by Rand Wilson
Sanders delegates from MA CD 7 Zakiyyah Sutton and Rand Wilson
photo by Sandy Eaton
Over 100 Bernie Sanders’ supporters attended a meeting on June 28 at the Ironworkers Local 7 union hall in South Boston to make plans for activities at the national Democratic convention and begin a discussion about continuing the political revolution in Massachusetts. A few photos from the meeting are posted here and many others are on Facebook.
The meeting was attended by 23 of the 45 Congressional District and At-Large delegates from Massachusetts who were elected this year to support Bernie Sanders at the 2016 National Democratic Convention in Philadelphia from July 25 to 28. Nearly everyone in attendance had door knocked, phone banked and rallied for Bernie over the last year.
Jared Hicks, a delegate from Congressional District 7 who lives in Dorchester said that he hoped to win a Democratic platform that reflected Bernie’s values and change the party’s rules so that participation in the primaries is easier for voters.
“We need a progressive platform that includes Medicare for All, $15 minimum wage, expanded Social Security and a tax on Wall Street,” said Hicks. “And if Democrats want to defeat Trump, we must have strong language in opposition to the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal.”
A number of participants expressed concern over the failure of the Sanders campaign to capture significant support in communities of color. They challenged the group to make overcoming racism a top priority if it seeks to build a broader movement.
Michael Gilbreath, a District 5 delegate from Wayland, highlighted some of the many activities that groups like Progressive Democrats of America, Democratic Socialists of America and many others were planning in support of the Sanders’ platform outside of the convention.
More than half of the meeting’s attendees indicated they planned to travel to Philadelphia during the convention to participate in activities there.
The most passionate part of the evening’s discussion regarded continuing the political revolution in Massachusetts and support for several down ballot “Bernie-crat” candidates. Jed Hresko, who coordinated many successful volunteer phone banks for Bernie in Boston, suggested that similar efforts could be mobilized for local candidates.
With the strong possibility of a Clinton candidacy, some participants voiced support for the Green Party, while others cautioned that the priority should be on defeating the presumptive Republican nominee. There is clearly no consensus among Sanders’ supporters about whom to support for President!
All too often, incipient “political revolutions” fall prey to self-appointed leaders who lack either a following and/or the necessary skills to hold a group together. Looking to the future, the diverse, statewide group of 45 elected representatives tested in the campaign and committed to the Sanders’ platform could provide a powerful foundation dedicated to continuing our revolution in Massachusetts.