Clinton and Sanders Backers Unite to Urge DNC to End Superdelegates; Tens of Thousands of Grassroots Activists Expected to Join Effort this Week
Fourteen national organizations pen letter to DNC; supporters to introduce language at July 23rd Rules Committee Meeting in Philadelphia
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 18, 2016
Contact: [email protected], 202.681.7582
Washington, DC — Fourteen national organizations representing over 10 million members on Thursday released a letter calling on the Democratic National Committee to end the superdelegate system.
Read the full letter to the DNC at: EndSuperdelegates.com
Beginning today, tens of thousands of activists are expected to petition the DNC and its Rules Committee — which meets at the end of this week — in support of the effort. Using activism tools at EndSuperdelegates.com, they will also tweet directly at dozens of members of the Rules Committee.
The organizations note that these unelected delegates have essentially as much weight as do the pledged delegates from the District of Columbia, 4 territories, and 24 states combined — and that they skew the party away from deeply-held ideals of diversity of gender, race, and age.
Organizations signing on to the letter include: Courage Campaign, Credo, Daily Kos, Demand Progress/Rootstrikers, Democracy for America, Center for Popular Democracy, MoveOn, National Nurses United, NDN, The Other 98%, Presente.org, Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Progressive Democrats of America, and Social Security Works.
DNC Rules Committee member and Rhode Island State Representative Aaron Regunberg has pledged to introduce language to end superdelegates, and several other Rules Committee members have agreed to support the effort.
While the letter proper was signed only by organizations, several prominent Democrats from both primary camps expressed support for reforming the superdelegate system:
Statement from Simon Rosenberg, President of NDN, former DNC staffer, who supported Hillary Clinton during the primary:
“There are many reasons to end the practice of superdelegates in the Democratic Party. To me the most important is that it is discordant with broader and vital efforts by Democrats to modernize and improve our democracy. If we want the voice of everyday people to be louder and more consequential in our nation’s politics, it must also be so in our Party.”
Statement from Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who supported Bernie Sanders during the primary:
“In my view, both as a superdelegate and a former DNC official, the nominee of our party should be decided by who earns the most votes — not party insiders, unelected officials, or the federal lobbyists that have been given a vote in our nominating process. The current system stands against grassroots activists and the will of the voters.
“We’ve seen a historic number of new voters and activists join our political process in the past year, many of whom are rightly upset at how rigged the political system can seem at times. If we want to strengthen our democracy and our party, we must end the superdelegate process.”
Statement from Joe Trippi, former Howard Dean campaign manager, who supported Hillary Clinton during the primary:
“Of all the ideas to reform and improve the nominating process of the Democratic Party the core goal has to be to empower voices from the bottom up. The top down idea of superdelegates is obsolete and is a good place to start.”
Statement from Chuy Garcia, Cook County Commissioner and Rules Committee member, who supported Bernie Sanders during the primary:
“I’m proud of the progress this year by the Democratic Party on issues critical to the historically disenfranchised. But we still have further to go to achieve political parity within the Party. The superdelegate system gives disproportionate power to party insiders over rank and file voters. The will of the people is best expressed through elected, pledged delegates. It’s time to reform the superdelegate system!”
Statement from Rosario Dawson, actress, who supported Bernie Sanders during the primary:
“Bernie Sanders’ campaign was about having governance that actually reflects and represents all of the people of this country and prioritizes their needs. The Democratic Party can truly be the party of the people by demonstrating that it takes these concerns seriously. Ending the anti-democratic superdelegate system is a step in that direction.”
Statement from Christine Pelosi, Political Strategist, who supported Hillary Clinton during the primary:
“Let’s show America that as the Democratic Party, we believe in democracy and that leaders should never trump the will of the voters.”
Statement from Nina Turner, former Ohio State Senator, who supported Bernie Sanders during the primary:
“The 2016 presidential election cycle is a piercing reminder of what happens when absolute power runs amok. If we were not aware before, we are certainly aware now that the ‘superdelegate’ model within the Democratic Party is on its face undemocratic. It must be reformed to conform in tangible ways to the expressed values of equity, diversity and fairness enshrined in our Party’s principles.”
Statement from Aaron Regunberg, Rhode Island State Representative and Rules Committee Member:
“I’m a Democrat because the Democratic Party is committed to fairness and diversity; because we are supposed to be the party of the people. Yet our superdelegate system flies in the face of each of these fundamental Democratic values, and weakens the unity of our party by casting doubt among rank-and-file voters about whether their vote – and their voice – really counts. Let’s get rid of this artifact of a bygone era and recommit to our core principle of true, representative democracy. I look forward to introducing language to that effect during the Rules Committee meeting in Philadelphia next week.”
“End Superdelegates” is a new effort representing a cross-section of Democrats who urge the Democratic National Committee to end superdelegates. Participating organizations include: Courage Campaign, Credo, Daily Kos, Demand Progress/Rootstrikers, Democracy for America, Center for Popular Democracy, MoveOn, National Nurses United, New Democrat Network, The Other 98%, Presente, Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Progressive Democrats of America, and Social Security Works.