Jun 14, 2016
Bernie Sanders held a press conference on Tuesday calling for reform of the Democratic party--starting with the ouster of Democratic National Committee (DNC) chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz--and said he would remain in the presidential race until the end.
Speaking ahead of a planned meeting with Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, Sanders said, "The time is now--in fact, the time is long overdue, for a fundamental transformation of the Democratic party."
"The time is now--in fact, the time is long overdue, for a fundamental transformation of the Democratic party." --Bernie Sanders"We need a party which is prepared to stand up for the disappearing middle class, for the 47 million people in this country who are living in poverty, and take on the greed of the powerful special interests that are doing so much harm to this country, who have so much power over the political and economic life of our country," he said.
"We need, obviously, to get rid of superdelegates," he added.
The news conference also precedes a speech that Sanders plans to deliver to his supporters on Thursday via an online video address.
"When we started this campaign, I told you that I was running not to oppose any man or woman, but to propose new and far-reaching policies to deal with the crises of our time," he stated in an email advertising the event. "And for the past fourteen months, through the entire primary process, we've sent the establishment a message they can't ignore: we won't settle for the status quo."
"After today, the voting is done, but our political revolution continues," he wrote, referring to the primary taking place in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday.
Over the past year, political revolution has become Sanders' signature call to action; as he and Clinton prepare to meet, observers noted the significance of his campaign in influencing Democratic platforms and breathing new life into the electorate at large.
As author and activist Naomi Klein wrote on Tuesday:
The evidence is clear: The left just won. Forget the nomination--I mean the argument. Clinton, and the 40-year ideological campaign she represents, has lost the battle of ideas. The spell of neoliberalism has been broken, crushed under the weight of lived experience and a mountain of data.
What for decades was unsayable is now being said out loud--free college tuition, double the minimum wage, 100 percent renewable energy. And the crowds are cheering. With so much encouragement, who knows what's next?
To that end, Sanders is expected to push for progressive reforms to the DNC's platform in his meeting with Clinton as the two candidates carve out an action plan following her win in California, clinching the Democratic nomination.
According to CNN, the concessions he is likely to ask for include a change in DNC leadership, more open primaries that make it easier for independents to take part, and a roll call vote at the party's upcoming convention in Philadelphia that would allow his delegates to speak before a nominee is chosen.
However, the campaign has remained firm that the Vermont senator has no intention of conceding ahead of the convention in July.
"Are we going to take our campaign for transforming the Democratic Party into the convention? Absolutely," Sanders told reporters in Burlington on Sunday.
And his spokesperson Michael Briggs reiterated to USA Today on Tuesday that Sanders "will be a candidate through the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, as he has said before."
Sanders delivered his remarks as voters in Washington, D.C. cast ballots in the nation's final primary.
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