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Petitioning Senator Bernie Sanders

Bernie: Please Give Your Supporters a Voice in How to Expand and Continue the Revolution!

98
Supporters

We, all backers of your presidential campaign, ask you to alert your massive list of supporters to opportunities — other than those you create yourself — to continue and expand the movement for a political revolution. Please tell your list that there is a non-sectarian website, BeyondBernie.us, set up to facilitate on-line and local, face-to-face discussions about what kind of movement we now need and how to build it.

We’re so encouraged by what’s been accomplished thus far; in many ways, it’s unprecedented. But this is a critical moment to harness the energy you so brilliantly activated, especially since so many of us are now feeling disappointed and uncertain and are wondering what, if anything, to do next.

In mid-July you announced your plans to use your contacts with millions of supporters to recruit them to your own vision of how to move forward. We respect your intentions and your decision to do this. But we believe that a movement for real democracy must itself be democratic. Supporting you, as far and away the best presidential candidate, did not mean giving you the power to decide — among the many possible strategies for creating revolutionary change — which we should pursue. After all, we are the ones who made the successes of your campaign materialize. And, as you so often told us, it was "Not me, us!"

For this next stage, your idea of reforming one of the two corporate parties and supporting candidates for “down-ballot” offices is a respectable one, but it is certainly not the only one. Ideally we would like you to create forums for people to find each other and carry out the study and conversations we need in order to work out strategies that various subsets of us can agree on. You have far more resources for doing that than BeyondBernie.us does. Barring that, however, a critical way you could continue your tremendous service to the political discourse would be to use your list of contacts to help us find each other through that site.

Many organizations are seeking to move forward with “what’s next” and want access to your list — we simply want a place where all of us can discuss, organize, and prepare what’s next. BeyondBernie.us has pledged to list on its “Resources” page any organization that requests it to do so, as long as the group aims to help build a broad-based movement for overall systemic change.

We hope you will be similarly open and non-sectarian. The alternative: those who agree with your initiatives will join you, while the rest of us — whose efforts could be complementary to each others’ and to yours — will be as fragmented, and limited in our ability to find each other, as we were before your candidacy. And now, in too many cases, disheartened as well. As we shift into this new phase, we can and must do better than that. Let's together build the political revolution in a way that will draw on the energy, insights, and creativity of all of us!

This letter has been significantly updated since it was opened for signing in the second week of June, when Bernie was still a candidate and when he was using his contacts list only to support his electoral effort.

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