By Jake Johnson
Common Dreams (7/18/17)
Following Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s concession on Monday night that Trumpcare is likely dead, progressive groups that played an integral role in rallying opposition to the legislation are now looking to go on the offensive.
On Tuesday, dozens of organizations—including Our Revolution, National Nurses United, and Fight for 15—announced the launch of a new initiative titled “The Summer for Progress,” during which activists across the country will pressure Democratic lawmakers to embrace “a bold, progressive agenda.”
This agenda, called the People’s Platform, includes legislation that would make public colleges tuition free, establish automatic voter registration, raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, and transform the American healthcare system into one that guarantees insurance to all.
In a statement on Tuesday, Nina Turner, president of Our Revolution, argued that the victory over Trumpcare “shows that when people come together there is nothing we cannot accomplish.”
“We must build off of this and continue to not just express frustration but provide solutions to fix the issues that too many Americans face today,” Turner said. “This summer, Our Revolution is working with dozens of other grassroots organizations to back the #PeoplesPlatform.”
“Democrats in Congress must lay out a bold vision for how we create a country that works for everyone—not the just the very wealthy.”
The end goal of the effort, Turner noted, is to “have the majority of the U.S. House Democratic Caucus signed on to cosponsor” the People’s Platform by the end of September recess.
Since the Democrats’ massive 2016 losses, grassroots groups have been urging the party to adopt more ambitious programs that would both drastically alter the status quo and lay the groundwork for future electoral victories.
Responding to this pressure, a growing number of Democrats in recent weeks have publicly embraced proposals that were previously denounced as “politically unfeasible,” like Medicare for All and a $15 federal minimum wage.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said recently that his party is looking to formulate a “strong, bold, sharp-edged” economic agenda. With their summer initiative, progressive groups will call on Democrats to translate these words into action.
“The status quo isn’t working,” the groups declared in a statement. “If Democrats want to win in 2018 and beyond, we need to start by supporting legislation that addresses the real issues facing everyday Americans. Democrats in Congress must lay out a bold vision for how we create a country that works for everyone—not the just the very wealthy.”
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