On September 1, 2016 the Democratic National Committee launched a state based Victory Leaders Council (VLC) program. Its purpose is said to help elect Hillary Clinton and win down ballot elections both in this cycle and beyond. The VLC will depend on grassroots efforts who put ‘elbow grease’ into electing Democrats up and down the ballot. One of the many issues Bernie Delegates describe from their experience as delegates, is that they felt excluded, ignored, and even cast aside from the convention process. Has the DNC created yet another establishment program that does not include or invite all party members? How can a program depend on grassroots efforts and not be offered to all?
Bernie Sanders running as the Democratic Nominee brought together more grassroots involvement than we have seen in many years. His rejection of Super PAC/Corporate support and building his campaign funds directly from the people proved how capable the people are willing to donate both time and energy to truly effective leaders. The Bernie delegate funding process began with a Facebook group called Delegates and Friends of Delegates for Bernie Sanders 2016 that also led to www.fundberniedelegates.com and was probably the most effective true grassroots effort during this election season. If the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign want to build on grassroots efforts, why are they excluding the leaders of these efforts? I can assure you as a leader in these efforts that we are not being contacted or given the opportunity to get involved.
Let’s take the Our Revolution organization for instance. Led by Bernie Sanders campaign manager in an effort to support down ballot candidates during this election season. Why would the DNC not coincide with this organization to blend all grassroots efforts for Democratic candidates? Has the DNC created this effort to just pretend like they care about what the people really think or how the Party can unite? That’s been the motto for Clinton campaign. ‘Stronger Together’ As a Bernie supporter that chose to staying working in the Democratic Party this is showing many of us again that they do not want our efforts, work, organizational skills, and fund raising capabilities anywhere near their Party affiliation.
Some of you might say, well they haven’t reached your state yet. That’s not the case in many states. A true grassroots movement is offered to everyone in the organization. It is by definition the embodiment of the people. And just to prove my point, there are many Georgia delegates that were not even contacted with the opportunity to get involved, yet they were the first listed launch state of this effort. Sounds like picking and choosing to me. Sounds like the same old stuff that got us into this mess to begin with. Sounds like the very reason Bernie decided to run as a Democratic nominee. He knew it needed to get back to the people and out of the control of the oligarchy.
The frustrations, disappointments, and revelations of the Party leaders are in rare form these days. Especially since hacking is giving us the information of what is really going on inside the Party. If they do not reach out to build bridges with a large percentage of party members, they will only continue to lose members.
If you are not aware of the struggles and concerns Bernie supporters are experiencing, I encourage you to listen to the words of Nita Ellenback Lynch, CO Bernie delegate and long time Democrat Party member, here.