It’s an organization that formed almost overnight. In less than two months Michigan for Revolution recruited over 500 new members to the Michigan Democratic Party (MDP) and won major seats at the Michigan Democratic Convention. We had an election platform, we had a bird, we knew the rules, and we were prepared.
Bernie Sanders asked us to fight for political change and we answered that call. He didn’t call it a reformation he called it a revolution. Today, he is the most popular politician in the country with ideas dangerous to the power of the American oligarchy. So dangerous indeed, that they are throwing everything they have at suppressing this movement.
In the past several months we’ve seen cries for a third party and the resurgence of the famous social media hashtag #Demexit. Millions of people are so frustrated with the party that they elected the worst president in American history. Rather than amplify the cries for an 3rd party, the members of Michigan for Revolution did something radical. We joined the Democratic Party. We studied the rules and advocated change within the current system. Many of us campaigned for Hillary after the primary and we weren’t going to turn our backs on the friends we made. But though many traditional members of the MDP welcomed our decision, others did not.
We have been called disrupters for proposing “crazy ideas” like absentee ballots, outreach programs, and people funded campaigns (corporations are not people). Most of our membership consists of people who first answered the call to action with Sander’s presidential campaign. Aka new members of the party who haven’t been politically active for the last fifteen years. “Where were you?” the traditional democrats ask. “You need to donate and regularly attend meetings to have a voice here.” We have heard an influx of Democrats talking about “progressive ideals”. They use the word “Bernie” in their speeches and preach about “grassroots ideology”. Then they ask us questions like “who’s your leader?” (I’m sure many of the readers have heard these before)
We are a grassroots organization.
It has become apparent that though everyone is aware of Bernie’s policy platform, many fail to comprehend Bernie’s Revolution. Michigan for Revolution is a grassroots organization. We don’t have a “leader” we have dozens of leaders (and growing). We coordinate with one another and make decisions in groups. These decisions are non-binding and we would never expect anyone to act in ways that conflict with their beliefs. We don’t donate to political campaigns, we endorse them and ask individual members to donate their money or time if they are able. When you donate to Michigan for Revolution your money goes to flyers, brochures, transportation, and websites needed to make what we do possible. This power structure is unlike most every other bureaucratic aspect of our society and it has left people scratching their heads trying to classify us. We are different and it will take time for everyone to understand how so.
Policy is about speech. Revolution is about action. Anyone can say they support campaign finance reform, but few will refuse corporate donations. Anyone can say they believe in voter rights, but few will fight for those trapped in line and unable to vote. Everyone says they want democracy, but few are willing to transfer power to the people. This is what makes Michigan for Revolution unique.
You can read about our ideals in detail at Michiganforrevolution.com but the short explanation is often that we believe in the platform Bernie Sander’s ran on in 2016. We are more than willing to compromise, perhaps even work with our Republican friends, at achieving these goals. While most Democrats think their mission is to elect Democrats, our mission is to elect progressives. Ultimately, we are motivated by our beliefs; because everyone deserves access to healthcare, access to their government, and access to the same jobs/pay regardless of their gender, race, or sexual orientation.
We live by our ideals.
Michigan for Revolution is working to accomplish these goals at numerous angles statewide. We are working with groups like Indivisible and Count MI Vote to fight back against the current administration. We are teaching people about the upcoming 2017 elections and creating resources to help candidates win. We are working towards improvements to the MDP bylaws through members elected to the State Central Committee. We are teaching people about the mechanisms of our current government. We are hosting a Dine with the 99% event where people can socialize with friends, politicians, and hear performances by local artists. And we are just getting started.
To accomplish these goals you have to be active. We need help with all of our projects but ultimately we dream of a world where individuals feel empowered to take their own action and fight for the betterment of their community. When that time comes we will be there to support you. Ask yourself, is today that day?
We all have power, and when we stand together there is nothing we can’t accomplish.
This is what it means to have a political revolution. If you believe in transparency, accountability, and democracy; then you’re probably one of us.