mobilization to win on the filibuster and voting rights.”
VOTING RIGHTS NOW!
Our Revolution Washington DC members kicked off our mobilization on Tuesday – the same day the Senate took up the For the People Act and DC Statehood – by rallying outside the US Capitol to demand “VOTING RIGHTS NOW!”
Our Revolution Executive Director Joseph Geevarghese addressed the crowd saying, “The disenfranchisement of DC and the ongoing efforts by right wing Republicans to suppress the vote in other states shows how much the GOP fears people power. They understand that the only way to win elections is to deny us the vote and deny us more votes in Congress.”
HEY! HEY! HO! HO! – THE FILIBUSTER HAS GOT TO GO!
Our Revolution Arizona protested with our allies outside Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s office in Phoenix on Tuesday to send her a clear message that the filibuster needs to go! By opposing filibuster reform, Sen. Sinema allowed a minority of Senators to block voting rights for millions of people. Our Revolution Arizona organizer Kevin Loera said, “Senator Sinema claims to speak for Arizonans in her defense of the filibuster, when in fact her actions are standing in the way of the progress that voters in our state elected her to enact.”
After Republicans blocked the voting rights bill Tuesday, Politico interviewed Our Revolution Chair Larry Cohen about the state of politics in Washington – which he called “tragic.” Larry said that Biden and Democrats in Congress “still have time” to make headway on progressive priorities, through reforming Senate rules, executive actions and with a second spending package using budget reconciliation, the process by which Democrats can pass major budget-related measures on a simple majority.
STAND UP! FIGHT BACK!
For the next two weeks, Congress is in recess and Senators will be back in their states to hear from constituents. Our Revolution has teamed up with the Deadline for Democracy coalition to mobilize activists around the country to host and attend actions in support of passing the For the People Act.
FLEXING PROGRESSIVE POWER ON THE HILL
This week, President Biden reached a bipartisan deal to fix infrastructure – a deal that doesn’t include progressive priorities like Medicare expansion or climate protections. In response to pressure from the Congressional Progressive Caucus and outside groups like Our Revolution, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared on Thursday that “There ain’t gonna be no bipartisan bill unless we’re going to have a reconciliation bill.”
Both President Biden and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said they agree with this strategy. That means with Bernie Sanders at the helm of the Budget Committee, we have a real shot to work around the filibuster and pass a progressive budget reconciliation bill that addresses the needs of working people!
We must organize a grassroots movement to pressure centrists like Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema to reform the filibuster. Become an OUR REVOLUTION MEMBER for just $5 a month and support our on the ground organizing!
Despite mainstream media’s slanted coverage about “moderates prevailing” in this week’s New York elections, the real news is that progressives continue to take out establishment candidates and tip the scales of power in the Empire State.
In New York City, Our Revolution flexed our electoral muscle with strong showings in the top 3 citywide contests.
We were the first organization to endorse Maya Wiley for Mayor and called on the progressive movement to unite to elect her. Progressives like AOC and Elizabeth Warren soon announced their own endorsements, leading to a last-minute surge that has propelled Maya into second place.
Our Revolution also backed Jumaane Williams, who won primary for re-election as Public Advocate in a landslide, and Brad Lander, founder of the NYC City Council Progressive Caucus, who is leading the former Speaker of the Council in the race for Comptroller.
Our Revolution endorsed almost 30 candidates for City Council, and while we wait for results in many of these races, it’s clear that New York is poised to have its most progressive legislative body ever! Newly elected progressive champions include Marjorie Velazquez, who replaced a conservative Dem in the Bronx; Public Defender Tiffany Caban, who will be a powerful new voice for criminal justice reform from the Queens; and Sandy Nurse, who unseated an establishment incumbent in Brooklyn.
In one of the most exciting upsets of the night, Our Revolution endorsed candidate India Walton beat a four-term incumbent – and close ally Gov. Andrew Cuomo – in the Democratic primary for Mayor of Buffalo. India is now on a path to become the city’s first female chief executive and the first socialist to run a major US city since 1960. “This is organizing people … when we organize, we win!” she declared at her victory party.
HOLD THE POLICE ACCOUNTABLE!
Our Revolution New Jersey members rallied at the State House this week to push for passage of a state law to create strong Civilian Complaint Review Boards to hold the police accountable to our communities. The bill was sponsored by Assemblywoman Angela McKnight who brought the bill to the House floor on the same day as the rally. Our members protested compromise amendments that would continue to shield bad police officers from real civilian oversight.
Our Revolution Monmouth’s Joan Farkas said “As the granddaughter of an officer killed in the line of duty, I am personally aware of how corruption endangers good police officers as well as innocent civilians. Strong civilian review boards protect everyone.”
Our Revolution Maryland [ORMD] activists rallied in Annapolis with progressive lawmakers and the Unemployed Workers Union last Saturday at the Juneteenth Rally for the Unemployed to protest Governor Larry Hogan’s decision to deny federal unemployment benefits to hundreds of thousands of Marylanders as of July 3rd.
ORMD Chair Chrissy Holt noted in her speech that Maryland is one of the worst states when it comes to delivering unemployment benefits despite being one of the wealthiest.” She called on voters to elect true progressives not “establishment Democrats who helped put Hogan in office.”
Other speakers included: Our Revolution Baltimore’s Co-Chair and Assembly Delegate Sheila Ruth; Our Revolution-endorsed Assembly Delegate Lorig Charkoudian; and Our Revolution-endorsed Greenbelt Mayor Colin Byrd.
BUILDING A BENCH IN OHIO!
Our Revolution Ohio’s Candidates Forum on Tuesday featured sixteen candidates from across the state who are running for mayor and city council seats. Tristan Rader, who’s up for re-election to the Lakewood City Council, noted how “Bernie Sanders and Our Revolution have urged so many progressive candidates to run for office” at the local level who are pushing for change from the bottom up.
The call also included an update on our work to elect Nina Turner to Congress. Our Revolution’s Neighbors for Nina canvas lead Gloria Allen-Levert said that “Nina’s progressive message – healthcare for all, a $15 minimum wage, and voting rights for everyone is winning over voters on the doors.”
Two weeks ago, hundreds of Our Revolution members rallied outside Amazon’s Arlington HQ to call out Virginia Senator Mark Warner’s coziness with union-busting Amazon executives and his failure to support the PRO Act.
But we’re not finished. Every Wednesday morning, activists are protesting outside Sen. Warner’s multi-million dollar Old Town Alexandria home. Our Revolution organizer Kristin Hoffman said that “ Wednesdays with Warner is now in its 14th week. Together with the Virginia Coalition to Repeal the Right to Work, Our Revolution Virginia members have vowed to continue our presence until Senator Warner signs onto the PRO Act and supports the right to organize unions. With school out of session, our Wednesday mornings are now a mini-activist camp for our kids!”
STOP THE BEZOS BAILOUT
And one last item while we’re on the topic of Amazon. Jeff Bezos is trying to get corporate Democrats in Congress to give him $10 billion for his rocket ships. The US Senate passed a bill (SB 1260: the US Innovation & Competition Act) that will allow NASA to spend up to $10 billion on Blue Origin, to compensate for their loss to Space X in a recent contract competition. Bernie tried to stop this amendment, saying “It does not make a lot of sense to me that we would provide billions of dollars to a company owned by the wealthiest guy in America.” Our Revolution agrees – a union-busting, tax-evading billionaire shouldn’t get a taxpayer bailout.
On Thursday, Our Revolution joined forces with 125 organizations to call on President Biden to fix the broken student loan system and deliver promised student debt relief before tens of millions of borrowers are forced to resume making payments. Student loan payments are currently suspended through the end of September due to an executive action Biden signed on inauguration day. A rush to restart payments without first addressing the student debt crisis will undermine promises by the President to “Build Back Better.”
“Grassroots activists in the Democratic Party overwhelmingly support an end to over 100 years of federal welfare for the oil and gas industry,” said Our Revolution Michigan Leader Michelle Deatrick, who serves as Chair of the DNC Environment & Climate Crisis Council. That’s why Our Revolution is joining with the DNC Climate Council, the College Democrats of America, and the Environmental Caucuses of the Young Democrats and the College Democrats to host an online rally on Sunday, June 27th, 7pm ET to call on Congress to stop subsidizing dirty fossil fuels!
From the beginning, Our Revolution has been focused on transforming the Democratic Party so that it represents working people, not corporate donors. That means fighting for a progressive platform and it means working towards structural change within the party. After the 2016 election, we successfully organized to get so-called super or non-elected delegates out of the nominating process, open up primaries to unaffiliated voters, and allow vote by mail for both primaries and caucuses. We need to keep building on those wins, and that’s why Our Revolution, the Progressive Democrats of America, and the Bernie Delegates Network are identifying progressive party activists so that we can coordinate and share ideas.
On Sunday, join Our Revolution Massachusetts LGBTQ+ Caucus and Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) for a conversation on Progressive Pride!
On Tuesday, join Our Revolution, Greenpeace USA, Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth and others at the US Capitol to call on Congress to end fossil fuel subsidies once and for all. We’ll be joined by US Reps. Illan Omar, Ro Khanna, Earl Blumenauer, and Nanette Barragan!
If you can’t join us on Capitol Hill, you can take action by joining our phonebank to call on Congress to include ending fossil fuel subsidies in the next infrastructure bill.
700 nurses are on strike at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Worcester, MA and its owner, Tenet Healthcare – a notorious healthcare profiteer with nearly 600 facilities nationwide – announced that it will begin hiring permanent replacements for the striking nurses. This must not stand!
Join us for a National Solidarity Emergency Town Hall – sponsored the Labor Campaign for Single Payer on June 29, 8:00pm ET to hear from nurses on the picket line and learn how you can help #TakeOnTenet in your community.
This year, Our Revolution Oregon helped elect a wave of progressive candidates to school boards across the state.
Join us for a conversation on what needs to be done to fix public education in the Beaver State!