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Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) was among the Democratic lawmakers who spoke in favor of progressive causes like immigrants' rights, healthcare, and a $15 minimum wage at the We the People Summit on Wednesday. (Photo: @LauraJONFIRE/Twitter)

'We Must Do More Than Resist': Bold, Progressive Agenda Championed at #WeThePeople Summit

"We're not just pulling the party to the left. We're pulling the party into the future."

Julia Conley

Speaking to hundreds of grassroots organizers at the We the People Summit in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, Democratic lawmakers displayed their shift to the left on a number of causes that progressives say politicians must embrace and fight for, in order to win enthusiastic support in upcoming elections.

Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) all spoke at the gathering, as well as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

"We are here to send a message to the leaders of the Democratic party: we must do more than resist, and put forward an agenda that puts Main Street before Wall Street." —Chris Shelton, CWASanders' steadfast and outspoken support for popular proposals like Medicare for All, a fair federal minimum wage, and an end to income inequality has been credited with encouraging Democrats to move left—and letting party candidates and lawmakers know that a growing number of Americans will no longer support them if they continue to align themselves with Wall Street and other powerful corporate interests.

At the summit, hosted by a number of progressive groups including Indivisible, MoveOn.org, Planned Parenthood, 350 Action, and the Working Families Party, public officials and advocates alike spoke in favor of a forward-thinking agenda.

Sanders noted that while Medicare for All and a higher minimum wage were seen as radical initiatives in recent years, both now have the support of the majority of Americans, according to polls.  

Booker and Gillibrand spoke about the right to healthcare and Medicare for All.

Warren spoke about the need for criminal justice reform, while Jayapal condemned the inhumane treatment of families who have immigrated to and sought asylum in the U.S., as the Trump administration has begun forcibly separating parents and children.

"We are here to send a message to the leaders of the Democratic party: we must do more than resist, and put forward an agenda that puts Main Street before Wall Street," said Chris Shelton, president of the Communication Workers of America (CWA), which co-hosted the event. "Stand with us, not with Wall Street!"

"We're not just pulling the party to the left. We're pulling the party into the future," said Heather McGhee, president of Demos and one of the event's moderators. "This is what Democracy looks like."


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