An Open Letter to Bernie Supporters from the Honorary Co-chairs of the Green Party Presidential Nominating Convention
We want to congratulate you on the work that you have done to support Bernie Sanders’ campaign for president. You self-organized to phone bank and reached 75 million voters. You created a social media machine that overcame the commercial media’s attempts to ignore the campaign. You created cool swag, wrote songs and cooked ‘Feel the Bern’ hot sauce. You painted your cars, your houses and giant murals with the words and likeness of Bernie. It was amazing.
And it worked. Senator Sanders made it farther in the Democratic Presidential nomination process, a primary system designed to stop progressives, than any other insurgent candidate ever has in the party. You showed that candidates don’t need donations from the wealthy and corporate lobbyists. You showed that millennials in this country care deeply about their future. And because of your work, Bernie had a national platform to talk about wealth inequality and critical issues like the need for a single payer health care system and free higher education.
Now that Hillary Clinton is the presumptive nominee, the forces in Washington, DC are lining up to support her. In his statement on June 16, Bernie said that he would shift his focus to defeating Donald Trump and working with Clinton to reform the Democratic Party.
It will be no surprise to you that we are skeptical that Clinton, the candidate of war, Wall Street and Walmart, will be open to the agenda that Sanders is promoting.
You have choices. You can try to reform the Democratic Party as others have tried to do for decades through Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition, Howard Dean’s Democracy for America and Dennis Kucinich’s Progressive Democrats of America or you can leave it.
We invite you to consider the Green Party. The Green Party platform, which has been and continues to be shaped through a grassroots democratic process for twenty years, is in line with the values of the Sanders campaign. In some ways, it goes beyond Sanders’ platform.
The Green Party platform is based on four pillars: Nonviolence, Social Justice, Sustainability and Grassroots Democracy, and reflects our ten key values. Read them here. And we practice what we preach. This year the Youth Caucus of the Green Party, known as the ‘Young Greens’, wrote an amendment to the platform that makes it specifically anti-capitalist and eco-socialist. That amendment, with the support of state chapters and individuals, was passed by the National Committee and will be presented for final approval at the Presidential Nominating Convention (PNC) this August.
As co-chairs of the PNC that takes place during the Annual Meeting, we want you to know that there is room for you in the Green Party. We welcome your ideas, participation and leadership. Perhaps you’ll even consider running for office.
We invite you to attend the Annual Meeting and PNC in Houston this August. At the meeting we’ll have workshops on Green policy and issues, how to build the Green Party and more. We’ll select our presidential candidate, network with Greens from other countries at the International reception Thursday, show our talents at an open mic night Friday, and after our candidate is confirmed we’ll celebrate with a Party for the Revolution.
We can also help you get involved at the state or local level. Fill out the form below if you are interested. The Green Party is largely made up of people who care deeply about critical issues facing us today. We are activists for economic, racial and environmental justice. We work to end wars and create positive alternatives in our communities. We have a plan to confront the urgent crisis of climate change. Greens are running at all levels of government and more than 150 are runningin this election year.
For the last two decades, Greens in the US have been quietly building the national infrastructure for a party that aligns in its values with the growing social justice movement. As more people leave the major parties because of their ties to the wealth interests that have created many of the crises we face and their steady march to the right, the Greens are well-positioned to continue the political revolution that has begun.
As Honorary PNC Co-Chairs, we invite you to continue to build on the opportunities that exist in this political moment. Together, let’s halt the damage that is being done to our communities and others around the world and create a world that works for all of us.
Margaret Flowers, MD