Bernie Sanders Launching Political Group Called Our Revolution

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Former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders thrusts his fist in the air as he arrives to speak at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on July 25. Mike Segar/Reuters

Bernie Sanders is attempting to keep alive the progressive platform he touted on the presidential campaign trail with the publication of a new book and the creation of a group focused on transforming the political landscape and helping progressive candidates win elections across the country. With the two initiatives, the Vermont senator has vowed to keep fighting “for what is right,” and to maintain the momentum he gained with voters during his campaign.

Sanders is expected Wednesday night to announce the formation of a new group, called Our Revolution. His corresponding book, Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In, is set for publication on November 15, seven days after the general election.

“Election days come and go, but the struggle for economic, social, racial and environmental justice must continue,” Sanders said in an email to supporters last Thursday. “We have the guts and the energy to take on the special interests, win critical battles on the most important issues of our time, and redefine what’s possible in this country.”

Our Revolution is facing some immediate problems, specifically related to its financing and management. The New York Times reported Wednesday that a majority of Sanders’s staff resigned after he hired his former campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, to lead the new organization. The former employees reportedly have a deep distrust in Weaver due to how he spent money during the senator’s presidential campaign. And some of Sanders’s fans hold dim views of the group’s ability to draw “dark money” from the campaign finance system the candidate criticized while on the campaign trail, according to the newspaper.

During the past year, Sanders, widely viewed as a liberal firebrand, highlighted his belief in forming a government to represent every American, instead of just a handful of wealthy campaign contributors—what he called a political revolution. On the campaign trail, he spoke about his desire to fight for a progressive agenda to create jobs, raise wages, protect the environment, provide health care for all, back free tuition at public colleges and universities and oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.

Our Revolution vows to set out with three main goals: to revitalize American democracy by bringing millions of both working and young individuals into the political system; empower the next generation of progressive leaders; and elevate political consciousness by educating the public about issues confronting the country.

In an email earlier this month, Sanders highlighted his endorsement of Tim Canova, who is running in the Florida House race against Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the former chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee who resigned in July in the wake of the DNC email hack. The hack of thousands of emails revealed messages sent and received by multiple top party officials discussing Sanders’s campaign and its viability. Throughout his presidential bid, Sanders and his supporters were convinced that Wasserman Schultz was working against them.

While resisting calls to pull out of the race for the presidential nomination, Sanders won major concessions in a quest to push the Democratic Party into passing the most progressive platform in its history, including a federal minimum wage of $15 per hour and a carbon pricing regime to combat climate change.

The independent senator didn’t officially leave the race for the White House until he endorsed his former rival, Hillary Clinton, on July 12. His exit came more than a month after she declared a historic victory in the Democratic primary. Some of his supporters were disappointed by his endorsement, while others have pledged to unite the Democratic Party by voting for the former secretary of state in November.

Sanders will speak from Washington, D.C., on Wednesday night. There, he is expected to lay out some of the next steps he hopes the movement will take to empower progressive candidates. He encourages Americans to watch live at one of more than 2,600 meeting places around the country. The live stream will begin at 9 p.m. Eastern time.

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