Home2020 ElectionsBernie News Roundup – #Bernie2020 Announcement Reactions, Sanders Staffs Up & More
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I put this in yesterday but thought it might be good to put it here again on the first day of BNR. Plenty of diversity in the highest posts in his campaign


A full operation is being put together, with the assumption that he will have well over $200 million in online fundraising to draw from. That includes top leadership of the campaign meant to illustrate the diversity of his support, demographically and geographically. Faiz Shakir, a former aide to Harry Reid, is leaving his job as the political director of the American Civil Liberties Union to be the campaign manager. In addition to his deep political experience, he will be the first Muslim presidential-campaign manager in history. Analia Mejia, an organizer of Colombian and Dominican descent who most recently directed the Fight for $15 and Earned Sick Days campaigns in New Jersey, will be the political director. The deputy political director will be Sarah Badawi, who was most recently the government-affairs director for the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, a liberal group that led the effort to draft Elizabeth Warren into the 2016 race.

Here’s photos of Analilia Mejia (the article spelled her first name incorrectly) and Sarah Badawi



Why she chose union organizing: Mejia said her mother, an undocumented immigrant from Colombia, and her father, a Dominican, both did factory work while she was growing up. They lived in poverty and did not have enough to eat.

“It wasn’t until my mother got a good union job that we became less food unstable,” she said. Had it not been for that, she would not have gone to college, Mejia said, because “when you are worried about feeding your kids, you have little time to dream.”

Her mother was a member of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union, which today is part of UNITE HERE. She jumped at the chance to work with them on such issues as immigrant rights and low wages, which had impacted her mother.

What she is doing at Working Families: Although it was formed eight years ago, New Jersey Working Families was not well known and most of its efforts revolved around budget issues.

Mejia is a dynamic woman who set out to strengthen the organization from the start and has done so quickly. The organization’s mission is to help improve life for working families, whose decline predates the Great Recession.

“The pain on Main Street is what triggered the collapse on Wall Street,” Mejia said, noting that workers’ job losses and mortgage defaults predated the financial decline that led to the stock markets losing half their value.

The organization’s major battles are for fair taxes and a fair state budget, a $15 minimum wage, guaranteed paid sick leave, and expanded voting rights for all New Jerseyans.

“Americans, New Jerseyans, are tired of the inequality that has been baked into our political and policy decisions,” she said. “Our focus is on inequality, whether it be racial injustice, economic injustice, immigration rights … It’s all about expanding the pie for working families. Too much of the gains have gone to the top 5 percent, the top 1 percent. The rest of us find ourselves stuck with crumbling roads, underfunded schools, jobs that don’t pay enough.”




Sarah leads the Progressive Change Campaign Committee’s (BoldProgressives.org) legislative outreach effort to build support for PCCC policy initiatives, working closely with congressional allies and their staff to incorporate bold progressive ideas into their legislative priorities. Most recently, Sarah helped lead the effort to build broad support for the Big Idea of debt-free college on the Hill resulting in a joint resolution introduced in the U.S. House and Senate. Prior to joining our Hill team, Sarah was a key member of PCCC’s electoral team working with endorsed candidates on building strong fundraising



That said, while Sanders’s ideas won’t set him apart from this field as dramatically as they did in 2016, his authenticity still might. Harris, Gillibrand and Booker are all recent converts to big progressive policies. Sanders has been saying the same thing for 40 years – almost comically so. That he is constitutionally incapable of lying has been a major part of his appeal, and a stark contrast from polished party functionaries willing to change their tune to suit a new poll or donor. The onus will be on candidates newly gravitating toward left ideas to prove their endorsements of progressive policies are more than just empty talking points.

What remains unique about Sanders, too, is his long-held belief that political change is driven from below. As other candidates pitch their own progressive bona fides, Sanders will pitch a political revolution. Investing too much faith in any one person is a dangerous thing, particularly in an office as fraught as the American presidency – for him, just a means to an end. Sanders is all too aware that he’ll need an army at his back to get anything done should he win. Accordingly, he’ll treat his campaign as an opportunity to train them into fighting shape.

The Democratic party is stronger for Sanders having thrown his wrench into its coronation plans two years ago. And we’re all better off. It’s painfully easy to imagine two years of an electoral news cycle orbiting around personality beefs and debates about “electability” instead of, say, the looming collapse of human civilization. With as few as 11 years left before the climate crisis veers into a full-on global catastrophe, the presidential race needs to be a place to debate issues, not individuals. With Sanders on the scene, we can rest assured that it will be.

Bernie Sanders showed us that another world is possible. If that world becomes a reality, we’ll have him to thank – whether he becomes president or not.


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