The Party for US: Grassroots Progressive Coalition Launches
Skeptical of Change in the Democratic Party
Taking their cue from U.S. Senator from Vermont Bernie Sanders' 2016 campaign for Democratic nominee for president, a new, grassroots coalition has formed The Party for US, with the goal of electing third-party political candidates who have a real shot of winning, and bringing about progressive, responsible change. The new party is comprised of former Democrats, independents, and Americans "who want a party that truly represents all of us."
"The Sanders campaign offered bold solutions to the challenges facing us, including tuition-free college, single-payer healthcare, and investing in the transition from fossil fuels to a clean energy economy. It was truly a vision of a future worth believing in. However, the inspiring ideals were not realized because there was not yet a major party in existence which genuinely supported such a vision for this country," The Party for US website reads.
The new political party was formed by supporters of Senator Sanders, including a former national delegate for his 2016 presidential campaign. Stating reservations with waiting to see if the Democratic Party can regroup after being beaten out by President Donald Trump's populist message, the founding members of The Party for US have stated that they are adopting a "build it and they will come" philosophy.
"This party will be a haven for emerging leaders to be vanguards in unhindered, uncorrupted politics that will only bow to the will of the people instead of special interests. 'US' will put the soul back into servant leadership. As it stands, how can politicians represent us when they are getting paid exorbitant amounts of money to represent the interests of a corporate entity?" Tamborine Borrelli, a founding member, and the party's first political candidate, stated in a news release. Ms. Borrelli is running to represent Washington's 10th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives in elections planned for November 2018.
What Does the Party for US Stand for?
- Accurate, secure, and fair elections free from voter fraud
- An end to "legalized bribery" influencing candidates
- Single-payer healthcare
- Fair and equal pay for workers
- Debt- and tuition-free education
- "Protecting and strengthening" U.S. Social Security
- Upholding employees' rights to strong unions
- Criminal justice reform, including for-profit jails and laws, and enforcement practices, which unfairly affect marginalized groups
- LGBTQ rights
- Proper care of veterans
- "Peace-driven foreign policy"
- A transition to a green economy
- A free and open internet
- Investment in infrastructure
- An economy that is equally accessible to all Americans
- An end to corruption in politics, government, and business
Inspired by Sanders' Inclusive Message
Inspiration for The Party for US name is said to come from Bernie Sanders insistence that his message, and successes, were a result of a "Not Me, US" mentality that resounded with progressives through the United States. Like the Senator from Vermont, who raised $227 million though individual donations, as reported by Open Secrets, the new third party hopes to emulate his "small donor, citizen-funded model."
Focusing on the 99 percent, as often referred to by Sanders, The Party for US intends to push a platform based on issues, such as single-payer healthcare and debt- or tuition-free higher education, which resonate with everyday Americans.
Noting the party's respect and admiration for Sanders, the group states that the senator had always held that his movement was "never about him but rather, it’s only ever been about US." Unwilling to wait until Sanders decides "whether or not the Democratic Party can be reformed," The Party for US has decided to take matters into its own hands, with the aim of running progressive candidates with or without the senator's involvement.
The party holds that electing progressive Democrats and independents has been a failing strategy, with those who have been successful going on to become "co-opted" and "part of the very system they ran to change." Toward this, The Party for US sees the formation of a new party as "essential."
The group intends to leverage new technology, which was effectively used by Sanders' campaign, combined with community building, as it fans out across the United States. The Party for US intends to back strong, viable candidates in all 50 states, funded by regular, everyday Americans, and not corporations.
Can the Democratic Party reform itself to better represent everyday Americans?
© 2017 Stephen Sinclair