Bernie Campaign Report 2019.09

Bernie Campaign Report 2019.09

Philly DSA inaugurated our campaign for Bernie Sanders through our passage of Resolution
2018.12.00 at the March 2019 General Meeting. Since then the Steering Committee, Labor
Branch, Canvassing Committee, Outreach Committee, and Policy Committee have been
organizing toward the Bernie campaign. The Local voted to prioritize electing Bernie Sanders
again at our Local Convention.

The Sanders campaign presents Philly DSA with the unique opportunity to engage working
class voters on democratic socialist issues during the presidential election cycle when most of
the public is paying attention to politics. Moreover, all of the other priority campaigns our Local
approved at its convention – Building a Green New Deal, Recommit to Medicare for All, and
Labor for Bernie and Organizing in our Unions, and Electing Socialist Legislators – are either
part of Bernie Sanders's platform or would be favorably impacted by the agenda Sanders is
pursuing at the federal level. To cite just one example of how the Sanders agenda stands to
affect our local campaign work, his education platform plank of tripling the federal Title I school
funding combined with the energy efficiency retrofitting and grants for electrified school busses
planks from his Green New Deal proposal would remove many of the obstacles City Council
now faces in pursuing our priority campaign of modernization and greening of Philadelphia
School District facilities.

This electoral cycle also presents a historic opportunity for Philly DSA
to harness progressive voter mobilization to get our own legislative candidates elected.
DSA's effort has started off strong with an open strategy meeting enabling our general
membership to influence the direction of our campaign. At this meeting we decided to prioritize
field and communications campaigns, as well as working in coalition with organized labor.

Already the enthusiasm around Bernie's campaign has been immense, as demonstrated by our
two very well-attended debate watch parties, both of which drew audience members who had
never previously attended any DSA events. Our official canvassing launch on July 27 where we
drew over 78 canvassers, we have knocked 2,000 doors and made 230 positive IDs for Bernie.
This work continues apace with our last large-scale canvass drawing 51 people and knocking
1,500 doors, and ID’ing another 200 Bernie voters. Our Policy Committee has also developed
unique Philadelphia area Bernie Sanders literature in both English and Spanish, as well as
labor-specific literature in conjunction with the Labor Branch. Despite these accomplishments
we have much more work to do.

Thankfully, national DSA is providing us with state-of-the-art digital organizing tools, like the
NGP VAN voter contact software and Spoke for mass texting, that will greatly increase the
volume of voters we can engage.

By the time of the 2016 PA primary, the race had been all but decided for Clinton. However if
Sanders, Biden, Harris, and Warren all remain strong candidates through the entire 2020 cycle,
PA could play a decisive role in determining the eventual Democratic Party nominee. While the
official Sanders campaign focuses its efforts in IA, NH, SC, and NV, Philly DSA can use its
independent campaign to get an early start on influencing the election's outcome. To this end, if

Philly DSA is going to make a significant impact in this campaign over the next 8 months we
need to knock approximately 200,000 doors, and have 50,000 conversations.
The Labor for Bernie Commission, which the chapter voted to make a priority platform in the
June Convention, was established by the SC in August. After many discussions with labor
branch members, sympathetic unions and the SC, Labor for Bernie Commission was
established to pursue this great work in coalition. Developing strong, meaningful relationships
with union leadership and union members in Philadelphia is a critical part of DSA’s to work to
build a broad, working class movement. It’s also imperative for working for Bernie Sanders in
2020, because Sanders is the only candidate who has consistently stood with and for union

As part of DSA’s Labor for Bernie work, we have been working at the local and national level to build strong
connections with those labor leaders and push for strategic union endorsements. L4B has also
been working in close coordination with the Philly DSA Labor Branch to build rank-and-file
support for Sanders in unions where endorsements aren’t possible.
We have developed a set of organizing materials for trade unionists organizing for Bernie,
including a Labor for Bernie trifold, emphasizing the fact that Sanders’ platform would include concrete wins
for labor: taking healthcare off the bargaining table, passing the Workplace Democracy Act, and
rolling back right-to-work legislation at the state level (to name a few).

Last weekend, Labor for Bernie held the first in a series of Bernie organizer trainings planned for the fall.
The training was a tremendous success and will be a significant effort moving forward. With
members from roughly 10 unions in attendance, the training focused on building organizing
plans within those unions.

Moving forward, Labor for Bernie will continue working with our Philly coalition partners, Labor Branch
members, and members from other branches who are working to launch similar efforts.

Our general work will continue to focus on field strategy and communications facing both our
membership and the general public. If our existing campaign is to be successful we recommend
Philly DSA commit to the following:
– Organizing 20 mass canvasses in the next 8 months
– Organizing regular distributed canvasses, starting weekly and scaling up to daily
– Phone bank and text our members for all canvasses
– Making fundraising pitches at every large-scale Philly DSA event
– Follow up with voters we've canvassed to recruit them to DSA
– Recording and tracking positive voter IDs with a goal of 50,000 in 8 months
– Monthly tabling and leafleting

Join Philly DSA

Isn’t it time to do something? Get involved with the Local.