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.


Don't just FeelTheBern, DEMAND THE BERN of down-ticket Dem candidates through the PROGRESSIVE VOTERS PLATFORM


ronsears 3 years 40 weeks ago

Like other comments here, very well said. Like Thom says, revolutions take time and we absolutely need to win in the long run, so keeping up the fight down ticket is an ethical responsibility. And just so no one gets too impatient, right now, we also have a lot to cheer about. One way or another, Bernie is now the undisputed conscience of the Progressive movement, and Bernie now holds more personal political power than any other single individual in America. Bernie is the undisputed leader of the Progressive wave sweeping Americam politics. All he has to do is let supporters on his e-mail list know who the true progressive candidates are, all the way down ballot to State and local elections, and we will work to get those folks elected. He is the real leader of the new Democratic Party whether the old party and it's money puppets wants him or not. Want to get something done in the Senate? From now on, you might want to check with Bernie first or he will unleash his army of supporters on you. Want to get re-elected, demonstrate your Progressive values in your votes so Bernie will tell his part of the Democratic party to support you. My only fear is that Bernie will get discouraged. It is up to us to made sure that does not happen. Send money. Make calls. Not for the primary, but for the political clout it will give Bernie for as long as he wishes to stay in the good fight.

turn_left_@_the _light's picture
turn_left_@_the... 3 years 40 weeks ago

Tried numerous times to sign your petition but the link you provided keeps coming up as a search error. I'll check back later.

#BernieOrBust 2016

ronsears 3 years 40 weeks ago

This link works when I copy it to my brouser, yet apparently clicking on the same link above fails and goes to some Time Warner site???

ImprobableTodd's picture
ImprobableTodd 3 years 39 weeks ago

Thanks for giving me a heads up on this. I shall investigate.

ImprobableTodd's picture
ImprobableTodd 3 years 39 weeks ago

Ron, great input. Feel free to post as a visitor on The Progressive Voters Platform page on Facebook

turn_left_@_the _light's picture
turn_left_@_the... 3 years 39 weeks ago


Great post on The Progressive Voters Platform. I have an idea. When that day comes (and it will), why don't we name our breakoff group "The Progressive Values Party"? Surprisingly enough, from what I can tell, no other party has that official name here or anywhere else in the world. The Democratic Party is on life-support. The days of the two-party system are over. Independent parties are our only real hope of getting our country back.
Anyway, I just thought I'd throw the idea out there.

#BernieOrBust 2016

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