With the goal of carrying the progressive vision far past Election Day, Bernie Sanders and his supporters Wednesday evening are formally launching the next phase of the political revolution.
Our Revolution is officially kicking off at 9pm EDT, when Sanders will address the tens of thousands expected to gather at the more than 2,600 launch events and house parties being held across the country. The live stream will also be available here.
In an email to supporters, Our Revolution president Jeff Weaver said that Sanders and other Our Revolution leaders "will lay out some of the next steps we can take as a movement to empower a wave of progressive candidates this November and win the major upcoming fights for the values we share."
Offering a vision of how the state-by-state campaign could result in real, political change, columnist Brent Budowsky wrote Tuesday:
Consider the following: If Democrats regain control of the Senate, Sanders would become chairman of either the Senate Budget Committee or the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. The progressive issues he raised in his presidential campaign, and will champion in his upcoming book, would then take center stage in the corridors of Congress. Chairman Sanders would have real power to call hearings of the committee he chairs to raise support for these issues and work to turn key proposals of his revolution into the law of the land.
"The movement he created in the primaries has the potential to define the political future of the nation," Budowsky added. Indeed, Our Revolution candidates, including New York's Zephyr Teachout and Pramila Jayapal in Washington state, have already won decisive primary battles.
The launch was not without a few bumps. A number of staffers, including Our Revolution organizing director Claire Sandberg, quit last week after it was announced that Weaver, who also served as campaign manager for Sanders' presidential bid, would be leading the new organization. According to Politico, the rift largely boiled down to differences of opinion on fundraising and campaign tactics.
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Since losing the primary, the senator has thrown his weight behind Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. And while many of his supporters remain unhappy about the alliance, Sanders argued in an op-ed earlier this month that defeating Republican nominee Donald Trump is "the most immediate task we face" in the struggle to transform America.
The revolution, he wrote, "continues as Hillary Clinton seeks the White House. It will continue after the election. It will continue until we create a government which represents all of us and not just the 1 percent—a government based on the principle of economic, social, racial and environmental justice."
The senator is also expected to release a book and revolution manifesto shortly after the election detailing how to keep the pressure on Clinton and the Democratic establishment.
Robert Borosage, founder and president of the Institute for America’s Future, wrote Tuesday that many progressives are "waving the white flag when the struggle has only just begun."
"If the Sanders supporters stay engaged," Borosage continued, "there could be an organizational form...that can do what a political party should do: educate and mobilize around progressive issues; recruit and support truly progressive candidates. This insurgency may continue to grow."
And as Budowsky added, "There is a progressive wave in America waiting for a politics to catch up with it. We are up against mighty forces of money, lobbying and greed—but, in the end, this wave will not be denied."
"My guess," he concluded optimistically, "is that Hillary Clinton wins the presidency and Bernie Sanders wins the future."
Updates are being shared online with the hashtag #OurRevolution.