The Working Families Party today announced its endorsement of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in the Democratic primary for President of the United States and pledged to marshall its membership and grassroots power to help Sanders win the primary and defeat Donald Trump. The WFP had previously backed U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) in the Democratic primary, and was among her most significant backers.
The WFP will work to show voters who backed Warren why supporting Sanders is their best choice to advance the big structural change that Warren fought for. The WFP is planning an organizing call tonight at 8 p.m. ET for Warren supporters to speak to each other about their experiences on the campaign and next steps for progressives in 2020. Joining the call will be elected officials who had endorsed Warren but will now back Sanders for the nomination. WFP also announced plans to organize community meetings around the country to reach out to voters who were inspired by Warren’s run.
The WFP will mobilize members and supporters to vote for Bernie in upcoming primary states, including key contests tomorrow, as well as in primaries to come in states with strong WFP chapters, like Wisconsin, New York, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut.
“Bernie Sanders will fight for a Green New Deal, universal health care and a living wage for every worker. Organized capital won’t rest and neither will we,” said Maurice Mitchell, Working Families Party National Director. “We said from the very beginning that there were two progressive champions in this race, and that our North Star was to elect one of them as president. Now, the Working Families Party will marshall its grassroots supporters and staff to help Senator Sanders win the nomination and defeat Donald Trump.”
The WFP conducted an endorsement process last September using a ranked-choice voting system. While Warren came in first, Sanders finished a strong second, and the vast majority of members who supported Warren listed Sanders as their second choice. With Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s exit from the field, the WFP’s choice is clear. With so much at stake in the Democratic primary and the general election in November, WFP refuses to remain on the sidelines.
During Sanders’ Live Q&A with WFP in South Carolina last year, he vowed to break up big banks that contributed to the housing crash that saw working families lose their homes. Sanders also pledged to invest heavily in affordable housing, strengthen the power of unions and fight for a Green New Deal in his first term. In the 2016 Presidential election, the Working Families Party was one of Bernie Sanders’ earliest and most enthusiastic backers.
“We were lucky to have two strong progressives in this race who changed the conversation and shifted the limits of the possible,” said Working Families Party Director of Strategy and Partnerships Nelini Stamp. “There is no waiting for next time, because working class families and marginalized people can’t wait for next time. Climate change won’t wait, spiraling inequality won’t wait, and white supremacy won’t wait. Bernie Sanders is our best chance of making this a country that works for the many, not the few.”
The differences between Sen. Sanders and Vice President Biden are stark. The vice president’s past positions like the ‘94 crime bill, support for the Iraq war and support for the bankruptcy “reform” bill are at direct odds with the values and policies many WFP members and leaders fight for. For them, Biden represents a return to a time that disrupted families and upended lives.
“We must beat Donald Trump, but beating Donald Trump isn’t enough to win the world working families need and deserve,” said Andrea Serrano, Executive Director of OLÉ, New Mexico Working Families Party Co-Chair. “Bernie Sanders has been a life-long champion for working people, and he is our best chance to make the plans that Elizabeth Warren championed in her run a reality. But we won’t stop there. In addition to electing Senator Sanders, we are committed to fighting the misogyny we saw on display in the 2020 election, starting by electing a wave of progressive women up and down the ballot this year.”
The Working Families Party is a grassroots progressive political party that fights to make our country work for the many, not just the few. WFP recruits, trains, and elects the next generation of progressive leaders to office. The WFP has state chapters or local branches in seventeen states, and membership in every part of the country.
Last year the WFP drove a progressive wave in local elections across America. WFP member Kendra Brooks, won a citywide council seat to become Philadelphia’s first-ever third-party city councilor. WFP also helped to elect longtime tenants organizer and progressive champion Jumaane Williams as Public Advocate in New York City, swelled the ranks of Chicago city council progressive caucus, put public education champions on the school board in Milwaukee, helped make Stephen Mason the first Black mayor of Cedar Hill, Texas, helped insurgent Latinx LGBTQ activist Candi CdeBaca oust a longtime incumbent on the Denver City Council, and elected other council members from Morgantown, W.Va., to Phoenix, Ariz.