Our Revolution (commonly known by its initials OR) is an American progressive political action organization spun out of Senator Bernie Sanders's 2016 presidential campaign to continue its work. The organization's mission is to educate voters about issues, get people involved in the political process, and work to organize and elect progressive candidates. Our Revolution is also the title of a book by Sanders released in November 2016.
Official logo with depiction of "Birdie Sanders"
|Predecessor||Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, 2016|
|Formation||August 24, 2016|
|Type||Political action organization|
|Larry Cohen, Deborah Parker, Nina Turner, Jane Kleeb, Benjamin Jealous, Jim Hightower, James Zogby, Huck Gutman, Shailene Woodley, Justin Bamberg, Lucero E. Mesa, Richard Rodriguez|
|Bernie Sanders,[a] Jane Sanders, Jeff Weaver, Bill McKibben|
Launch and focusEdit
The organization officially launched on August 24, 2016, designated as a 501(c)(4), with a presentation that was live-streamed online via YouTube to meetings across the country and shown by Free Speech TV. Our Revolution's three main goals are to (1) revitalize American democracy by engaging millions of individuals in the political processes, (2) empower the next generation of progressive leaders, and (3) elevate political consciousness by educating the public about issues confronting the United States.
More specifically, the organization aims to create, support, promote and elect progressive candidates from school board to US Senate; support and help pass progressive ballot measures; create, train and mobilize activists; and both support and participate in protests against issues such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Dakota Access Pipeline. The progressive issues Our Revolution promotes are almost identical to those of Sanders's 2016 presidential campaign: reducing income and wealth inequality, working for single-payer healthcare, reducing the price of prescription drugs, instituting a $15 minimum wage, expanding Social Security, creating jobs, and making public colleges and universities tuition-free. The organization will support minority rights, specifically African American, Latino and Native American rights, including government respect of treaties with Native Americans. Organizations that support Our Revolution include People for Bernie, National Nurses United, and the Communications Workers of America, among others.
The organization's staff include chairman Larry Cohen and president Nina Turner. Erika Andiola, the Sanders campaign's Latino press secretary, has joined the organization's communications staff. Our Revolution's 501(c)(4) designation prevents Sanders from playing a role in the organization because he is an elected official.
On August 29, 2016, the board of Our Revolution was announced as:
- Larry Cohen (Chairman) – Labor
- Nina Turner (President) – Former Ohio State Senator
- Deborah Parker – Native American Leader
- Ben Jealous – Civil Rights Leader
- Jim Hightower – Political Leader, National Radio Commentator & Writer
- James Zogby – Arab American Human Rights Leader
- Huck Gutman – Former Chief of Staff for Senator Bernie Sanders
- Jane Fleming Kleeb – Environmental Activist
- Lucy Flores – Former Nevada Assemblywoman
- Catalina Velasquez – Immigration, Reproductive Justice and Trans Queer Liberation Activist
- Shailene Woodley – Actress and Environmental Activist
At the start, the organization faced a significant staffing challenge as eight of its initial 15 staffers left before the launch when Weaver was chosen as president. They objected to the way he had handled Sanders's presidential campaign and to his decision to make Our Revolution a 501(c)(4). Some staffers also left in protest of a lack of diversity among the organization's leaders. The remaining staff was subsequently joined by an additional three staffers, bringing the total to ten.
During the 2016 election, the organization supported several ballot measures and candidates, with $1.3 million raised. Of the 106 candidates and 34 ballot initiatives Our Revolution supported, 58 candidates and 23 ballot initiatives won in 2016. Our Revolution, like Sanders, opposed the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump. After Trump's election, Our Revolution issued the following statement:
We will do everything in our power to ensure that the president-elect cannot ignore the battles Americans are facing every single day. Our job is to offer a real alternative vision and engage on the local and national level to continue the work of the political revolution in the face of a divided nation.
Sanders himself announced, "I intend to work with President Trump on those issues where he will, in fact, work for the middle class and working families of this country. I will vigorously oppose him if he appeals to racism or sexism or some of the other discriminatory measures that he brought up during his campaign."
Chairman Larry Cohen cited populist sentiment and cautioned that political and economic elitists may face backlash in upcoming elections.
Post-2016 political activismEdit
In January 2017, Our Revolution activists worked in local elections in California to advance Sanders's agenda. According to executive director Shannon Jackson, Our Revolution is "going to continue to do this around the states".
A May 2018 article in Politico described Our Revolution as "flailing" and "in disarray". According to the article, by May 2018 the organization's monthly fundraising totals were one-third of what they were in May 2017. Moreover, the article noted internal conflicts and tensions within the organization, such as that board members and Sanders 2016 presidential delegates questioned Our Revolution president Nina Turner's actions and motives. Specifically, they questioned whether Turner was using the organization as a springboard for a presidential run of her own and whether she was "settl[ing] scores with the Democratic National Committee from 2016". Turner attempted to hire Tezlyn Figaro—who frequently appeared on Fox News to praise Trump and has made anti-immigration comments—as the chief of staff, but was overruled by the board's executive committee. Additionally, Lucy Flores resigned from the board in April 2018 due to what she claims was the organization's lack of outreach to the Latino community. Our Revolution also endorsed Dennis Kucinich for governor in Ohio in 2018, which some Ohio Democrats questioned because of Turner's close relationship with Kucinich's running mate, even though he was widely considered the most progressive candidate in that race.
A subsequent article in The New Republic concurred with the Politico report and suggested that change may be necessary at Our Revolution for it to succeed at its goals. After Politico reported the discontent with Figaro's position in the organization, Turner announced that Figaro would still be part of the organization and noted that Figaro's anti-immigrant and pro-Trump commentary was not endorsed by Turner or Our Revolution. Figaro said that she "offer[s] no excuse" for her comments and questioned the motivations of those who spoke to Politico about her. Erika Andiola, an undocumented immigrant who was a former political director at Our Revolution, said that Turner fired her after her activism in favor of the DREAM Act.
The Young Turks, a progressive American news and commentary program on YouTube, discussed the Politico article on their May 21 show, calling it an "attack piece". Cenk Uygur strongly objected to its claims and denied its accuracy, including its assertions that the group "has left many Sanders supporters disillusioned" and that the group has "fueled doubts about Sanders' organizational ability heading into 2020".
Our Revolution board member James Zogby disputed the Politico report in a series of tweets, calling it a "hit piece fueled [by] a few disgruntled souls out to harm [Nina Turner]." The Politico article has also been criticized by others on similar grounds, as well as for its anonymous sourcing and lack of quotes. An article published by Common Dreams also broadly disputed the Politico article, as did a Naked Capitalism piece.
Summer for ProgressEdit
Several progressive organizations, including Fight for 15, Justice Democrats, Democratic Socialists of America, National Nurses United, Working Families Party, and Brand New Congress, announced in July 2017 a push to encourage House Democrats to sign on to a #PeoplesPlatform, which consists of supporting "eight bills currently in the House of Representatives that will address the concerns of everyday Americans." These eight bills and the topics they address are:
- Medicare for All: H.R. 676 Medicare For All Act
- Free College Tuition: H.R. 1880 College for All Act of 2017
- Worker Rights: H.R.15 - Raise the Wage Act 
- Women’s Rights: H.R.771 - Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH Woman) Act of 2017 
- Voting Rights: H.R. 2840 - Automatic Voter Registration Act
- Environmental Justice: H.R. 2242 - Keep It in the Ground Act of 2017
- Criminal Justice and Immigrant Rights: H.R. 3227 - Justice is Not For Sale Act of 2017
- Taxing Wall Street: H.R. 1144 - Inclusive Prosperity Act
Transform the PartyEdit
Our Revolution's Transform the Party campaign is aimed at getting its supporters to run for leadership positions in local democratic parties.
State and local groupsEdit
Our Revolution organizes into local groups to carry out much of its work.
- Alabama, Our Revolution Alabama
- Alaska, Our Revolution Alaska
- Arizona, Our Revolution AZ
- Arkansas, Arkansas Our Revolution
- California, Our Revolution Chico
- California, Our Revolution San Leandro
- Connecticut, Our Revolution CT Team
- Georgia, Our Revolution Georgia
- Hawaii, Our Revolution Hawaii
- Illinois, Our Revolution Illinois
- Indiana, Our Revolution Indy
- Iowa, Our Revolution Iowa
- Kentucky, Our Revolution Kentucky
- Kentucky, Our Revolution Central Kentucky
- Maryland, Our Revolution Maryland
- Massachusetts, Our Revolution Massachusetts
- Michigan, Our Revolution Michigan
- Minnesota, Our Revolution Minnesota
- Minnesota, Our Revolution Twin Cities
- Missouri, Our Revolution Mid Missouri
- Missouri, Mobilize Missouri
- Nebraska, Our Revolution Nebraska
- Nevada, Our Revolution Nevada
- Nevada, Our Revolution Las Vegas
- New Jersey, Our Revolution New Jersey Volunteers
- New Mexico, Our Revolution New Mexico
- North Carolina, Our Revolution North Carolina
- North Dakota, Our Revolution North Dakota
- Oklahoma, Our Revolution Oklahoma Inc
- Oregon, Our Revolution Southern Oregon
- Oregon, Our Revolution Lane County
- Rhode Island, Our Revolution Rhode Island
- South Carolina, Our Revolution South Carolina
- Tennessee, Our Revolution Tennessee
- Tennessee, Our Revolution Nashville & Middle Tennessee
- Texas, Our Revolution Texas
- Texas, Our Revolution Texas, Gulf Coast Region, Harris County Chapter
- Wisconsin, Our Wisconsin Revolution
- Wisconsin, Our Wisconsin Revolution Dane
- Our Revolution Metro Denver
This is not a complete list. This list does not include any groups from Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, or Wyoming.
- Feldmann, Linda (August 26, 2016). "Bernie's revolution revs up for 2016 election and beyond – without him". USA (Politics). The Christian Science Monitor. Washington: Christian Science Publishing Society. Archived from the original on June 1, 2018. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
The new group's tax status, as a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization, prevents Sanders – as an elected official – from playing a role in running the group.
- Guttenplan, Don D. (August 25, 2016). "Returning to His Roots, Sanders Launches 'Our Revolution'". Election 2016. The Nation. Katrina vanden Heuvel. ISSN 0027-8378. Archived from the original on June 2, 2018. Retrieved June 2, 2018.
But, as Sanders reminded his supporters last night during the national launch of Our Revolution, the new organization founded to carry forward the work of his 'political revolution,' by every other measure they succeeded far beyond what anyone (including the candidate himself) would have deemed possible even a year ago.
- Gaudiano, Nicole (August 3, 2016). "Bernie Sanders seeks contributions for 'Our Revolution'". OnPolitics. USA Today. Gannett Company. Archived from the original on June 2, 2018. Retrieved June 2, 2018.
- Hensch, Mark (August 3, 2016). "Sanders fundraising 'to transform American society'". Blog Briefing Room (News). The Hill. Capitol Hill Publishing Corp. Archived from the original on June 2, 2018. Retrieved June 2, 2018.
- Brooks, Katherine (December 14, 2016). "Bernie Sanders' New Book Takes Corporate Media To Task". Culture & Arts. The Huffington Post. Oath Inc. Archived from the original on June 2, 2018. Retrieved June 2, 2018.
In his book, published on Nov. 15  by Thomas Dunne Books, he [Bernie Sanders] cites an early experience with 'the nature of the media's political coverage,' recounting the time Vermont news outlets focused their attention on a candidate for state representative who skied around the state to meet voters, downplaying the actual issues affecting voters.
- McCauley, Lauren (August 24, 2016). "'Our Revolution' Kick-Off Signals New Phase for Movement Sanders Built". News. Common Dreams. Archived from the original on May 22, 2018. Retrieved May 22, 2018.
- "Bylaws of Our Revolution". Our Revolution. November 14, 2016. Archived from the original on May 22, 2018. Retrieved May 22, 2018.
[II § 2.01A:] This corporation is organized and operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare within the meaning of Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code [...].
- Gorman, Michele (August 24, 2016). "Bernie Sanders Launching Political Group Called Our Revolution". U.S. Newsweek. Newsweek Media Group. Archived from the original on May 22, 2018. Retrieved May 22, 2018.
- Rosenfeld, Steven (September 14, 2016). "Bernie Sanders and Our Revolution Launch Campaign to Topple the TPP". 2016 Election. AlterNet. Archived from the original on May 22, 2018. Retrieved May 22, 2018.
- Aranoff, Kate (November 8, 2016). "How Bernie Sanders Supporters are Organizing to Stop the TPP". BillMoyers.com. Public Square Media. Archived from the original on May 22, 2018. Retrieved May 22, 2018.
- Galindez, Scott (November 3, 2016). "'Our Revolution' Stands With Standing Rock". Reader Supported News. Archived from the original on May 22, 2018. Retrieved May 22, 2018.
- "What's Next for the Revolution?." In These Times. (September 2016 ): 554 words. LexisNexis Academic. Web. Date Accessed: 2016/10/21.
- "WHOSE REVOLUTION?." In These Times. (October 2016 ): 1427 words. LexisNexis Academic. Web. Date Accessed: 2016/10/21.
- Weigel, David; Wagner, John (August 24, 2016). "Bernie Sanders launches 'Our Revolution' with electoral targets — and a few critics left behind". Washington Post. Retrieved August 29, 2016.
- Tracy, Abigail. "Bernie Sanders's Post-Campaign Political Revolution Is Imploding". Vanity Fair.
- "Larry Cohen: Stop the TPP". Democratic Underground.
- "Bernie's Best-Known Latina Staffer Set To Join Post-Campaign "Our Revolution" Group". BuzzFeed.
- "Statement of Our Revolution Board of Directors". Our Revolution. Retrieved November 20, 2016.
- "Our Revolution Announces Formation of Board". Our Revolution. August 29, 2016.
- Pritt, Pamela. "Sanders announces 'Our Revolution' with national event." Register-Herald (Beckley, WV) August 25, 2016: Newspaper Source. Web. October 21, 2016.
- "Democracy Now!". democracynow.org. August 25, 2016. Retrieved October 14, 2016.
- "Bernie Sanders' new group is already in turmoil". Politico.
- "Bernie Sanders's New Political Group Is Met by Staff Revolt". The New York Times. August 25, 2016.
- "Bernie Sanders's Our Revolution Faces Its First Big Test". The Nation. ISSN 0027-8378. Retrieved November 20, 2016.
- "Sanders-Backed 'Our Revolution' Scores Major Victories on Election Day". IVN.us. November 10, 2016. Retrieved November 20, 2016.
- "Our Revolution LiveTracker". Our Revolution.
- "Bernie Sanders: "I Intend To Work With President Trump"". www.realclearpolitics.com. Retrieved November 21, 2016.
- Reporter, Cora Lewis BuzzFeed News. "Here's How Labor Activists Are Reacting To A Trump Presidency". BuzzFeed. Retrieved November 20, 2016.
- Blood, Michael R. (January 13, 2017). "Sanders backers look to sway Democratic politics from inside". Los Angeles: Associated Press. Archived from the original on May 22, 2018. Retrieved May 22, 2018 – via Yahoo! News.
'There is an opportunity here, when a state reorganizes, to create change from the inside,' said Shannon Jackson, executive director of Our Revolution, the Sanders-inspired group that said it sent out over 150,000 emails and texts urging party members to participate in the California contests. 'We are going to continue to do this around the states,' Jackson said.
- Dovere, Edward-Isaac (May 21, 2018). "Bernie's army in disarray". News (Elections). Politico. Scott Bland contributed to this report. Capitol News Company. Archived from the original on May 22, 2018. Retrieved May 22, 2018.
- Jones, Sarah (May 21, 2018). "Is It Time for Change at Our Revolution?". The New Republic. Win McCormack. Archived from the original on May 22, 2018. Retrieved May 22, 2018.
- Dovere, Edward-Isaac (May 22, 2018). "Our Revolution keeps consultant who made anti-immigrant comments". Politico. Capitol News Company. Archived from the original on June 1, 2018. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
- Uygur, Cenk (May 21, 2018). Politico Had No New Anti-Bernie Stories, So They Invented One (Video segment). The Young Turks. Retrieved May 22, 2018 – via YouTube.
[Original Title: 'Anti-Bernie Concern Troll Industry Booming']
- Zogby, James [@jjz1600] (May 21, 2018). "1/3I'm a founding board member of @OurRevolution (OR). This @politico piece doesn't describe the group I know. It is a hit piece fueled a few disgruntled souls out to harm @ninaturner. In a short time, OR has established itself as a leading progressive political org..." (Tweet). Retrieved May 22, 2018 – via Twitter.
- Sainato, Michael (May 21, 2018). "The False Narratives Used to Try to Derail Bernie's Army". Views. Common Dreams. Archived from the original on May 22, 2018. Retrieved May 22, 2018.
- Strether, Lambert (May 22, 2018). "Politico's Hit Piece on Our Revolution (and Bernie Sanders)". Naked Capitalism. Archived from the original on May 22, 2018. Retrieved May 22, 2018.
- "Summer for Progress Petition". Retrieved July 23, 2017.
- 115th Congress (2017) (January 24, 2017). "H.R. 676 (115th)". Legislation. GovTrack.us. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act
- 115th Congress (2017) (April 4, 2017). "H.R. 1880 (115th)". Legislation. GovTrack.us. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
College for All Act of 2017
- 115th Congress (2017) (May 25, 2017). "H.R. 15 (115th)". Legislation. GovTrack.us. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
Raise the Wage Act
- 115th Congress (2017) (January 31, 2017). "H.R. 771 (115th)". Legislation. GovTrack.us. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH Woman) Act of 2017
- 115th Congress (2017) (June 8, 2017). "H.R. 2840 (115th)". Legislation. GovTrack.us. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
Automatic Voter Registration Act
- 115th Congress (2017) (July 13, 2017). "H.R. 3227 (115th)". Legislation. GovTrack.us. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
To improve Federal sentencing and corrections practices, and for other purposes.
- 115th Congress (2017) (February 16, 2017). "H.R. 1144 (115th)". Legislation. GovTrack.us. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
Inclusive Prosperity Act of 2017