Statement by: Melissa Michelson
Here’s why Bernie and no one else, from Congressman Ro Khanna from NorCal: The short reason is because there’s no 2020 candidate with a vision as unapologetically progressive as Bernie’s.
The longer reason is about his conviction, courage, and consistency. He’s been a progressive champion across his entire, decades-long career. Even when it’s made him unpopular with party leaders, wealthy donors, and powerful interest groups, Bernie has fought time and again for his constituents — the American people.
Bernie has long understood that regular people in this country have been left behind by an economic and political system that grossly favors a few on top. While others are just now publicly coming around to these ideas for the first time, Bernie has been leading the fight against systemic inequality for years and years on end.
In 2013, Bernie introduced his Medicare for All bill in Congress. It was his third time as a Senator trying to pass the legislation (including dozens more attempts in the House), and for the third time, it received zero cosponsors. Fast forward six years to today, Medicare for All is now supported by 84% of Democratic voters and virtually every 2020 candidate. At a time when even the majority of Democrats are in favor of expanding U.S. defense spending, Bernie remains an anti-interventionist leader. He led the opposition to our endless war in Iraq. And I worked closely with him this year to end our involvement in Yemen. He runs his campaigns without relying on corporate money. As someone who has to sacrifice an estimated $1.5 million each cycle thanks to my own No PAC pledge, I understand how big of a sacrifice this choice is. But Bernie believes, like I do, that a politician can’t claim to be for working families if they’re bankrolled by dark money groups and PACs. And it’s not just that Bernie has been on the right side of these important issues time and again; it’s that he’s brought the entire Democratic presidential field with him. The issues that are now front and center in this primary — from labor rights to climate justice to criminal justice reform — are the same ones that pundits and his peers dismissed Bernie for championing in 2016. Not only did he not let establishment opposition stop him, but he fought tirelessly to change the entire national conversation in just two short years.
I’m so proud to support Bernie’s candidacy and truly humbled to be appointed as the campaign’s National Co-chair. I’m even prouder of the amount of work we’ve all achieved these last few years - it’s a testament to how much momentum our progressive ideas have. Now it’s our duty to keep that up.