Politics Reborn is no longer an affiliate of Our Revolution
It comes with great sadness that Politics Reborn will be disassociating all affiliation with Our Revolution and the Sanders Institute. For three years, the key members of our organization went above and beyond for Bernie Sanders’ campaign. We canvassed in multiple states, we hosted phone-banks and meetings regularly, we provided housing to the campaign staff and allowed our homes to be staging locations. However, time and time again, Our Revolution has shown a complete disregard for the volunteers and donors who played a vital role in the success of the Bernie Sanders 2016 Presidential Campaign and Our Revolution. We have expressed our concerns about the close ties their organization has with Mayor Bill De Blasio and the major nonprofits that are working closely with the developers to intensify displacement in our city. We have expressed our concerns that they have stood on the sidelines while Broken Windows Policing continues to be embraced by so-called “progressive” politicians. We told them that we were deeply troubled by the number of candidates they have endorsed who were also endorsed by NYPAN, WFP, and/or DSA. We have no issue with there being some overlap but we would have never joined Our Revolution if we felt it would simply be an extension to the Working Families Party. We suggested that Our Revolution do more to help the grassroots activists and volunteers.
Instead of addressing each of these grievances, Our Revolution has been dismissive of them. It seems they have no desire to ever upset Working Families Party because WFP has national influence that the affiliates of Our Revolution don’t have. Our Revolution is looking to these organizations to improve their fundraising efforts. Of course, the irony is that without all the people on the ground doing the work, they would have no product to sell. During the 2016 Bernie Sanders’ campaign, we saw the higher-ups treat volunteers like they were inferior. We had hoped this mentality had changed but it has not. Our Revolution believes it can do whatever it wants with the money they fundraise but we respectfully disagree. The grassroots were the ones who collected and shared the data. The grassroots were the ones who attended this or that event and the ones who donated to their organization. In effect, we the people, pay their salary.
Our Revolution wants to be seen as a national union, where each of the affiliates are local chapters but they seem to think that they have no responsibility whatsoever to these chapters.The higher-ups choose the staff and Board of Directors without any input from grassroots activists. They send out regular emails asking you to help Our Revolution and endorsed candidates by splitting a donation. They decide to send out emails promoting national nonprofits that already bring in millions of dollars on their own such as Working Families Party, Center for Popular Democracy and Stamp Stampede.
However, when we inquired why the same can’t be done for any of the grassroot affiliates, they simply declined to provide an answer. Like many other national nonprofits, Our Revolution seems to care more about promoting well-known activists than helping the people who do so much of the work yet receive little recognition for it. They insult the meaning of the term, community organizer, by telling us that they already have a community organizer for the whole state of North Carolina and will soon have one for the whole state of Texas. Devoting one person to an entire state, and labeling them as a community organizer is not only irrational but contradictory to what a community organizer is supposed to be. They have repeatedly suggested that we become an affiliate to NYPAN and thus, Working Families Party, trivializing the fact that we do not share the same values. We will always work with these groups when our goals are the same, but we can not in good conscience become a member of an organization that we feel is complacent to displacement, Broken Windows Policing and the NYCHA lead-poisoning cover-up. As of today, the leaders of Our Revolution have yet to even make a statement in regards to the disgraceful situation at NYCHA.
Less than a year ago, Politics Reborn hosted a fundraiser with Senator Nina Turner. Instead of requesting other known elected officials and known activists to speak at this event, we invited grassroots organizers to speak. Our Revolution failed to understand our philosophy then and they seem to still not understand it now. The job of Politics Reborn is to amplify the grassroots activists who are doing good work on the ground who could use the help. We feel too many national nonprofits have become disconnected from this philosophy. Most nonprofits have embraced a top-down structure where decisions are often made in an office in Washington D.C. Politics Reborn will never become one of those nonprofits. We remain committed to our original mission and will continue to do all we can to empower grassroots at the local level and fix a broken model that too many nonprofits and political campaigns still rely on.
The Directors of Politics Reborn