To: Jeff Weaver and Bernie Sanders, Presidential Candidate
An Organizer’s Plea to Bernie: Fund the Grassroots to Win
To help the army of supporters who are needed to help Bernie win big on the West Coast and become our next President, we are calling on the Sanders campaign to fully fund the grassroots during the coming month. Specifically, to divert millions of dollars from media buys to pay for free campaign materials and local field organizers reflective of the ethnicity of our diverse communities. We need the tools to mobilize an army of supporters to spread the word of the revolution, while helping voters ensure that they have not been purged from voter roles or had their party affiliations mysteriously switched.
Why is this important?
Whether or not Bernie can still win the nomination will depend upon how well we can mobilize the grassroots support that We, the People, feel for our urgently needed Second American Revolution.
Hillary Clinton has been outspending Sanders by about 30% for paid staff, while Bernie’s campaign has spent far more on media buys, leaving less money to pay people to go door to door and provide free lawn signs for everyone who wants them. To win more than 2/3 of the primary vote in the Western states and pave a path to victory at the Convention, we are calling for the Sanders campaign to divert millions of dollars from media buys here in California starting May 9, to fund paid field organizers, free lawn signs, bumper stickers and grassroots events to allow our campaign to better connect directly with millions of voters.
Our campaign needs to field a diverse legion of hundreds or even thousands of paid field organizers, so that those who appear on doorsteps and street corners reflects the demographics that will be voting in the final West Coast primaries. Here in California, we need to help people register and select a party preference before a May 23 registration deadline. We also need to help them check that their registration has not been mysteriously switched or purged, to make sure that the suspicious shenanigans that went on in New York are not repeated in California, the nation’s largest primary race.
Bernie 2016 needs to match Clinton’s ground game, which is paying People of Color living wages for door-to-door outreach in Oakland and other cities. At this time, Bernie’s campaign professionals are refusing to hire more than a skeleton crew of canvassers with scarce resources, while reserving nearly all funds raised for big advertising buys from the corporate media. This is not the way we are going to win this. If we rely solely on volunteers for outreach, then only those who can afford to work for free, often meaning, the well-to-do and retirees, are able to assist. This greatly limits the diversity of those who represent Bernie, while we are working within diverse communities, where the Bernie 2016 campaign is already struggling to catch up with Clinton’s lead.
As a grassroots community organizer for Bernie Sanders, I, petition organizer David Karabelnikoff (Aleut/ Alaska Native), have campaigned in Nevada, Alaska, and California. Campaign workers and volunteers like me have worked countless hours door knocking, face banking, sign building, tabling, and event and rally planning. Many of our colleagues are worried that the hierarchical Bernie 2016 campaign team is focusing too much on media buys, while starving the grassroots of personnel and materials that will be needed on Primary day.
Funding a grassroots effort could also include high profile inner city projects, like the Peoples Vision of the Political Revolution Mural Project being created with Oakland and Bay Area youth to share their vision for the future, while increasing voter turnout.
Please share this petition with others who want to help Bernie win big by funding the grassroots to carry our grassroots revolution now!