Bernie Sanders pushes for more progressive DNC platform

With former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s run of victories in five of the last six presidential primaries, rival Bernie Sanders will stay in the Democratic race to push the policy proposals he has campaigned for onto the Party’s official platform in July.

In a speech on Wednesday, Sanders said he will continue on in the race against Clinton “to win every delegate we can so that when we go to Philadelphia, we will have the votes to put together the strongest progressive agenda that any party has ever seen.”

Doing so will be a challenge, but not impossible given the competitiveness of the Sanders’ campaign to-date.

Although the Democrat’s Platform Committee will be co-chaired by Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy, a Clinton supporter, Sanders only needs 20 percent support of committee members to propose amendments to the Party’s platform document, and 25 percent to force a vote on the convention floor for a specific amendment.

Each committee is comprised of 187 members, 25 for each have already been appointed by DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, many of whom are considered Clinton loyalists.

This week, the Vermont senator started speaking publicly about what he specifically wants to see added to the DNC’s agenda.

On Monday, Sanders said that in order for Clinton to gain the support of his voters, the former First Lady must commit to a more robust environmental protection policy and a single-payer healthcare system.

Speaking in Springfield, OR, on Thursday, Sanders laid out a less obvious policy wish-list:  automatic voter registration at 18-years of age, same-day party registration, an “open” primary system in which Independents can vote and a Southern strategy.

“It turns out sadly that that the poorest in this country, many in the South, where people are suffering without health insurance, without jobs, without access for decent education for their kids, in many of those states they are controlled by right-wing Republicans,” Sanders said. “The truth is that the Democratic Party has turned its back on many of those states. We need a 50-state strategy.”

Anonymous Sanders advisers have also hinted that their candidate will push the DNC to advocate for a $15 per hour minimum wage and eliminate superdelegates from the nomination process.

The latter would have to be voted on by the Platform Committee, which is co-chaired by another Clinton advocate, former Rep. Barney Frank.

If Sanders can get half of his agenda passed into the official DNC platform, it would be considered a success, but there is still work to do in the remaining primary states to elect enough delegates will support his “progressive” reforms.

On Wednesday in Indiana, Sen. Sanders promised to campaign until the Convention in July at Philadelphia and made the case that he is the strongest general election candidate the Democrats have to offer.

 

[Time Magazine] [Politico] [Photo courtesy seattlepugetsound4bernie.org]