The local Bernie Sanders supporters have a fiery hopefulness about them. They used GPAD offices to launch their canvasses in February and March, which is when I met the very impressive local organizers, Elisa Devlin and Sheila Das Rawat. About 30 more Bernies joined GPAD at a Super Tuesday Watch Party on March 3 at Emmett's in Palatine where they pooled their cash so that Bernie could win a straw poll we held to raise money to tip our servers, Shelby and Daniel.
When Sen. Bernie Sanders announced yesterday that he was suspending his presidential campaign, he said, "The future of this country is with our ideas...We've always believed that real change comes from the bottom up." The presumptive nominee, former Vice President Joseph Biden said yesterday, "Bernie gets a lot of credit for his passionate advocacy for the issues he cares about. But he doesn't get enough credit for being a voice that forces us all to take a hard look in the mirror and ask if we've done enough."
For Bernie's local supporters here in the northwest suburbs, I urge them to think about what they will do next, and what more they can do. Of course we all need to work together now to defeat Donald Trump. But no matter who wins the presidency in November, there will be local elections here in Illinois in April next year. Those local elected positions--many of them non-partisan-- offer the chance to make real change in our own towns, townships, schools and libraries--the bottom levels of local government. I hope to see Bernie supporters, as well as local supporters of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, former Mayor Pete Buttiegieg, Sen. Kamala Harris, Andrew Yang, and the other contenders, step forward to run for local office. "We are the ones we've been waiting for," said Barack Obama on Super Tuesday 2008, "We are the change that we seek."
Greater Palatine Area Democrats will be holding a Strategy Session online at 7:15 p.m. on April 22 for people who want to run for local office in 2021. We will talk about how to run a campaign, how local government works, and strategies for running and winning. This will be the first of many Strategy Sessions. To get the link for the April 22 session, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.