Open Letter to Bernie Sanders from Former Campaign Staffers
by Phillip Kim et al
July 29, 2016
Dear Senator Sanders,
Last summer you said you would not run as a third party candidate if you did not win the Democratic nomination. You said, “the reason for that is I do not want to be responsible for electing some right-wing Republican to be president of the United States.” This was before the unexpected and unprecedented success of your grassroots campaign where you won 22 states and almost half of the delegates in a primary process that was stacked against you every step of the way.
We take you as a man of your word and we certainly don’t want Trump to be president either. A Trump presidency would be a terrible step backwards for working people, people of color, immigrants, students, retirees, the LGBTQ community, the environment, and the entire world, which is why more than ever we need you to reconsider the situation and make a third party run.
Polls show that Hillary Clinton, the official Democratic nominee, is an incredibly weak candidate in the general election. Even after spending $57 million in ads (vs. $4 million by Trump) she is trailing slightly, and Trump is actually leading in several important swing states. Frankly, Hillary Clinton does not have the credibility to take on the dangerous appeal of Donald Trump.
For a variety of reasons, many justified and some not, people don’t trust her. We are now faced with two of the most disliked presidential candidates in the history of the country. Unfortunately, too many people are disillusioned with politics and the lack of inspiring viable candidates will only hurt voter turnout. If there was ever an opportunity to break the corporate two party duopoly, this is it. So, we respectfully ask you to consider Jill Stein’s offer of a united Green Party ticket.
A Sanders/Stein campaign would be more popular than Hillary Clinton and more successful against Trump. If polling shows you in the lead before the election, we trust that Secretary Clinton would do the right thing and not be a spoiler.
The stakes are too high. If Donald Trump wins, all the progressive change we have fought for will vanish. Secretary Clinton’s recent vice presidential pick makes us question that she will run the kind of economically populist campaign it will take to defeat Trump. Furthermore, in light of the platform committee discussions, it makes us question where she really stands on important issues such as the TPP, fracking, single payer healthcare, war and military spending, Israeli occupation of Palestine, financial regulation, and money in politics.
With your steadfastness and consistency in talking about the issues, you educated us and inspired a whole generation to get involved in politics. We look forward to continuing the political revolution and working with your successor organizations, however right now the country still needs you to run for president.
Ace Acosta, Field Organizer (NV)
Rolando Aguirre, Regional Field Director (NV, AZ), Delegate Team (WA)
Betsy Avila, Deputy Digital Outreach (NV)
Rob Byrne, National LGBT Outreach Coordinator
Ricky Cárdenas, Field Organizer (NV, WA), Regional Field Director (CO, CA)
Carol Čizauskas, Field Organizer, Outreach Coordinator (NV)
Alicia De Toffoli, National Women’s Outreach Coordinator
Giulianna Di Lauro, National Latino Strategist, Field Director (Puerto Rico)
Benjamin Erkan, Field Organizer (KS, WY, NY, CA)
MacKenzie Ewing, Regional Field Director (IA), Field Director (NE), Constituency Outreach Coordinator (OR), Field Organizer (CA)
Anthony Garcia, Regional Field Director (NV), Deputy Field Director (AK)
Matthew Glasgo, Field Organizer (NV, MN)
Austreberto Hernandez, Field Organizer (NV)
Wesley Irwin, Field Organizer, Chair of the Caucus Advisory Group (WA)
Phillip Kim, Labor Outreach (NV, WA, CA)
Marc Leonard, Field Organizer (NV, UT, CA)
David Lewis, Field Organizer (IA, KS, MO, WY, IN)
Laura Llamas, Outreach Coordinator (NV)
Billie McFadden, Field Organizer (NV)
Alonso Montes, Deputy Field Organizer (NV)
Kevin F. Solis, Outreach Coordinator (NV), Field Organizer (WA, CA)
Andee Sunderland, Outreach Coordinator (NV)
Caesar Vargas*, National Latino Outreach Deputy Director