HEADLINES: Growing the Squad | Jayapal on Federal Strategy | Vela Victory in ATX! | New 2022 Endorsements | 14.3 in NYT | Updating Labor Law | & MORE!
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2022 can be the year that Progressives defeat Corporate Dems and right-wing Republicans. We need your ongoing support in the fight to make Democrats deliver and elect true progressive champions. Become a monthly member today to help shift the balance of power.
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Join us for our next National Organize to Win Broadcast on Monday, February 7th at 8.30pm ET with our special guest Nina Turner, who will talk about her strategy to win her race for Congress!
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Biden’s economic agenda and voting rights are stalled in the Senate, and the midterm elections are already gearing up. We must act now to get more allies into seats of power and change the composition of Congress in our favor.
“At the end of the day, you would have hoped Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer would’ve had enough leverage or done enough arm-twisting to bring Manchin and Sinema along,” Our Revolution Executive Director Joseph Geevarghese told Bloomberg. But, as Joe Manchin said — if we want more progressive policies, we’ve got to elect more progressives.
Alright, Joe, we’ll take you up on that! Our Revolution has started rolling out endorsements for our first class of 2022 Progressive Champions, including a powerhouse slate from Texas you can read about below.
We are battle-tested from these past election cycles, and we’re bringing strategy to these midterm fights. Rep. Pramila Jayapal, chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, joined our Live Monday Night Call to discuss how we can build more power in Congress to win our progressive priorities.
“It’s really important we continue to build our margins in the House and Senate because, yes, we have majorities – but we don’t have enough majorities to get the work done in the Senate,” Pramila said.
Manchin and Sinema aren’t the only Democratic enemies of progress; our list includes House members like Henry Cuellar of Texas and Kurt Schrader of Oregon. We must replace bad Dems as well as Republicans and fill open seats. The Party faces strong headwinds in the midterms, but that doesn’t mean progressives can’t continue to grow our share of power at all levels of government.
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GOING BIG IN TEXAS!
Our Revolution is proud to introduce y’all to our powerhouse slate of progressives coming out of the great state of Texas!
On our Live Monday Night Broadcast, we officially endorsed congressional candidates Greg Casar (TX-35), Jasmine Crockett (TX-30), and Jessica Cisneros (TX-28) — and the amazing Bob Libal for Travis County Commissioner!
First up, we are thrilled to endorse Greg Casar to represent Texas’ 35th District in the U.S. House!
Greg is an Our Revolution member and longtime organizer for worker justice who has served since 2015 as a dynamic member of Austin City Council, helping to establish Austin as a leader in progressive policy.
Greg authored paid-sick-days laws that passed in Austin, San Antonio, and Dallas; implemented a $15 minimum wage for Austin employees; and ended all arrests/fines for low-level marijuana possession in Austin. He also fought to preserve affordable housing, organizing with tenants to block evictions and helping mobile home residents purchase their properties.
“We need to be able to bring real solutions, and so much of that comes at the federal level and from organizing with each other at the national level,” Greg told us during our Live Monday Night Broadcast. “This is about bringing our entire community to Congress.”
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We’re proud to endorse Jasmine Crockett for Congress, to represent Texas’ 30th District in the U.S. House!
Jasmine is an Our Revolution member who has been a progressive champion in the Texas House and founding member of the Progressive Caucus.
Jasmine established herself as a national leader in the fight for voting rights during last summer’s walkout to block Texas Republicans’ package of ominous new election restrictions.
“To me, the federal level is where the relief is. They need someone up there who knows exactly how they think in the Texas Legislature counteracting the actions of the Texas Legislature,” Jasmine said on our broadcast Monday. “I’m fighting for progress for all people.”
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We’re excited to endorse Jessica Cisneros for Congress, to represent Texas’ 28th District in the U.S. House!
Jessica is challenging incumbent Henry Cuellar — one of the worst Democrats in the House. Cuellar is the only House Dem who voted against the PRO Act, and he’s a staunch defender of the fossil fuel industry who advocates for expanded – not reduced – fossil fuel subsidies.
The FBI raided Cuellar’s home last week, The Hill reported, noting that “Cisneros scored the endorsement of the San Antonio Express-News, which endorsed Cuellar over Cisneros in 2020. Cisneros was also endorsed Monday by Our Revolution as a part of the group’s first round of 2022 picks.”
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And last, but not least, we endorsed Bob Libal for Travis County Commissioner, Precinct 2, in Texas!
Bob is an Our Revolution member and community organizer, who has spent his adult life fighting for immigrant rights and criminal justice reform. He’ll fight for justice, not jails; affordability in the face of unprecedented growth; and a Green New Deal for Travis County.
“I spent my career fighting powerful interests like the private prison industry and ICE’s deportation forces. I think, as an organizer, what’s just as important as pushing progressive policies is how we’re building power and capacity in communities,” he said on our broadcast Monday night. “We are only as strong as the organizations we’re building.”
Bob knows Travis County – home to Austin TX – should be leading the way on progressive policy. He decided to run when the incumbent voted to build a new jail and give huge taxpayer subsidies to one of the richest companies on Earth — Elon Musk’s Tesla.
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Monday is the last day to register to vote for the Texas Primary on March 1st – determining who makes it on the ballot for November in these important races. If you’re in Texas, make sure to register to vote HERE.
Our candidates will advance our progressive agenda in Congress – and in Texas – but powerful forces won’t go down without a fight. That’s why we need the power of the people to clinch these wins on March 1!
Starting on February 15th, Our Revolution is going all out to GET OUT THE VOTE for our endorsed candidates – Sign up now to VOLUNTEER!
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VELA VICTORY IN AUSTIN!
CONGRATS to Chito Vela on his victory to become the next Austin City Councilmember, District 4!
A proud member of Our Revolution, Chito ran a strong, progressive campaign and won 59% of the vote — beating out six candidates in Tuesday’s special election to replace another Our Revolution member, Greg Casar, who stepped down to run for Congress (TX-35).
Chito Vela is a leader with the Workers’ Defense Project, and an immigrant and criminal defense attorney. He will be a champion for Austin’s criminal justice reform efforts, like decriminalization of marijuana, police accountability, and special mental health responders.
He also wants to create corridors throughout the city for walking, biking, and public transportation. And, he’s committed to establishing affordable housing options for middle- and low-income residents through increased density and multi-family housing.
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Only a large, organized movement can overpower the influence of big money to elect progressive champions at every level of government. Become a recurring monthly donor today to help build mounting pressure on lawmakers to deliver for all of us.
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NYT: 14.3 COULD SET PRECEDENT
The New York Times dug into the details of our 14.3 Campaign on the front page story this week!
“The novel challenge to the re-election bid of Representative Madison Cawthorn (…) could set a precedent to challenge other Republicans who swore to uphold the Constitution, then encouraged the attack,” The Times wrote. “For the first time, a lawmaker who embraced the rioters may have to answer for his actions in a court of law.”
Our Revolution partnered with Free Speech For People to file legal challenges and rally folks to organize to keep oath-breakers like Cawthorn off the ballot. Up next: Marjorie Taylor Greene of GA, Mo Brooks of AL, Paul Gosar of AZ, and Lauren Boebert of CO!
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JAYAPAL ON POLICY FIGHTS
Rep. Pramila Jayapal, chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, spoke with us on our Live Monday Night Call about avenues for Democrats to deliver on an economic agenda for working people before it’s too late.
She said the next four weeks are a critical window to push for Build Back Better. “March 1st is the State of the Union – one year from when President Biden laid out his vision for BBB – and he’ll want to be able to come to Congress and say “We delivered on these key pieces of that vision,” Pramila explained.
The goal is to get as much of the original framework of the bill as possible, she said, noting “the president has a unique responsibility because he’s the one that got a commitment to the framework.”
“We want to do everything we can to help the president push Sen. Manchin — it’s doable,” she said. “There’s a lot more agreement than there may seem – Sen. Manchin supports the climate pieces, universal childcare, universal Pre-K, taking on Big Pharma, eldercare – these are all critical priorities that get real relief to people.”
Pramila said the CPC will be rolling out a list of priority executive orders that Biden needs no senators to accomplish. Things like: expanding healthcare, canceling student loans, lowering drug prices, strengthening collective bargaining and workers’ rights, climate change, emissions standards, ending fossil fuel subsidies, etc.
On the filibuster, she commended the movement’s enormous progress from a year ago when several Democratic senators opposed even a carveout for voting rights. “We’re down to just two, and 50 Republicans, but what kind of a U.S. Senate do we have when you stop even debate on voting rights?” she asked. “We don’t have the luxury of giving up.”
We’re not giving up, we’re gearing up. We’re tired of being polite about the filibuster while corporate puppets use it to destroy our democracy. Support our fund to primary Kyrsten Sinema HERE!
All recurring donors get a special F*ck-Off Filibuster sticker!
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ORMD LEGISLATIVE TOWN HALL
Our Revolution Maryland hosted the 2022 Maryland General Assembly Town Hall on Tuesday with five powerhouse state legislators joining us to promote bills they’re championing in this year’s General Assembly session.
State Sen. Jill Carter spoke to marijuana legalization, noting the need to acknowledge the “victims of marijuana prohibition” when issuing licenses and prevent “medical industry corporatists from monopolizing distribution.”
Delegate Sheila Ruth, an Our Revolution Baltimore co-chair, outlined her bill for universal single-payer healthcare in Maryland! “Healthcare is a right and everybody should have the healthcare they need when they need it,” Ruth said.
Montgomery Co. Delegate David Moon laid out his bill to investigate every wrongful conviction in the state and discipline those at fault. Such cases “represent a catastrophic failure of government and the criminal justice system,” he said.
Howard Co. Delegate Jen Terrassa would require large homeowners associations to report political expenditures. HOAs of more than 2,000 homes are larger than many towns — yet operate largely in secret and support candidates who will keep it that way.
Prince Georgian Delegate Julian Ivey spoke of his bill to provide grants to low-income individuals who live in areas prone to flooding. His district would help poor, struggling, and working people who live at or near sea level “get ready for the changing environment.”
The town hall ended with a conversation on the moral imperative of creating living-wage jobs for every Marylander.
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ORMA HOSTS EDUCATION FORUM
Our Revolution Massachusetts presented a live Educational Justice Forum Sunday where speakers broke down the problems and legislative solutions to performance-based public school funding.
MCAS – the state’s Comprehensive Assessment System — forces schools to compete for funding based on test results and requires teachers to teach to the test rather than focus on each child’s individual strengths and weaknesses.
“The tests create a toxicity in the education system that pits students against each other in a way that’s just not healthy,” said Roberto Jiménez Rivera, State Legislature candidate and member of the Chelsea School Committee.
Studies show that disparities between schools and students are due mostly to socioeconomic factors rather than the quality of education. Yet, MCAS re-enforces this caste system by shortchanging schools that serve poorer students and communities of color.
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UPDATING LABOR LAW
While the PRO Act remains blocked in the Senate, Our Revolution Board Chair and Past President of the Communications Workers of America, Larry Cohen and Veena Dubal, a law professor at the University of CA Hastings, discuss a legal framework for labor worth fighting for.
Larry argues that labor law for U.S. organizing and bargaining is the worst of the world’s democracies. Dubal cautions that state-based initiatives in CA and NY demonstrate change can be negative if corporate America controls it.
Just last week the Labor Department reported a drop in 2021 union membership despite the surge of worker activism. Our Revolution is committed to supporting workers when they organize, when they mobilize and when they strike.
Our members have actively supported new organizing at Amazon and Starbucks and strike support recently at Deere and Kellogg. Members from Virginia to Arizona have taken action for the PRO Act, which would create real penalties on corporate labor law violators and expand legal support for worker solidarity.
Read the full debate HERE.
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UNION BOOK REISSUED
A new ‘activist edition’ has been released of Confessions of a Union Buster, the 1993 book by Martin Levitt and Terry Conrow Toczynski that detailed the horrendous tactics employers and union busters will use to stop workers from forming unions. Given all the workplace activity we’ve seen from workers in recent years, it is more relevant now than when it was first published.
The foreword of the book was written by Bob Muehlenkamp, long-time labor organizer and former Chair of Our Revolution Maryland. He points to how, over the last 50 years, union-busting has not only frozen wages and created grotesque inequality, but weakened, maybe fatally, American democracy.
Contrary to almost all writing about unions, Muehlenkamp shows how unions have not “declined.” There are still 14.3 million union members in the U.S., but they are only 10% of the larger workforce. Fifty years ago, unions represented 1 in 3 workers. Union busting stopped workers’ ability to start unions; if they had been able to organize just to stay at earlier levels, there would be 43 million members today. America would be a different country, and employers know that. Unions didn’t “decline”: U.S. employers waged an illegal, violent, and successful war against them.
Order your copy from Powell’s Books, the union workforce alternative, HERE.
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2022 must be a HUGE year for the progressive movement. We’re making ground, but everything we love is on the line.
Become a sustaining member of Our Revolution today to join the fight against corporate interests and right-wing authoritarianism.
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Join us for our GOTV Phone bank to elect our endorsed candidates in Texas! We need to replace corporate Dems with Progressives who are ready to fight for our policy priorities!
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Ballots have been mailed out and voting on the San Francisco School Board ends on February 15! Our Revolution and the SF Berniecrats are organizing voters to vote NO on all the recalls. Join us for phone banks to get out the vote to defend and improve public education.
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Join us for our next National Organize to Win Call on Monday, February 7th with our special guest Nina Turner, who will discuss her new campaign for Congress in Ohio!
That’s right, and we are so excited she is running again!
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