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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, pumps his fist in the air toward supporters as he arrives to speak during a campaign rally at Civic Center Park on September 9, 2019 in Denver. (Photo: Helen H. Richardson/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

For 'Making Movement Politics Mainstream,' National Grassroots Group People's Action Endorses Bernie Sanders

"Bernie Sanders cuts through the haze of corporate propaganda that clouds politics across the spectrum."

Julia Conley

Applauding Sen. Bernie Sanders for his leadership in forming a coalition of working people that cuts across race, class, and generational divides, national grassroots network People's Action announced its endorsement of the progressive 2020 Democratic candidate Thursday.

People's Action, a coalition of 40 state-level progressive groups from across the country, endorsed the Vermont senator after a "year-and-a-half-long democratic process" culminating in 74% of delegates voting for the endorsement.

National director George Goehl told Politico the group believes Sanders to be "uniquely positioned to win" the 2020 election because of the senator's broad support from people of color, young voters, and working people and his commitment to greatly reducing wealth inequality, providing universal healthcare, and combating the climate crisis while creating 20 million jobs through the Green New Deal.

"Bernie Sanders cuts through the haze of corporate propaganda that clouds politics across the spectrum," Goehl said in a statement. "He is not catching up to a movement to restructure the relationship between everyday people and big monied interests. He has been there the whole time."

In a video released after the endorsement was announced, Sanders said he was "proud and excited" to win the support of People's Action, whose affiliate organization include Progress Ohio, Maine People's Alliance, and Citizen Action of Wisconsin.

"They understand what I understand: That at the end of the day, the only way we make real change in this country is through grassroots activism," Sanders said.

In addition to a broader surge nationally and in key states, recent polls show Sanders has high levels of support from voters under the age of 45 and people of color, including Latinos.

Following People's Action's endorsement, Latino Press Secretary for Sanders' campaign Belén Sisaw echoed Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's (D-N.Y.) refrain: "They have the money, but we have the people."

Progressive lawyer and former New York attorney general candidate Zephyr Teachout called the group's endorsement "a really big deal" considering People's Action's engagement with grassroots activists in communities across the country, including in key voting states.

"The million people in National People's Action aren't online-only sign-up members, but people working in locally connected community organizations," Teachout tweeted.

People's Action said Sanders' housing plan, which calls for nearly 10 million affordable housing units and nationwide rent control, helped solidify the group's decision to back the senator. The organization released their proposal for a national homes guarantee in September, weeks before Sanders unveiled his $2.5 trillion plan.

Sanders has "proven that he can listen and work with the grassroots when it's time to be bolder," said Lizeth Chacon, national president of People's Action's board of directors. "When we launched a call for safe, accessible, sustainable, permanently affordable homes for everyone, Sanders heard our blunt call for action. Now the vision of our Homes Guarantee is reflected in his housing policy. That's just one example of him making movement politics mainstream."

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