Press Release: In Memory of Heather Heyer

 

Last night we dedicated our state leads call to Heather Heyer, the compassionate young woman who was taken from us in Charlottesville. She lost her life in the same way that she lived it, opposing injustice and defending the human rights of others.

Many supporters and friends of our movement were there. Dr. Cornel West was surrounded by white supremacists. Lee Camp stood just a few feet from the car that killed Heather. Kenny Shelton was arrested for protesting racism.

Rather than unequivocally condemning this act of terrorism and the bigotry that drove it, our president took the stage of the highest office in the land and gave license to white supremacy.

In our day, many political fights remain. But no society has the right to call itself civilized until people do not fear for their lives because of the color of their skin.

Heather was a casualty of the ongoing struggle for civil rights in our country. The world has lost a caring soul. But the memory of her life has stirred in millions the love and compassion that compelled her.

Draft Bernie National Organizing Call – 8/10/17

Listen to highlights of our plans for the People’s Convergence Conference, the Draft Bernie Town Hall, and our nationwide Sister Gatherings taking place September 8-10.  The Conference and Town Hall are being held in Washington DC.

The Conference will begin with a rally on the National Mall Friday, September 8 at 11:30am ET.  From there, we’ll head to Bernie’s Senate office to deliver over 50,000 petition signatures.  Saturday evening September 9th,  we’ll listen to Dr. Cornel West and others discuss the burning question “Should we reform the Democratic Party or start a people’s party?”

Register for the conference now!  After you register, sign up for the rally & petition delivery, Town Hall, and book rooms in our discounted hotel block via this form. Our discounted room block is available through 8/17/17.

If you can’t make it to DC, host your own Town Hall live stream watch party.  Post your event on our Events Map.   These Sister Gatherings are key to letting the country know how much energy our movement has and to building a people’s party free of corporate control. They will be the beginnings of chapters for our new party.  We’ve created these guidelines for creating and hosting your own Sister Gathering.

Finally, continue reaching out to Bernie to ask him to attend our Town Hall and to join in the movement for a people’s party!

 

 

Draft Bernie National Organizing Call – 8/3/17

Our 21st weekly Draft Bernie national conference call was a special two-hour marathon at which Nick announced two long-awaited events, a petition delivery to Bernie’s office Sept.8, along with the Town Hall featuring Dr. Cornell West Sept. 9!  Both are part of the three-day People’s Convergence Conference Sept. 8-10 at American University’s College of Law.  The Town Hall will feature Dr. West, Nick, Kshama Sawant and, hopefully, Bernie himself. The list of speakers is impressive, including Calvin Priest, Tim Black, Lee Camp and others  Please check the Conference website at convergence2017.org for detailed information about the speakers and tickets. More than 44,000 committed people in all 50 states have signed the petition, and Nick encourages us all to continue to get signatures before the big event, and to keep the pressure on Bernie to attend through calls, draft cards and social media. The conference will be live-streamed and Nick encourages volunteers to form sister gatherings in their own towns to watch the events and build local support.  Jackie McCaffery talked about her remarkable Twitter poll taken by more than 8,000 people in 24 hours, showing huge support for single payer healthcare.  Successful DB events were described, upcoming Bernstorms were listed, and Nick encouraged us all to enlist students to form DB chapters at their colleges and universities, citing a 2016 poll reflecting that 91% of people under 30 want a new party.  He closed by earnestly thanking all of the volunteers who have worked so hard to bring us to this point.

Press Release: Announcing The People’s Convergence Conference and Draft Bernie Town Hall Featuring Dr. Cornel West and Kshama Sawant

For Immediate Release

Aug. 2, 2017

Contact:
Carol Ehrle | carol@draftbernie.org |  (248) 808-4200

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Progressives from around the country will gather in the nation’s capital Sept. 8-10 for The People’s Convergence Conference to discuss the central questions facing our movement: What will it take to defeat the right wing and build a powerful left alternative? Should progressives continue the fight to reform the Democratic Party or should we launch a people’s party independent of corporate money and influence?

The event is being hosted by a group of grassroots organizations: Draft Bernie for a People’s Party (DB), the Progressive Independent Party (PIP), and Socialist Alternative (SA). The feature event will be the Draft Bernie Town Hall, to which leading intellectual Dr. Cornel West and Draft Bernie founder Nick Brana invited Bernie Sanders on Democracy Now! in April. The Town Hall will feature Dr. West and socialist Seattle City Councilwoman and activist Kshama Sawant.

The sponsoring organizations represent tens of thousands of working people who supported Bernie Sanders’ bid for the presidency, men and women of all ages and races brought together by a common purpose. People who gave countless hours and reached deep to donate what they could spare to his campaign. Now they are united once more in asking Sen. Sanders to have a conversation with them about the future of our movement at the Town Hall.

Accordingly, Draft Bernie for a People’s Party will deliver more than 44,000 petition signatures to Sanders’ Senate office the day before the Town Hall. Each signature represents its own invitation from an American who fought hard for his presidential campaign and would do it again for a new party. The petition calls on him to continue the revolution that he started by launching a party rooted in the progressive views of the majority of Americans. A party that can fight to win the policies he has championed for so long, like Medicare for All and free college education.

The sponsoring organizations will also host sister gatherings across the country where thousands more can view the conference and Town Hall by livestream. Sister gatherings will deliberate the direction of the progressive movement on a local level, resulting in dozens of simultaneous conversations about a people’s party across the country.

The conference will be hosted at American University and comprise three days of workshops, panels, trainings and plenaries and will bring together a mix of voices from the worlds of activism, labor, academia, independent political parties and independent media.

“This conference is an important next step in bringing together working people, youth, people of color, activists and progressive leaders to prepare the ground for a powerful challenge to both establishment parties, Republican and Democratic alike, as we move forward,” said Nick Brana (DB), Araquel Bloss (PIP), and Calvin Priest (SA) in a joint statement by the heads of the three sponsoring organizations.

Last summer, Berniecrats gathered at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, where we watched as the presidential nomination was stolen from Sanders, setting the stage for the election of Donald Trump. One year later, progressives will gather to discuss a future independent of the Democratic Party. The Party’s refusal to represent working people inspired the creation of Draft Bernie and led to the rapid growth of left organizations like PIP and SA.

The three hosting organizations support the platform of Bernie 2016, including Medicare for All, a $15 minimum wage, getting big money out of politics, an end to the mass incarceration state, racial justice, free public college tuition, manufacturing development and taxing Wall Street and the billionaire class.

Araquel Bloss is the founder and director of the Progressive Independent Party, a movement for a coalition-based party. She is also an activist and most recently was the co-creator of #OccupyInauguration.

Nick Brana is the former national political outreach coordinator for Bernie 2016 and the former electoral manager for Our Revolution. He is the founder and director of Draft Bernie for a People’s Party.

Calvin Priest is a member of Socialist Alternative’s National Executive Committee and the editor of SocialistAlternative.org.

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Draft Bernie National Organizing Call – 7/27/17

Listen to our guest speaker, Bernie DNC delegate Paul Sasso, on the one-year anniversary of the rigged DNC. Paul talks about his experiences driving his Tesla Bern Machine around the country during the primary and attending the convention in Philadelphia where Hillary delegates were treated like royalty while Bernie delegates were shut down.  He ended his discussion by stating “next time we’ll have a people’s party convention!” Indeed, the time is NOW.  Nick emphasized that 57% of people want a people’s party and nearly half of voters are now Independents. The Democratic Party has made no moves to help working people. This week, Senator Chuck Schumer announced a party platform that is weaker than the one Hillary presented last year. On Wednesday, Nina Turner, who attempted to present a people’s platform to the DNC, had barricades placed in front of her so she couldn’t enter the building.

Let’s continue our efforts to build this party and convince Bernie that he needs to lead us! Continue sending in those draft cards; we’ve deluged Bernie’s offices with thousands. Hundreds of us calling into his offices this week and asking him to join our town hall and lead a people’s party have been met with a variety of responses. We’ll send out a DNC delegate video and letter to Bernie as a final way to commemorate the event that stole the nomination from him and delivered us Trump.  Check out our store at https://store.draftbernie.org/ for a new ‘Superhero’ shirt and other items to promote Draft Bernie.  Let’s continue to hold weekly events and build people’s party chapters across the country!

Ralph Nader discusses the Draft Bernie movement with Nick Brana – 7/15/17

Ralph Nader discussed the Draft Bernie movement with Nick Brana on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour.

Consumer rights champion and former presidential candidate Ralph Nader was impressed by our briefing for Bernie and invited Nick to discuss forming a people’s party on his radio show.

https://ralphnaderradiohour.com/draft-bernieraising-minimum-wage/

Nina Turner interviews Nick Brana on The Real News Network – 7/21/17

Nina Turner interviews Nick Brana on the surging movement for a new people’s party.

Our Revolution’s new president interviewed Nick Brana at the People’s Summit. The next day she told Jimmy Dore on air that she wants Bernie to start a new party!

Draft Bernie National Organizing Call – 7/20/17

Summary of the call:
Listen to Ralph Nader interview Nick about The Case for Draft Bernie. We need a people’s party as the donor class has picked as their Presidential candidate for 2020, Kamala Harris (D-CA), who as the CA Attorney General declined to investigate a bank that had violated thousands of foreclosure laws. This is more of the status quo from the Dems. NNU Director, RoseAnn DeMoro, conducted a survey on Twitter where out of 5,000 people polled, 88% wanted to follow Bernie instead of reforming the Dems. The majority of the country is ready for a new party! Next week is the one-year anniversary of the DNC anointing the oligarchy, and we’re commemorating with events Tuesday – Friday. Join us in asking Bernie to attend the Town Hall and to start a people’s party. DB is expanding and has added more national, state, and regional leaders. Let’s continue to host more events and recruit volunteers. Let us know if you’d like to volunteer!

 

Draft Bernie National Organizing Call – 7/13/17

Tonight we heard from two Draft Bernie field organizers. Jim Boydston, Regional leader in CA, former Bernie delegate at the DNC and opera singer, sang a Bernie version of a song from WWII. He also told his heartfelt story of why he supports DB. Then Mike Lucido, Regional leader in NY, spoke about two upcoming events in NY: A screening of Josh Fox’s new documentary,  Awake: A Dream from Standing Rock and his attendance at the MTV climate change Town Hall with Al Gore. The importance of holding or attending weekly events was emphasized as these would build a core group of people who would become a base for local chapters for the new people’s party. We can also build our base by forming coalitions with other groups. As our movement expands, we are always recruiting new volunteers in all states. If you’d like to join the DB movement, please email draftbernie@gmail.com and one of our state or regional leaders will contact you.

Draft Bernie National Organizing Call – 7/6/17

On tonight’s call we heard that the Democratic Party’s new slogan is “Democrats 2018 I mean, have you seen the other guys?”

This is what exactly what happened in 2016, and they delivered Trump. Clearly, they have not learned that a platform geared to help working people is what is desperately needed, not the same old talk of how bad Trump is. In other news Bernie will be in Morgantown, WV and Covington, KY on July 9. Let’s have a DB presence at these events. In addition, let’s keeping planning and/or attending weekly events, collecting petition signatures, and building coalitions across the country. Be sure and make use of the DB Events Map.