“Universal Healthcare: Learning from the success of others” by Barry Hermanson

In the June issue of the Bay View, I wrote a column entitled: We can have better health at lower cost. At the time, legislation in Congress (HR 676) had achieved a record number of co-sponsors. Finally, a majority of the Democratic Caucus. Still, far short of a majority to move it forward. No Republican supports HR 676.

In early June, a universal healthcare bill in the California legislature (SB 562), backed by enormous popular support, was heading to its first committee vote. It passed the committee and the full California Senate, but only because it didn’t include any description of funding. By June 30th, the bill had been shelved in the Assembly for the year. It will be taken up again early next year. The major concern by both Democrats and Republicans? How will we pay for it?

Fortunately, a Select Committee on Health Care Delivery Systems and Universal Coverage has been appointed by Speaker Anthony Rendon. I’m glad to see 2 of the 7 committee members are Republicans. We will need more than a few Republican votes if we are ever to achieve universal healthcare. We won’t have the support of every Democrat. http://assembly.ca.gov/healthcaredeliverysystems

I believe the Select Committee should hold many hearings throughout California between now and the time SB 562 is taken up again. It is an opportunity to look at and talk about the many successes in healthcare enjoyed by people in other countries. Taiwan did a similar process in the 1990’s. We could learn from their success in improving healthcare to everyone at a fraction of what we pay. A report could be prepared and submitted to the Assembly highlighting best practices in other countries. The report will help shape the debate on SB 562 next year.

On the Select Committee’s web page there is no mention of upcoming meeting times or agendas. If there is no agenda, we must help the committee establish one. No meeting times or places? Please join me in calling the committee members listed below. The next few months present us with an opportunity to have a robust debate about universal healthcare in California. Well publicized meetings of the Select Committee will do much to educate voters, help us to organize them and strengthen the movement for universal healthcare. Take a few moments, make a few calls and ask for the Select Committee to hold a meeting in your community this fall.

Dr. Joaquin Arambula (Chair) – Dem – Fresno – (559) 445-5532
Jim Wood (Chair) – Dem – North Coast – (707) 576-2526
Autumn Burke – Dem – Inglewood – (310) 412-6400
David Chiu – Dem – San Francisco – (415) 557-3013
Laura Friedman – Dem – Burbank – (818) 558-3043
Tom Lackey – Rep – Palmdale – (661) 267-7636
Marie Waldron – Rep – Escondido – (760) 480-7570

I’m 66. My work on this issue is personal. Average life expectancy in other countries is greater than in the U.S. People enjoy national healthcare that provides better healthcare at a much lower cost. Although I believe the issue of universal healthcare will ultimately be decided at the ballot box in California, the Select Committee can pave the way to better healthcare by holding hearings throughout the state. A report of their findings and recommendations will help the legislature craft a better bill to be put before voters.

Barry Hermanson
Green Party Candidate for Congress
barry@hermansons.com – personal
Barry@Barry4Congress.org – campaign

Mike Zint on homelessness

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First they came for the homeless

Let me see if I have this right. Grandma becomes homeless because she lives on a fixed income and the bills get to be to much. She reaches out for help, and the agencies that are supposed to help cannot. She tries to get into a shelter, but they are full. She ends up in a doorway. Now, instead of a grandmother, she is a drug addicted mentally disabled person that is a threat to all that is good and proper. That is what most who see her in that doorway are thinking.

Do you see the problem?

Let’s replace the ugliness.

–Mike Zint

“Americans can have better healthcare at lower cost” by Barry Hermanson

May 26, 2017 (sfbayview.com)

The New York Health Act, which would create a state-run Medicare-style single-payer system, now has 30 cosponsors in the state Senate and is endorsed by 40 labor unions. “We’ve never been this close,” Assemblymember Richard Gottfried, D-Manhattan, the bill’s sponsor, said with high hopes.

In other countries, people enjoy better healthcare at lower cost. Everyone has access to healthcare and average life expectancy is greater. In Canada, with their version of Medicare for All, no one goes bankrupt because of healthcare expenses. In the U.S., healthcare bankrupts more than a million every year.

Healthcare spending per person in the U.S. is $10,000, twice the average for developed countries. Obamacare increased access to health insurance and medical care but millions remain uninsured. Those who are insured frequently avoid needed healthcare because of expensive insurance co-pays and deductibles.

In a recent Kaiser poll, 81 percent of Democrats and 58 percent of all voters supported an Improved and Expanded Medicare for All. What is being done to move us in that direction?

Active healthcare legislation in Washington

H.R. 676 is a bill in Congress that adopts many of the practices other countries use to control healthcare costs and provide quality service. Of the 193 Democrats in the House of Representatives, 110 are currently co-sponsors. No Republicans support it. Only 62 Democrats were cosponsors last year when Obama was president.

Now, with a Republican president and a Republican-controlled Congress attacking healthcare, H.R. 676 (introduced in every Congress since 2003) finally enjoys a majority of co-sponsors in the Democratic Party caucus. Unfortunately, Democratic “leaders” like Nancy Pelosi are not cosponsors because insurance and drug companies contribute heavily to Republican and Democratic politicians.

H.R. 676 is a bill in Congress that adopts many of the practices other countries use to control healthcare costs and provide quality service.

On the issue of healthcare, I believe Nancy Pelosi isn’t leading or following. She is standing in the way. If you want better healthcare at a more reasonable price, call Rep. Nancy Pelosi. Ask her to cosponsor H.R. 676. Call 202-225-4965 or 415-556-4862 and also ask her to endorse SB 562, discussed below.

Recent healthcare legislation in California

In response to Republican attacks in Washington, a bill to provide healthcare to every California resident was introduced into the California Senate earlier this year. The Healthy California Campaign in support of SB 562 is generating a remarkable amount of new energy to the movement. The number of people who have rallied to support the bill is impressive. From the HealthyCA.org web site:

“Healthy California is a campaign of over 4 million Californians building a statewide movement to win guaranteed healthcare for ALL California residents. We represent over 150 community and labor organizations made up of nurses, teachers, patients, doctors, union members, business leaders, faith and immigrant rights community, progressive political organizations, healthcare advocates and providers.”

In response to Republican attacks in Washington, a bill (SB 562) to provide healthcare to every California resident was introduced into the California Senate earlier this year.

As this article is going to press, an initial draft of the financing of SB 562 has been submitted to the Senate Appropriations Committee. A vote is due in this committee and the full Senate by June 2, with little time for debate or amendments.

Just as is the case in Washington, not every Democrat in Sacramento supports universal healthcare. Yet, passing SB 562 will require every Democrat to vote in favor, including Gov. Brown, who has been silent on this issue. Democrats could pass universal healthcare legislation this year but possibly will not.

If SB 562 passes and is signed into law by the governor, a ballot measure to repeal it would, no doubt, soon be filed by those whose profits will be impacted. Unless we are organized, it will be difficult to defeat an opponent who will spend whatever it takes to influence voters.

If SB 562 passes and is signed into law by the governor, a ballot measure to repeal it would, no doubt, soon be filed by those whose profits will be impacted.

In addition to organizing support for SB 562, it is important to have a Plan B. Universal healthcare will very likely be won or lost at the ballot box in California. To win, 5 million California voters who support an Improved and Expanded Medicare for All must be identified. Because too many politicians are influenced by political donations, the Healthy California coalition should craft an initiative for the ballot and do the hard work of identifying the voters needed to pass it.

Universal healthcare will very likely be won or lost at the ballot box in California. To win, 5 million California voters who support an Improved and Expanded Medicare for All must be identified.

The only organization I know of in California that has a goal of identifying 5 million voters is Single Payer Now. Please visit SinglePayerNow.net or call 415-695-7891 to register your support. Healthcare is a human right. Together, we will win.

Barry Hermanson is the San Francisco-based Green Party candidate for U.S. House of Representatives. He can be reached at barry@hermansons.com.

More on California single payer

Here’s a youtube video with the CNA response to Dayen done before Rose’s show:

Michael Lighty, Director of Public Policy for National Nurses United, joins Jimmy Dore to discuss how to best get single-payer passed in California. Watch the full Aggressive Progressives episode here: https://tytnetwork.com/2017/07/06/agg…

Here’s youtube video with Pollin’s rebuttal to Dayen argument against SB 562 done before Rose’s show:

Fearless, Adversarial Journalism – Spoken Edition: Pollin: Why Single Payer, Now, Is for Real // The Intercept produces fearless, adversarial journalism, covering stories the mainstream media misses on national security, politics, criminal justice, technology, surveillance, privacy, and human rights. A SpokenEdition transforms written content into human-read audio you can listen to anywhere. It’s perfect for times when you can’t read – while driving, at the gym, doing chores, etc. Find more at www.spokenedition.com

(Courtesy of Leland Jung.)

“Why universal basic income is gaining support, critics” by Kathleen Pender

The idea of government giving every person a universal basic income has been gaining traction thanks in part to endorsements from some Silicon Valley celebs. Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, venture capitalist Marc Andreessen and others want to explore the idea.

The idea of government giving every person a universal basic income has been gaining traction thanks in part to endorsements from some Silicon Valley celebs. Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, venture capitalist Marc Andreessen and others want to explore the idea.


July 15, 2017 (sfchronicle.com)

The idea of a universal basic income — monthly cash payments from the government to every individual, working or not, with no strings attached — is gaining traction, thanks in part to endorsements from Silicon Valley celebs.

Some see it as a way to compensate for the traditional jobs with benefits that will be wiped out by robotics, artificial intelligence, self-driving vehicles, globalization and the gig economy. Others see it as a way to reduce income inequality or to create a more efficient, less stigmatizing safety net than our current mishmash of welfare benefits.

“I think ultimately we will have to have some kind of universal basic income, I don’t think we are going to have a choice,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk said at the World Government Summit in Dubai in February.

In a commencement speech at Harvard University in May, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, “We should explore ideas like universal basic income to give everyone a cushion to try new things.” And in a July 4 blog post, Zuckerberg praised Alaska’s Permanent Fund Dividend, the nearest thing to universal income in this or any country. Since 1982, Alaska has been distributing some of its oil revenue as an annual payment, ranging from about $1,000 to $3,000, to every resident including children.

Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, venture capitalist Marc Andreessen and Y Combinator president Sam Altman have all said it’s worth exploring. Y Combinator’s nonprofit research lab started a basic income pilot with fewer than 100 people in Oakland last fall with the goal of gathering information to structure a larger research proposal, its director, Elizabeth Rhodes, said.

The concept has been around, with different names and in different countries, for centuries, said Karl Widerquist, co-founder of the Basic Income Earth Network.

It enjoyed a wave of U.S. popularity in the 1910s and ’20s and again in the ’60s and ’70s when it was championed by free-market economist Milton Friedman, Martin Luther King and, for a while, Richard Nixon.

It resurfaced again after the 2008 financial crisis, when soaring unemployment and corporate bailouts focused attention on the “99 percent.” The concept picked up steam in recent years as studies started predicting widespread unemployment because of automation.

Basic income has fans across the political spectrum, but for very different reasons. Libertarian backers would replace all or most welfare programs with a monthly cash payment as a way to prevent poverty, reduce government bureaucracy and let people decide for themselves how to use the money.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (right), shown in May receiving an honorary degree from Harvard, also supports the universal income concept. Photo: Paul Marotta, Getty Images

Photo: Paul Marotta, Getty Images

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (right), shown in May receiving an honorary degree from Harvard, also supports the universal income concept.

By contrast, “those left of center like the idea of using (basic income) as a supplement to the existing safety net,” said Natalie Foster, co-chairwoman of the Economic Security Project, a two-year fund devoted to researching and promoting the idea of unconditional cash.

In a “utopian version,” the money would “sit alongside existing programs” and go to every man, woman and child, Foster said. But if you made it enough to keep people above poverty — $1,000 a month is a popular number — “it starts to add up to a very significant portion of the GDP,” Foster said.

That’s why some proposals would reduce or eliminate payments to children or to adults over 65 if they are getting Social Security and Medicare. Some would limit the benefits going to high-income people, either directly or indirectly by raising their tax.

“In the simple model, everyone in the lower half (of the income distribution) would be a net beneficiary, everyone in the upper half would be net payers,” Widerquist said.

Charles Murray, a libertarian political scientist with the American Enterprise Institute, has proposed a basic income plan that would replace all transfer payments including welfare, food stamps, housing subsidies, the earned income tax credit, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. It would also eliminate farm subsidies and “corporate welfare.”

In exchange, each American older than 21 would get a monthly payment totaling $13,000 a year, of which $3,000 would go to health insurance. After $30,000 in earned income, a graduated tax would “reimburse” some of the grant until it dropped to $6,500 at $60,000 in income. However, the grant would never drop below $6,500 to compensate for the loss of Social Security and Medicare.

Murray admitted that many seniors get more than $6,500 worth of benefits a year from those two programs, which is why it would have to be phased in.

“What I’m proposing would actually be cheaper than the current system,” Murray said. It would give adults a “living income” and “liberate people” who are tied to a job or welfare program in a particular city because they can’t risk leaving to pursue a new opportunity.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk favors universal basic income to compensate workers displaced by automation. "I don’t think we are going to have a choice," he said at a February event in Dubai. Photo: KARIM SAHIB, AFP/Getty Images

Photo: KARIM SAHIB, AFP/Getty Images

Tesla CEO Elon Musk favors universal basic income to compensate workers displaced by automation. “I don’t think we are going to have a choice,” he said at a February event in Dubai.

Andy Stern, a senior fellow at the Economic Security Project, has proposed a “left-of-center” plan that would give every adult 18 to 64 a monthly cash payment of $1,000. It would replace welfare programs such as food stamps, the earned income tax credit, unemployment and Supplemental Security Income. But it would keep Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security disability.

He figures the plan would cost about $1.75 trillion a year. Ending welfare programs would save about a third of that. Another third could come from ending the tax deduction for mortgage interest and other write-offs. The remaining third could come from new sources such as a tax on carbon emissions or financial transactions.

Stern would not reduce payments to the rich or raise their taxes because that would bring back the problem he is trying to eliminate — determining who is “worthy and unworthy” to receive benefits. But many of the tax increases he envisions “would have a disproportionate effect on higher-income people,” he said.

Some opponents of guaranteed income say it will encourage laziness. Proponents say the current system discourages work by taking away some benefits as income goes up.

Zipcar founder Robin Chase, now a speaker and author, said universal income would encourage and reward important work that “does not get monetized,” such as child care and volunteer work. It would also spur business creation. “I had the luxury of taking risks because I had a husband who had a full-time job with health care. A majority of the population cannot take any risks in pursuing innovation or higher-value, non-remunerative things.”

Some believe the answer to income inequality and automation is not guaranteed income but a guaranteed job. Jared Bernstein, a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, has said the federal government should provide a job with benefits to anyone who wants one and can’t get one. “A job guarantee could simultaneously lower un- and underemployment while providing critically needed labor in fields ranging from infrastructure to education to child and elder care,” Bernstein, who was an economist in President Barack Obama’s administration, wrote in the American Prospect.

Jason Furman, who chaired Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, doesn’t like guaranteed jobs or guaranteed income. Furman, now a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School, said universal income suffers from three problems.

“One is that it’s very hard to make the numbers add up. To get to (incomes) like $12,000, you need huge increases in taxes. Two, there are a lot of benefits to targeting. You only get unemployment if you don’t have a job and are looking for a new job. If anything, I might toughen the work search requirement” to receive unemployment.

Finally, he said, “I believe there is no reason that people can’t be employed in the future. We have thousands of years of experience of technological progress not leading” to mass unemployment. He pointed out that technologically advanced countries do not have higher unemployment rates than those that are less advanced.

“We should put more effort into how to create jobs and prepare people for jobs in the future,” he said. Universal basic income “is giving up on work and giving up on people. I’m not prepared to do that.”

Kathleen Pender is a San Francisco Chronicle columnist. Email: kpender@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @kathpender

“The Voter Purges Are Coming” By Vanita Gupta

Voting rights advocates demonstrating in North Carolina. CreditTravis Dove for The New York Times

July 19, 2017 (nytimes.com)

The Trump administration’s election-integrity commission will have its first meeting on Wednesday to map out how the president will strip the right to vote from millions of Americans. It hasn’t gotten off to the strongest start: Its astonishing request last month that each state hand over voters’ personal data was met with bipartisan condemnation. Yet it is joined in its efforts to disenfranchise citizens by the immensely more powerful Justice Department.

Lost amid the uproar over the commission’s request was a letter sent at the same time by the Justice Department’s civil rights division. It forced 44 states to provide extensive information on how they keep their voter rolls up-to-date. It cited the 1993 National Voter Registration Act, known as the Motor-Voter law, which mandates that states help voters register through motor vehicle departments.

The letter doesn’t ask whether states are complying with the parts of the law that expand opportunities to register. Instead it focuses on the sections related to maintaining the lists. That’s a prelude to voter purging.

Usually the Justice Department would ask only a single state for data if it had evidence the state wasn’t complying with Motor-Voter. But a blanket request to every state covered under that law is virtually unprecedented. And unlike the commission, the Justice Department has federal statutory authority to investigate whether states are complying with the law.

These parallel efforts show us exactly how the Trump administration will undertake its enormous voter suppression campaign: through voter purges. The voter rolls are the key. Registration is one of the main gateways to political participation. It is the difference between a small base of voters pursuing a narrow agenda and an electorate that looks like America.

Here’s how the government will use voters’ data. It will create a national database to try to find things like double-voters. But the commission won’t be able to tell two people with the same name and birthday apart. Such errors will hit communities of color the hardest. Census data shows that minorities are overrepresented in 85 of the 100 most common last names.

Purging voters is part of a larger malicious pattern that states have employed across the country. Georgia and Ohio are being sued for carrying out early versions of what we can expect from the Trump administration. 

To enact his plan, President Trump has assembled the voter suppression dream team of Kris Kobach, Ken Blackwell, Hans von Spakovsky and J. Christian Adams, who have all made wildly inflated claims about voter fraud.

Mr. Kobach has been at the vanguard of a crusade against Motor-Voter and has been sued at least three times for making it harder for Kansans to vote. Before the 2016 election, he illegally blocked tens of thousands of voters from registering. Mr. Blackwell rejected registration forms because they were printed on paper he thought was too thin. Mr. von Spakovsky has led numerous unsuccessful legal efforts to diminish voter participation and to fight voting rights. Mr. Adams published personal information about people whom he wrongly accused of committing multiple felonies in a flawed hunt for fraud.

The commission’s efforts have been similarly sloppy so far. At least seven lawsuits claim it has violated federal and constitutional law, including privacy rights or transparency laws.

The litigation and pushback from the states that have refused to turn over voters’ data have slowed the efforts down, for now. But my biggest fear is that the government will issue a report with “findings” of unsupported claims of illegal voting, focused on communities of color.

These wild claims won’t be just hot air. Members of Congress will seize on them to turn back protections in federal law. States will enact new barriers to the ballot box. Courts will point to the commission’s work to justify their decisions.

The irony is that there are serious threats to our voting systems, from cyberattacks to aging machines to Russian interference to discriminatory voter ID laws at the state level. Those are the real problems, but that’s not what the commission was created to address.

In response to all this, citizens are pulling themselves off voter rolls out of fear that their personal information will be leaked. A Denver elections official said her office has seen a 2,150 percent increase in voter registration withdrawals. Taking ourselves off the rolls means sacrificing our voices and giving the Trump administration exactly what it wants.

We need to push back. Local election registrars are really in control of the rolls and have the final say on most purges. We need to organize in our communities and ensure they hear our concerns. Voting experts must debunk the administration’s false claims of fraud. Civil rights law firms should continue to do battle in courtrooms. Local politicians from both parties ought to stand firm against pressure from Washington. Rest assured that the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights coalition, and our allies, will be in the thick of this fight.

Joe Whittle on owning land (July 21, 2017)

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First they came for the homeless

Written by Joe Whittle, after a visit to The Poor Tour.

Censored by Facebook 4 times so far. (Copied from an earlier post. Censored over a dozen times now)

“Perhaps you think the Creator sent you here to dispose of us as you see fit. If I thought you were sent by the Creator, I might be induced to think you had a right to dispose of me. Do not misunderstand me, but understand fully with reference to my affection for the land. I never said the land was mine to do with as I choose. The one who has a right to dispose of it is the one who has created it. I claim a right to live on my land and accord you the privilege to return to yours.” -Chief Joseph

Creator passed down to us that NO ONE can “own” the land; it was given to ALL life to live and thrive and exist upon freely, none being greater or more entitled than another, and full of all of the gifts we need to do so in peace and happiness. I wonder what the Creator thinks of the irony of those who take possession of what belongs to none by genocide, lies, and murder, and build “mayor’s mansions” upon it from which they pass down edicts of who has a “right” to be where; assuming the entitlement to fabricate linear scales of the right to exist and live freely upon that which Creator gave to all?

It was a privilege and an honor for me to be welcomed into this encampment with friendship and fellowship and spend all day yesterday with some beautiful and kind people who in many ways are living closer to the way that was given to all than most of society understands. It is not rare that I have found that those with the least amount of possessions are the quickest to offer freely with generosity, welcome, kindness and no expectations whatsoever, whatever they have to share. Sometimes the best examples of fellowship and community can be found where the rulers of men say one has no rights to exist.

Your Call: What happened to California’s single payer healthcare bill?

Listen to the show:  Your Call: What happened to California’s single payer healthcare bill?

  JUL 19, 2017

In early June, the California Senate passed Senate Bill 562, the Healthy California Act, but it passed without details on how to pay for it. A few weeks later, it was shelved by the California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon. He said, “We have never found a funding source. All the other details that were missing made it woefully incomplete.”

Why did Rendon shelve the bill? What’s in it? And what needs to happen for California to win its fight for universal health care?


Dr. Paul Song, oncologist and national board member of Physicians for a National Health Program

David Dayen, journalist and author of Chain of Title: How Three Ordinary Americans Uncovered Wall Street’s Great Foreclosure Fraud

Web Resources:

SB-562 The Healthy California Act

Physicians for National Health Program

Mother Jones: : Everything You Need to know About the Single-Payer Fight in California

The Intercept: California Single-Payer Organizers are Deceiving their Supporters. It’s Time to Stop.

The Sacramento Bee: ‘Woefully incomplete’ universal health bill dead for the year in California

Capital & Main: Study Shows California’s Single-Payer Bill Would Save Health Care Costs

(Courtesy of Kathy Gehlken.)



Following Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s concession on Monday night that Trumpcare is likely dead, progressive groups that played an integral role in rallying opposition to the legislation are now looking to go on the offensive.

On Tuesday, dozens of organizations—including Our Revolution, National Nurses United, and Fight for 15—announced the launch of a new initiative titled “The Summer for Progress,” during which activists across the country will pressure Democratic lawmakers to embrace “a bold, progressive agenda.”

This agenda, called the People’s Platform, includes legislation that would make public colleges tuition free, establish automatic voter registration, raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, and transform the American healthcare system into one that guarantees insurance to all.

The #PeoplesPlatform urges House Democrats to move the country forward with a bold, progressive agenda that supports:

1) Medicare for All: H.R. 676 Medicare For All Act

2) Free College Tuition: H.R. 1880 College for All Act of 2017

3) Worker Rights: H.R.15 – Raise the Wage Act

4) Women’s Rights: H.R.771 – Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH Woman) Act of 2017

5) Voting Rights: H.R. 2840 – Automatic Voter Registration Act

6) Environmental Justice: Climate Change Bill – Renewable Energy (More details soon!)

7) Criminal Justice and Immigrant Rights: H.R.3543 – Justice is Not For Sale Act of 2017

8) Taxing Wall Street: H.R. 1144 – Inclusive Prosperity Act

In an email to supporters on Tuesday, Nina Turner, president of Our Revolution, argued that the victory over Trumpcare “shows that when people come together there is nothing we cannot accomplish.”

“We must build off of this and continue to not just express frustration but provide solutions to fix the issues that too many Americans face today,” Turner said. “This summer, Our Revolution is working with dozens of other grassroots organizations to back the #PeoplesPlatform.”

The end goal of the effort, Turner noted, is to “have the majority of the U.S. House Democratic Caucus signed on to cosponsor” the People’s Platform by the end of September recess.

Since the Democrats’ massive 2016 losses, grassroots groups have been urging the party to adopt more ambitious programs that would both drastically alter the status quo and lay the groundwork for future electoral victories.

Responding to this pressure, a growing number of Democrats in recent weeks have publicly embraced proposals that were previously denounced as “politically unfeasible,” like Medicare for All and a $15 federal minimum wage.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said recently that his party is looking to formulate a “strong, bold, sharp-edged” economic agenda. With their summer initiative, progressive groups will call on Democrats to translate these words into action.

“The status quo isn’t working,” the groups declared. “If Democrats want to win in 2018 and beyond, we need to start by supporting legislation that addresses the real issues facing everyday Americans. Democrats in Congress must lay out a bold vision for how we create a country that works for everyone—not just the very wealthy.”

The initial groups behind the effort include:

Our Revolution

Democratic Socialist of America

Democracy for America

Progressive Democrats of America


Common Defense

National Nurses United

Working Families Party

Millennials for Revolution

Women’s March

Labor for Our Revolution

People for Bernie

Good Jobs Nation

Young Progressives Demanding Action

Healthcare Now

Brand New Congress

Justice Democrats

Food & Water Action

Fight for 15

Originally published by Common Dreams

People's Platform, The Summer for Progress, progressive agenda, progressive candidates