• Petitioning Bernie Sanders

This petition will be delivered to:

US Senator
Bernie Sanders
U.S. Senate
Vermont
Sen. Bernie Sanders

Run for president in 2016 as a Green Party candidate

    1. Michael Trudeau
    2. Petition by

      Michael Trudeau

      Cary, NC

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders recently wrote to his supporters that we in the United States need a "political revolution." We agree. And we need Bernie Sanders to support that revolution by running for president in 2016, but not as a Democrat or as an independent.

We progressives understand that a movement for real progressive change requires an electorate that will vote for progress--not for more war and more corporatization and privatization--and that real progressive change requires candidates who will actually give that progress, just as much as the progressive movement needs citizens protesting, citizens engaging civically, citizens making demands of government. Voting for progress and asking for it are not mutually exclusive; they must go hand in hand or progress will not be conceded.

Therefore, we progressives agree that Senator Bernie Sanders must run for president as a Green Party candidate if he wishes to remedy any of the grave problems that he speaks about. These problems, Sanders writes, include the United States' "oligarchic form of society, a nation in which a handful of billionaires control the economic and political life of the country," where "real unemployment is close to 14%, youth unemployment is over 20% and over 40% of African-American youth are unemployed," where "In recent years, 95% of all new income went to the top 1% and there has been a huge increase in the number of millionaires and billionaires," and where, "Meanwhile, 46.5 million Americans live in poverty--the highest number ever--and more and more of our people are going hungry. Tragically, we have the highest rate of childhood poverty of any major country--with one out of four kids living on food stamps."

We progressives know that a Democratic president such as Hillary Clinton will be the same or worse than President Obama has proven to be on all the issues above and on the others we hold dear, such as President Obama's domestic and international spying campaign, his aggressive foreign policy, his support of banking deregulation, his climate-destroying energy policy, his complete privatization of the health-care system, his illegal drone warfare campaign, his aggressive pursuit of whistleblowers who uncover government crimes, and much, much more. We progressives know that change away from these disastrous policies will not come from inside the Democratic Party, not anytime soon, not unless the change is forced upon the party from the outside by an infinitely demanding alternative party that threatens to replace it.

Therefore, we petition Senator Bernie Sanders to seek Green Party support and eventually the Green Party nomination. We understand that a only a candidate such as Bernie Sanders--a US senator with a national following and who has already proven he can garner hundreds of thousands of votes--has a real chance to begin building an alternative US political party vote by vote and percentage point by percentage point.

We petition Senator Bernie Sanders to begin talks with prominent Greens such as Jill Stein and prominent African American progressives who enjoy a national following to consider running with Senator Sanders as his vice presidential nominee. We petition Senator Sanders to seek support from the likes of Ralph Nader, Dennis Kucinich, Jill Stein, Ben Manski, Cynthia McKinney, Chris Hedges, Norman Solomon, David Swanson, Noam Chomsky, Cornel West, and even Democrats such as Elizabeth Warren, Howard Dean, and Al Gore, the organization Progressive Democrats of America, and others from the Democratic Party in his pursuit of the Green Party nomination. We would like to see all of these people supporting a Sanders Green presidency and standing with him. We would like to see Senator Sanders appear on progressive media outlets such as The Real News Network and Democracy Now, discussing his  plans to run for the presidency as a Green.

We understand that the only way forward is to challenge the Democrats into changing, and that cannot be done if the Democrats know that progressives will vote Democrat regardless of Democrats' repeated regressions and crimes. And it cannot be done without a party that is committed to radical change: the Green Party.


We understand that you do not challenge the corporate duopoly by joining it. You challenge it by building noncorporate alternative parties, including but not limited to the largest noncorporate party in the nation: the Green Party. Sanders as a Green would be a serious contender for the Oval Office (as was Ross Perot in 1992), and perhaps more important, Sanders as a Green would help other Green candidates win their elections and help build a serious alternative to this two-party stranglehold.


Senator Sanders, thank you very much for receiving our petition. Please inform us of your intent to seek the Green nomination for president as laid out by us, your possible national constituency. We promise to pledge our support to your campaign if you join the Greens.

Sincerely,

Michael Trudeau, Cary, North Carolina,

and the undersigned

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Bernie Sanders supports Green Party mayor Gayle McLaughlin in California

      Michael Trudeau
      Petition Organizer

      Bernie Sanders is supporting Green Party mayor of Richmond, California, Gayle McLaughlin in her campaign for Richmond City Council. (Her mayoral term limit is up, so she is running for a council seat.) This seems like a step in the right direction. Does it mean Sanders supports the idea of building the Green Party into a national progressive people's party? Will he reject the Democrats and seek nominations from the Greens and Vermont Progressive Party when running for president?

      http://richmondconfidential.org/2014/10/10/bernie-sanders-to-visit-richmond-rally-progressives/

      Bernie Sanders to visit Richmond, rally progressives

      Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) will headline a Richmond campaign event Oct. 16 to rally the city's progressive base ahead of the Nov. 4 election. The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Richmond Memorial Auditorium, 403 Civic Center Plaza, and is free to the public.

    2. Socialist Alternative Challenges Bernie Sanders to Reject the Democrats

      Michael Trudeau
      Petition Organizer

      The Socialist Alternative website has published a column calling on Sanders to reject the Democrats and convene a conference of leftist activists to explore his presidential run. Excerpt:

      "To really see the potential for an independent left campaign that can take on the two parties of corporate power, Bernie Sanders should, as Socialist Alternative has previously raised, convene a conference of all those interested in his campaign and left politics. This could bring together union activists, forces from social movements, Greens, socialists and current candidates challenging the 1% and the political establishment. Such a conference would get a massive echo if prepared in connection to struggles of working people."

      http://www.socialistalternative.org/2014/09/28/nyc-climate-forum-steps-left-politics/

      NYC Climate Forum and the Next Steps for Left Politics

      On the eve of the historic climate march in NYC last weekend, over a thousand people packed into a church while hundreds more were turned away. They came to hear Bernie Sanders, Kshama Sawant, Naomi Klein, Chris Hedges and Bill McKibben. Thousands more have since watched this electrifying event on TV, YouTube and various news...

    3. Kshama Sawant calls on Bernie Sanders to reject the Democratic Party

      Michael Trudeau
      Petition Organizer

      Kshama Sawant makes an ironclad case for why Bernie Sanders should not join the Democratic Party at minute 1:10:56 of this panel on climate change, which preceded the People's Climate March in NYC.

      Panelists included Sawant, Sanders, Chris Hedges, Naomi Klein, and Bill McKibben. The panel was organized by Sawant's party, Socialist Alternative. Her arguments mirror our own.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5YaqcPEUNc&feature=player_detailpage#t=4256

      Sept 20: Bernie Sanders - Bill McKibben - Naomi Klein - Kshama Sawant - Chris Hedges - Brian Lehrer

      The Talk before the Walk: Among issues raised!: elected socialist Kshama Sawant declares saving the planet requires the public taking ownership of the public corporations, especially Oil, so they actually served the public and the planet! plus: Will Bernie please run against Hillary?

    4. The Left Should Build Political Forces Independent of the Democratic Party

      Michael Trudeau
      Petition Organizer

      The progressive Working Families Party in New York State recently endorsed a gubernatorial candidate who is hostile to its platform and voter base. Working Families Party endorsed neoliberal Democrat Andrew Cuomo for governor instead of 1) running its own candidate or 2) supporting Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins. The blog post below argues that Bernie Sanders should learn from this example when considering how to run for president in 2016: https://www.facebook.com/Bernie.Sanders.Go.Green/posts/663322583749525

    5. My new article in NationofChange magazine: "The Democratic Party Dead End"

      Michael Trudeau
      Petition Organizer

      In my new article in NationofChange magazine regarding Bernie Sanders for president in 2016, I address the Sanders supporters who are calling for him to join the Democratic Party. If Sanders joins the Democrats, it will likely result in little more than Hillary Clinton's nomination. I argue that the American left must do better than resign itself to this neoliberalism and corporatism offered by the Democratic Party.

      http://www.nationofchange.org/democratic-party-dead-end-and-resignation-american-progressives-1401631714

      The Democratic Party Dead End and the Resignation of American Progressives

      NationofChange is reader supported. We have already begun to take advantage of our matching donation, but we still have a long way to go. If you value this service, take responsibility for it now with your donation. Remember that, due to our generous reader, any donation you make is worth double.

    6. Our Effort Is Cited in the Independent Political Report

      Michael Trudeau
      Petition Organizer

      Our effort to convince Sanders to join the Greens has received some promising media attention recently. First we were cited in the Nation magazine, then In These Times magazine, and now the Independent Political Report. We've gathered just over 1,000 signatures.

      http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2014/05/effort-to-draft-senator-bernie-sanders-as-a-green-party-candidate-in-2016/

      Effort to Draft Senator Bernie Sanders as a Green Party Candidate in 2016

      (The following was posted on a Facebook page that is dedicated to the effort of encouraging the junior senator of Vermont, Bernie Sanders, to run as a Green Party candidate for President in 2016.) We petition Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont-a progressive independent-to reach out to prominent Green Party members such as Jill Stein and to seek the Green Party nomination for president in 2016.

    7. Reached 1,000 signatures
    8. We Are Interviewed by the Magazine "In These Times"

      Michael Trudeau
      Petition Organizer

      The magazine In These Times interviewed me on the question of Bernie Sanders and under which banner Bernie should run. Excerpt:

      "'Over 80 percent of Democrats want Hillary Clinton to be president,' says Trudeau, referencing recent polling data. “I think that says volumes about the character of the Democratic Party. And that someone like Bernie Sanders, I don’t think he will have rank-and-file Democratic support, let alone super-delegate support.'

      'The exercise of him running as a Democrat, in my mind, would really just be an exercise in bringing in progressives, liberals, people left of the Democratic Party into the Democratic Party, because he’s there,' Trudeau continues. 'And then all these people end up voting for Clinton, neoliberalism, Wall Street, corporatism, everything that she stands for … He talks about this political revolution—it’s not going to happen with the Democratic Party. It’s going to be shut down.'"

      http://inthesetimes.com/article/16729/run_bernie_run_but_as_what

      Run, Bernie, Run-But As What?

      Dems, Greens, independents and socialists are courting Vermont's junior senator. The true legacy of Sanders' campaign-that is, if it is to serve as more than a mere stumbling block to Hillary Clinton's coronation-depends on how much traction it generates among grassroots activists, according to Lighty.

    9. Our Sanders for the Green Party Petition Is Cited in the Nation Magazine

      Michael Trudeau
      Petition Organizer

      In a recent article, the Nation magazine's John Nichols has acknowledged our effort to convince Bernie Sanders to join the Green Party. Nichols quotes a line from our petition. Excerpt:

      "Individual Green Party activists are arguing that Sanders, who has long been outspoken on a range of economic and social justice, peace and sustainability issues that animate the party, should seek a Green endorsement and a place on the party's November ballot lines. A change.org petition declares: 'Senator Bernie Sanders must run for president as a Green Party candidate if he wishes to remedy any of the grave problems that he speaks about.' "

      The full article is below. We are making an impact. Please continue to share this petition—your doing so has prompted the Nation to write about us. You can also send tweets to Sanders at @SenSanders. Please use the hashtag #GoGreenBernie

      http://m.thenation.com/blog/179798-democrat-green-independent-run-bernie-run-jockeying

    10. "I hope Hillary Clinton runs for president." —Elizabeth Warren

      Michael Trudeau
      Petition Organizer

      Elizabeth Warren, Howard Dean, and each and every female Democratic senator wants Hillary Clinton to run for president. This is another signal that Bernie Sanders does not have the support he needs within the Democratic Party to win the primary. It is elite and elected Democrats (the super-delegates) who decide who wins the Democratic nomination. The rank-and-file Democrats do not get to decide. The elite have already decided on Clinton.

      It's clear as ever: If Sanders hopes to reach the general election in 2016, he should join the Green Party. Sanders does not have the support he needs inside the Democratic Party for this campaign. If he truly is going to "run to win" and ignite a "political revolution," as he says, then he should take his campaign outside the Democratic Party where it belongs.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/04/27/elizabeth-warren-i-hope-hillary-clinton-runs-for-president/

      Elizabeth Warren: I hope Hillary Clinton runs for president

      Sen. Elizabeth Warren says she hopes Hillary Rodham Clinton runs for president in 2016 - the latest in a series of declarations of support by the Massachusetts Democrat, who some have speculated could seek the Oval Office herself.

    11. Obama Signs Ban on Public Funding of Presidential Campaigns into Law

      Michael Trudeau
      Petition Organizer

      Just one day after the McCutcheon v. FEC ruling made it legal for wealthy people to spend an unlimited amount of money to buy elections, President Obama has signed a law that will BAN public funding of elections. Where are the progressive Democrats who promised in 2008 that they would make Obama progressive? What are they doing to help create an alternative to all this? Bernie Sanders calls for "generous" public funding of elections. The Green Party calls for FULL public funding of elections, not for a ban on it.

      Guardian: "A ban on public funding of presidential conventions [and campaigns] was quietly signed into law by Barack Obama on Thursday in a move that could further increase the dependency of US political parties on wealthy donors."

      This is why we do not want Bernie to join the Democratic Party.

      http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/04/obama-act-public-funding-signs-aw

      Obama signs ban on public funding of presidential campaigns into law

      A ban on public funding of presidential conventions was quietly signed into law by Barack Obama on Thursday in a move that could further increase the dependency of US political parties on wealthy donors.

    12. The Debate: Independence or Partisanship

      Michael Trudeau
      Petition Organizer

      "With Senator Bernie Sanders considering a presidential run and asking people to share their thoughts on whether he should run as an independent or a Democrat, the debate over partisanship is going to grow. We view this as an important opportunity to help many Americans realize that we need to escape from the two-party trap, as we try to do through our daily movement news and resource website, PopularResistance.org."

      http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/22722-the-debate-independence-or-partisanship

      The Debate: Independence or Partisanship

      Truthout doesn't take corporate money, and we don't shy away from confronting the root causes of injustice. Can you help sustain our work with a tax-deductible donation? Finally there is a much-needed debate about the relationship that people who are working for progressive change should have with the Democratic Party.

    13. Don't Join the Democrats, Bernie

      Michael Trudeau
      Petition Organizer

      The danger of Sanders joining the Democrats is the KUCINICH EFFECT: that Sanders will run as a Democrat and lose to Hillary Clinton in the primary. It would mean that all of Sanders's supporters would be herded into the Democratic Party, where they would end up electing Clinton, a powerful corporate neoliberal. It would mean that all of the people who invested money and time and energy in Sanders would ultimately be funding Hillary Clinton and more of what Obama offers: neoliberalism. This is not how leftist politics progresses. The opposite, in fact; it is how national leftists politics dies.

      Bernie running as a Democrat would be a major strategic mistake.

      https://www.facebook.com/Bernie.Sanders.Go.Green/photos/a.599813163433801.1073741828.595850753830042/622724611142656/?type=1&stream_ref=10

    14. Bernie Sanders: "I Am Prepared to Run for President of the United States"

      Michael Trudeau
      Petition Organizer

      Sanders told the Nation magazine he is prepared to run. When asked about running inside or outside the Democratic Party, he said this:

      "I haven’t reached a conclusion on that yet. Clearly, there are things to be said on both sides of that important question. Number one: there is today more and more alienation from the Republican and Democratic parties than we have seen in the modern history of this country. In fact, most people now consider themselves to be 'independent,' whatever that may mean. And the number of people who identify as Democrats or Republicans is at a historically low point. In that sense, running outside the two-party system can be a positive politically."

      But he also addressed the counter-position of running inside the Democratic Party, and that can be read at the URL:

      http://www.thenation.com/blog/178717/bernie-sanders-i-am-prepared-run-president-united-states

      Bernie Sanders: 'I Am Prepared to Run for President of the United States'

      Bernie Sanders says he is "prepared to run for president of the United States." That's not a formal announcement. A lot can change between now and 2016, and the populist senator from Vermont bristles at the whole notion of a permanent campaign.

    15. Reached 750 signatures
    16. Sanders: I Would Be A Better President Than Hillary Clinton

      Michael Trudeau
      Petition Organizer

      Excerpt from Sanders's interview with Time magazine:

      SANDERS: "I think in this particular moment when the problems facing this country are so severe, when we have seen class warfare being waged by the billionaires against the working families of America ... I think we need people in leadership roles in the House and the Senate and governors’ chairs, in the White House, who are prepared to stand up and say, You know what? This country belongs to all of the people."

      TIME: "Do you think that's Hillary Clinton's agenda?"

      SANDERS: "I don’t think so."

      Don't join the Democratic Party, Bernie. There is a reason why Clinton is the party's frontrunner: The party is corporate and neoliberal and it favors austerity.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/05/bernie-sanders-hillary-clinton_n_4907505.html

      Bernie Sanders: I Would Be A Better President Than Hillary Clinton

      Posted: Print Article Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has at least one candidate in mind to take on Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race -- himself. In an interview with Time published Wednesday, the senator said he believes he'd make a better president than the former secretary of state and likely 2016 contender.

    17. Sanders–Green Party Article Is Published at Firedoglake

      Michael Trudeau
      Petition Organizer

      Green Party media coordinator Scott McLarty published an article at Firedoglake on Thursday about Sanders going Green. It's big news for our effort; it means the Green Party has seen the merit of our initiative. Excerpt:

      "Progressive Dems have tried for decades to steer their party back towards its alleged principles. Despite their best efforts, the Democratic Party continues to slide to the right. . . .

      If you want a revolution, you have to do something revolutionary. The political revolution that Sen. Sanders advocates requires a sustained movement that’s represented by a party in the electoral arena. The party must be permanent, serious about electoral participation, independent of the bipartisan establishment, and beyond the reach of corporate PACs, lobbyists, and campaign checks. One party fits that description."

      We're on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Bernie.Sanders.Go.Green

      http://my.firedoglake.com/scottmclarty/2014/02/13/if-sanders-runs-in-2016-dem-indy-or-green/

      If Bernie Sanders Runs in 2016: Dem, Indy, or Green? | MyFDL

      A Democratic or Independent Sanders campaign for the White House won't ignite a "political revolution." But a Green Sanders campaign might. Should Sen. Bernie Sanders (Ind.-Vt.) run for president? The creeping realization that the next Democratic nominee may be Hillary Rodham Clinton, who has already picked up $400,000 in speaking fees (i.e., unofficial campaign contributions, i.e., bribes) from Goldman Sachs, is making a progressive alternative increasingly attractive for 2016.

    18. Facebook page: "Bernie Sanders, Go Green"

      Michael Trudeau
      Petition Organizer

      A Facebook page has recently been created that is devoted to encouraging Bernie Sanders to reach out to the Green Party. The page is at https://www.facebook.com/Bernie.Sanders.Go.Green.

      Please "Like" the page and help spread the word. We'll be discussing Green Party and Sanders news on the page. I hope to see you there.

      Bernie Sanders, Go Green

      Bernie Sanders, Go Green. 21 likes. We are Greens, progressives, independents, and democratic socialists. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont-a radically progressive independent-in 2013 called for a "political revolution" in the United States and has announced that he might run for president in 2016. Sanders called for a political revolution in 2006, too.

    19. Green Party Presidential Campaign Committe Will Reach Out to Bernie Sanders

      Michael Trudeau
      Petition Organizer

      We have recently learned that, thanks in large part to everyone who has signed and shared this petition, the Green Party's Presidential Campaign Support Committee will reach out to Bernie Sanders soon in Washington, DC. More news to come on this topic.

    20. RootsAction Wants to Know if You'd Support Sanders for President

      Michael Trudeau
      Petition Organizer

      RootsAction is asking its supporters if they would back a Bernie Sanders presidential campaign. The survey is at http://act.rootsaction.org/p/salsa/web/questionnaire/public/?questionnaire_KEY=702. Please share it far and wide. I have indicated on the survey that I would support Sanders if and only if he seeks the Green Party nomination. You might note the same, if you wish.

      RootsAction is a progressive organization coordinated by David Swanson, who is a member of the Green Shadow Cabinet and was part of the Dennis Kucinich 2004 presidential campaign.

    21. Sanders Announces He Might Run for President

      Michael Trudeau
      Petition Organizer

      Sanders's announcement that he might run is good news for our initiative, but only if Sanders is interested in running as a Green candidate. Please keep the pressure on, asking Sanders to reach out to top Greens such as Jill Stein, and likewise asking Stein and other prominent leftists to reach out to Sanders.

      From Sen. Bernie Sanders's website:

      "Bernie for President?: Sen. Bernie Sanders said on Friday [11/15/2013] that it is essential to have someone in the 2016 presidential campaign willing to take on Wall Street, address the collapse of the middle class, tackle the spread of poverty and fiercely oppose cuts to Social Security and Medicare. Addressing global warming also needs to be a top priority, not an afterthought, Sanders said. In an interview with the 'Burlington Free Press,' Sanders said he is willing to consider a run, probably as an independent, if no other progressive candidate steps up."

      Continue reading here: http://www.sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/newswatch/111613

    22. Reached 500 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Kenyon Kelly NEWTON, NC
      • 7 days ago

      Time for a change from the two party system.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • David Zethmayr MAUSTON, WI
      • 17 days ago

      Single-payer healthcare and nat'l catastrophic illness fund; foreign policy; environment

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Laura Smith WILLSBORO, NY
      • 20 days ago

      I am very concerned in the wrong direction our country is headed in. The corporations have taken control of both the Republican & Democratic parties. There has ever been a more important time in our country's history than now to have a strong third party. I also believe that enough people are displeased w/the current direction & ready to take the leap to support a viable 3rd party & Bernie is definitely that! I will not vote for a Rep or Dem in the 2016 Pres. election & will just sit it out if there is no viable 3rd party candidate. That would be the first time in my adult life I would be doing that but I will not support the lesser of the two evils any longer! Pls run 3rd Party Bernie! We need you to!!!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Donald Heaney DELRAY BEACH, FL
      • 28 days ago

      I have been registered as a GREEN for many years. Am one of the 500+ who In Palm Beach County voted for Ralph Nader in 2000, And damn proud that I voted my conscience, not for the lesser of two unspeakables

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Edward Elliott PACIFIC, MO
      • about 1 month ago

      The need for a strong 3rd party place s now.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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