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Is working for democratic reforms such as money out of politics, proportional representation, and instant runoff voting the way to go?

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Can the Democratic Party be reformed, whether by pushing it to the left or taking it over from below (through county central committees), or is it beyond redemption, requiring us to focus our efforts elsewhere?
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CONTACTS FOR STUDY/DISCUSSION GROUPS IN YOUR AREA

Use this page to find others in your area who want to meet and discuss what to do to build on the momentum for a political revolution.
If you have a group or wish to start one, contact us to submit your information for posting here. To protect your privacy as a contact person, you may want to set up a separate email account for this purpose. Note: this is not the place for listing ongoing organizations; see the Resources page.

California
San Francisco Bay Area — Michael mpgcom@earthlink.net

 

CONTRIBUTE
Contributions of items on our wish list, time, or money can really boost this project! Those coordinating it would love your help!  MORE »

RESOURCESresources

Like the rest of this site, this is a work in progress. Please use our Contact Form to propose additions. Any organization seeking to mobilize grassroots power for fundamental structural change may submit a link and a 200-word description, and we will add it. We have not evaluated the groups listed.

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General Readings on Creating the Political Revolution
Readings on Diversity, Inclusiveness
Inspiration: Music, Poetry, Videos, Movies
Organizations

General Readings on Creating the Political Revolution

Erik Forman, “An Open Letter to Bernie Sanders on Turning His Campaign Into a Movement,” In These Times, April 13, 2016.  Another appeal to Bernie, with concrete suggestions on how the campaign organization could support a real movement.

Arlene Goldbard, The Wave and The Culture of Possibility:  Art, Artists, and the Future.  The first book is a fictional account of the role of art and culture and small independent initiatives all over the country in creating a transformative paradigm shift that is already happening.  The second is a non-fiction argument for that model for change.

Michael Goldstein, “All is Not Lost:  12 Theses on the Way Forward,” Huffington Post, July 10, 2013.  Argues that reforms won’t work; a nonviolent revolution will; it’s the “cliff notes” to his book, Return of the Light: A Political Fable in Which the American People Retake Their Country.

Ralph Nader, Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State.  Focuses on getting past the “social issues” the dominant parties use to stake out their brands and divide people. Points out examples of unity between self-identified liberals and conservatives on many fundamental issues.

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Readings on Diversity, Inclusiveness

Omar Ricks, “The Problem of Black Lives Mattering, Slingshot #118, Spring 2015.  An eye-opening overview of the interrelated forms structural racism takes in our society.

Finn, “It’s Not All About Us,”  Slingshot #118, Spring 2015.  A short essay with some tips for white folks both on working on issues that most directly affect people of color and also on relating to activists of color.

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Inspiration: Music, Poetry, Videos, Movies

Send us your suggestions!

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Organizations

Brand New Congress. “[T]rying to win each Congressional seat one-by-one is impossible. So let’s run one campaign to replace Congress all at once . . . .”

The People’s Revolution. Seeks to “increase issue awareness and provide channels of direct engagement with the political process”; organizing a People’s Convention in Philadelphia just before the Democrats’ convention to create a People’s Platform.

The People’s Summit. A coalition hosting a Chicago Conference June 17-19; talks, workshops, and a plan to advance a People’s Agenda.

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WHAT THIS IS

“You can have the best President in the history of the world, and that person will not be able to address the major crises that we face unless there’s a mass political movement, unless there’s a political revolution in this country!” –Bernie Sanders

 

No matter how far Bernie goes or doesn’t go, our job is to build that “mass political movement” that the larger project of ending the power of the billionaire class demands. In the best of worlds, the election will give us President Sanders, facing a Congress dominated by the less strident of the two parties that neglect our people and the planet in favor of corporate wealth; facing a 2.7-million-person bureaucracy, with its 175,000 pages of regulations, revolving door with big business, and ready access for corporate lawyers and lobbyists; and facing a judiciary with large elements ready to block real change.

 

Depending on one’s point of view, the movement needed could be one like that described in the campaign website, “with enough power not only to elect a president but to insist that all of our elected representatives return power to the people”; or one that replaces those representatives with people not beholden to society’s wealthiest; or one that can enact a money-out-of-politics constitutional amendment; or one that builds for a nonviolent but truly revolutionary uprising to overturn political rule by the super-rich.

 

No matter how you see the political revolution happening, if you recognize that it will take more than an electoral campaign and will have to extend well past November 8, 2016, you are in the right place.

 

BeyondBernie.org was created to permit you and people like you to have online and face-to-face dialogs about how to create a massive mobilization for a truly democratic government, one dedicated to peace, social and racial justice, environmental sustainability, economic security, and a society hospitable to the needs of the human spirit. We expect that people with similar views on the way forward will come together; people with differing views will learn from each other; and those who then find themselves ready to take — or continue — action according to one or another strategy will be able to organize themselves to do so.

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THE CONVERSATION

Current topics appear in this order:

Role of democratic reforms, including money out of politics.

Pressuring Congress;  electing a new one.

Running people in local elections.
Inclusiveness (race, sex, orientation).

Taking over the Democratic Party;   pushing it to the left

Where workplace and community self-organizing fit in.

Need for, prospects of a nonviolent popular uprising.

Working democratically, coordinating nationally.

Adding to Bernie’s focus on income inequality and failed democracy.

Making BeyondBernie.org more effective.