After the sizable loss in the New York primary, the goal post for Senator Sanders' nomination has been moved that much farther away. But take heart, those feeling the Bern, and be prepared to redirect all that passion wisely into keeping Bernie's progressive values in play not only at the top of the ticket, but all the way down the ticket to city council.
How? By embracing and spreading the Progressive Voters Platform. It's been created as a way to draw all the progressive causes, like those on display in D.C. over the last week through a myriad of Democracy Awakening events, together in a holistic and interconnected way.
The PVP is organized by mission statements within each plank, with related goals grouped together. Here's a taste of how that looks regarding the first plank, Optimizing Democracy, which takes on the two biggest threats to retaining relevance for our voices.
1- The advance of oligarchic rule in America can only be reversed if we curb disproportionate influence on policy, funding, and oversight by corporations and billionaires
The key goals here are to end private funding of campaigns, overturn the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, and take on lax lobbying rules.
But a return to actual representative democracy will require addressing the next theme:
2- To claim ourselves to be a healthy democracy, we must protect our ultimate freedom, the right to vote, and restore election integrity so accuracy and opportunity can never again be questioned.
Here we turn back crafted disenfranchisement including voter photo ID laws and manipulation of the number of precincts or voting booths to insure long lines in targeted areas. Also we will restore early voting and institute automatic voter registration. Additionally, all state and national elections must be conducted on hand-counted paper ballots.
The next plank, Optimizing tax revenue and budgetary dispersement, will end the choking off of funding by allowing corporations to offshore their profits to avoid tax debt. This also includes one of my own ideas, the "1000 Families Top Tax Tier" set at 72% for those making as much as a thousand families, or $35 million a year. By putting superfluous wealth in that light, equivalent to whole districts of one's home town, we legitimize that tax rate.
The third plank includes many of Sen. Sanders' core ideas such as universal healthcare and free tuition for state colleges and universities. These are framed as freedom from long and short-term debt, essential to live out the name of the third plank: Enabling the universal opportunity for the pursuit of happiness.
Happiness only thrives in a sense of safety, and economics is only part of it. Along with things like pushing for a living wage and bolstering of unions you'll find finally passing the Equal Rights Amendment, protections for the LGBT community, and the end of trying to inhibit a woman's right to choose by cleverly attacking her opportunity for a legal, safe abortion if that is the tragic choice she must make.
The final plank looks to a future where we face the reality of effective extinction if the proper steps aren't taken: Planning for our optimum 22nd century. Climate change and resource allocation both have to be addressed.
But this is only the tip of the iceberg. Please read about all these ideas in depth at:
And a special thanks goes out to Thom's co-producer Danielle Guilday who crafted the PVP logo.
This platform was inspired by Sanders' positions but was ultimately deemed necessary as a means to keep those feeling the Bern still engaged if Sen. Sanders is not the nominee. He started as an underdog but super delegates may prevent a fair fight. But that's NOT what we need to focus on. The big picture is that if Hillary is the nominee we MUST vote for her for our planet's sake - let alone four Supreme Court judges she is likely to choose. And along with our vote for HRC we need to vote for the hundreds of state and federal legislators who either endorse the PVP or live it. That way we can make sure that any bill that crosses President Clinton's desk is more progressive than she is. The Bern will remain alight if we focus our might.
The PVP is not a finished product. It is intended to be the skeleton, a structure with targeted phraseology meant to inspire a sense of cohesive community within our movement. My hope is that all of the entities at Democracy Awakening use their knowledge, expertise, and infrastructure to add flesh to the bones I've provided. And one way to make that happen is by insuring the decision makers best positioned to achieve that are aware of this opportunity.
That's why I created a petition to Robert Weissman, President of Public Citizen, and Donna Smith, Executive Director of Progressive Democrats of America. Mr. Weissman was critical in banding all the Dem Awakening events together, and Ms. Smith is at the helm of the organization best suited to follow through on promoting the PVP on a regional as well as national level.
Will you sign this petition? Click here:
Thanks! When we dream big, we have to look effectively at the big uphill battle to make it happen. This, I feel, is the most efficient path to putting progressive values front and center come November.