WASHINGTON Bernie Sanders backers, notably the groups aligned with his causes, plan to gather in Chicago later this month to plot their road ahead.
The “People’s Summit” will run from June 17 to 19. The final Democratic primary, to be held in the District of Columbia, is June 14.
The event is a “declaration of independence from establishment politics” that’ll address the current “repture in the political fabric of this country,” said RoseAnn DeMoro, National Nurses United Executive Director. The group has endorsed Sanders and is a lead summit sponsor.
Sanders trails former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the race for the Democratic nomination, and Clinton is expected to clinch enough delegates after Tuesday’s voting in New Jersey, California and elsewhere to win the nod.
But Sanders backers vow to keep up his fight, and are not conceding defeat. Charles Idelson, spokesman for National Nurses United, said Sanders will win. The independent senator from Vermont hopes to convince “superdelegates,” party officials who are not bound by state results, to swing to Sanders.
The Sanders forces have other goals, notably to advance an agenda they’ve been pushing for years. They’ll make a push at Democratic platform hearings and deliberations, which begin next week.
The senator has been invited to attend the Chicago summit, where issues likely to be stressed include a national $15 minimum wage, improved Medicare for all, climate justice, voting rights, criminal justice reform, the fight for free and higher education and ending student debt, and a tax on Wall Street speculation to fund human needs and jobs.
Activists around the country have been electrified by Bernie's call to action
People for Bernie’s Winnie Wong
Among the groups participating are National Nurses United, Peoples Action, Presente, People for Bernie, United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS), 350.0rg, Food and Water Action Fund, MillionHoodies: Movement for Justice, Physicians for a National Health Program, Iowa Citizens for Community Involvement Fund, Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), Progressive Maryland, the United Students Student Association, Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), African Americans for Bernie, Working Families Party, HealthCare Now, and Friends of the Earth.
“We must build a movement that involve millions in the long term struggle to radically reshape our political and economic systems that benefit big corporations and the rich while devastating working families and the poor, said David Hatch of Reclaim Chicago., which fights against big money in politics.
And, he noted, “We are coming together to ensure this movement flourishes beyond the conventions, the election and the inauguration.”
“The local connections we are trying to foster will be the beginning of deeper, democratic collaboration across organizations and movements for public protest, organizing to grow the revolution, and electoral action in the next four years,” said Maria Svart, national director of DSA.
“Social networking has transformed information sharing and mobilization. We can spread the agenda to hundreds of thousands of Bernie supporters, and beyond. What we advocate are demands that are close to the hearts of millions of Americans, not just those who vote for Bernie.”
The summit will include both plenary sessions and workshops aimed at, among other things, local community activism and civil disobedience training.