Tuesday, January 26, 2016

A Woman's Place is in the Revolution

This week we share two young women's stories of how they're taking an active part in Bernie 

Sanders' "Political Revolution." Their enthusiasm and energy is contagious!

Small Town Iowa Mom Volunteering for Bernie

By Emma Schmidt

I live in small town Iowa. It is a lot like you would expect it to be... Quaint, pastoral, and incredibly boring. Every election cycle, however, things amp up in excitement. Many Iowans consider our status as the first in the nation caucus to be a source of annoyance -- with political advertisements being spammed throughout every commercial break and pollsters and politicians jamming up the phone lines. However, the moment Bernie Sanders announced his campaign for presidency I knew I wanted to play a role in helping him to win the Iowa caucus.

I have been volunteering for the Bernie Sanders campaign since July. I started off by hosting a live stream party on July 29th. (You remember that, right? Where over 100,000 people turned

  out across the country?) 

I agreed to hold a party expecting it to be myself and a couple of friends I bullied into coming over. Instead, over a dozen people showed up. That's saying something coming from the area that continuously elects Steve King. We started up a grassroots team that night. 

Over the next few weeks, we walked in a couple parades for Bernie and hosted a voter registration drive. In late August, a field organizer set up shop in  the next county over. He taught me the basics of door knocking. I have no idea how many houses I have canvassed at this point, but it has been enough to automatically want to say "Hi, my name is Emma. I'm out here with the Bernie Sanders campaign," every time I knock on a door.

He also urged me to phonebank -- something I never imagined myself doing. I get nervous just ordering a pizza for delivery, so the idea of calling up strangers terrified me. Turns out it isn't so bad. I have been hosting a weekly phone bank at my house since October. We always have a few folks show up and make at least a couple hundred calls to our fellow Iowans over a three hour period.

It isn't all canvassing and phone-banking, though. We have organized a ton of brilliant events as well. We have held debate watch parties, a number of organizational meetings, a couple of screenings of Robert Reich's Inequality for All, a Bonfire for Bernie, a "Bernberry" Pie Bake Sale, and we're in the process of organizing a grassroots concert to amp people up before the caucus among other things. 

Bernie spoke at the grand opening of another field office in my area. We expected between 20 and 30 people to attend. Instead, we had around 100 people crammed in to a little room. If the people that are attending these events show up to the caucus, I firmly believe we can win this.

One of the best ways we can get people to turn out to the Iowa caucus is by using ridewithbernie.com. Originally, RideWithBernie was used to match people up to carpool to Bernie Sanders rallies. However, with Iowa caucus less than a month away, a version specifically formatted for linking drivers and passengers together to get to the caucus is being created. Bernie has consistently been able to draw enormous crowds to his rallies. He has brought out over 31,000 Iowans already.

If we continue this momentum, if we speak to our family, neighbors, and co-workers, if we make sure every supporter turns out to caucus, we can have the revolution so many of us are longing for. Like Bernie said, "On election night, if voters turnout is high, you can go to bed early. We can win."

Now is not the time to slack off. If you support Bernie, if you want to see his policy ideas go anywhere, no is the time to get to work. Talk to people about Bernie, find your caucus location, sign up for RideWithBernie, and remind folks to show up to caucus. If we can all come together, we can make a difference. Let's make Bernie's words come true.

"We have the people behind us. They have the money. And at the end of the day, the people will be stronger than the money."

Bio: Emma Schmidt says, "For Bernie I am a precinct captain, I post on Calhoun County for Bernie, Webster County for Bernie, and Iowans for Bernie, as well as help coordinate a lot of events. In my personal life, I am a 21 year old mother of a two year old, I attend Iowa State University, and I work overnights with autistic adults."

 Introduction to Bernie2016TV
By Alys Spillman

Whether you’re new to the Bernie-verse or a lifer like myself, you’ll eventually notice something unfortunate about the mainstream media’s coverage of the Sanders campaign. There is a lot of reluctance on the part of major news outlets to treat candidates fairly. This is the result of a cascade of different federal legislation that has led to our news outlets behaving like businesses, who by nature prioritize their bottom line rather than their integrity and role to provide information to the public. This has led to an understated revolution in our media, thanks to an organization called Bernie 2016 TV.

The Backstory: in 1987 the Reagan administration eliminated the Fairness Doctrine, which had previously required that "holders of broadcast licenses to both present controversial issues of public importance and to do so in a manner that was—in the Commission's view—honest, equitable, and balanced.” Now, stay with me, try to stay awake. In 1996 the Clinton administration passed the Telecommunications Act, which created the media environment we now see playing out in our national presidential debates. That is, one where political events are used to generate profit rather than made easily accessible to all citizens.

Knowing none of this, last summer I found myself on the internet looking for ways to get my Bernie fix. I stumbled upon Bernie 2016 TV, a fully grassroots news network for us, the 99%. They operate via Google Hangouts, and offer what larger news networks no longer do, a platform for our voices and our issues without the priority of money or ratings influencing content. Their vision is “to engage people and move them from being passive consumers of information into being co-creators that actively expand their circles of influence, strengthening our grassroots movements.”

Savannah for Bernie has worked with Bernie 2016 TV to bring Bernie events and his message to the people. First in Charleston last summer, where we reported live after Bernie spoke, and again when Bernie visited Savannah last fall. Bernie 2016 TV is an important resource for the public in Savannah and beyond, because it’s a lot of work these days to find honest and ethically presented information in the news. This is a big next step in the evolution of our national media universe, and so, so much for the better!

To learn more about Bernie 2016 TV check out their YouTube page, and find them on every imaginable social media outlet. (You can find social media links on the Bernie2016TV page on our sidebar.) Their content ranges from Bernie rallies to meta-debate coverage and issue-focused shows such as Native Life and We The People. Bernie 2016 TV is also seeking volunteers, for both on-air hosts and behind the scenes roles. To volunteer send an email to info@bernie2016.tv.

Bio: Alys is an ex-archaeologist and equestrian professional now immersed in supporting science innovation and global humanitarian efforts as a grant writer. She comes to Savannah by way of Vermont, the United Kingdom, and South Florida.

* * *

Are you phone-banking for Bernie? We are!

This is a group photo of our Bernie meet-up this past Saturday in Pemberville, Ohio. Bernie supporters are everywhere and we are growing in numbers every day. Check online for a Bernie event or a phone-banking session near you: http://map.berniesanders.com 

#WeAreBernie #FeeltheBern America!  (And watch this great video.)

And order your great, reasonably priced Bernie 2016 lighted sign made with love by Ben and Jerry and Volunteers:


  1. Given how the GOP acts toward women and women's rights, I really can't see how any woman with sense could vote for them. Bernie Sanders has a consistent record of standing for and voting on equality. #WeAreBernie

  2. Bernie is the ultimate feminist, as he's concerned with ALL people regardless of their gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, etc. When he says we need to make "equal pay for equal work" and raise the minimum wage to at least $15/hour, he's a feminist. When he says a woman should have the right to make decisions about her own body and health care should be a right for all people, he's a feminist. When he says he wants maternity and sick leave guaranteed for all Americans, he's a feminist. When he says he wants us to concentrate on green energy and cleaning up our environment, then he's a feminist because women and their children can't thrive in a polluted world with expensive polluting fossil fuel power plants. Face it--Bernie's policies are the best for women, men, children, young, old, black, white, red, yellow, purple, plaid... #WeAreBernie and we deserve a better America than what the corporate politicians taking bribes from billionaires have given us in the past and will give us in the future. #FeeltheBern and vote for Bernie in your upcoming caucus/primary!

  3. Hey Cindy
    Blog's flag counter shows amazing results. Think that you are done something ?

    1. I hope we're introducing more and more people to the extraordinary person of Bernie Sanders, Hyvonen. :)

      Share the blog link(s) with friends and use Bernie hashtags on your tweets and keep up the conversation! To quote Bernie, "Together there's nothing we cannot do!" #NotMeUs #WeAreBernie #FeeltheBern #Bernie2016

  4. What if across the country, on Feb 1, we get as many cities and groups as possible to host light brigades to show Iowa Caucus-goers and the whole damn USA just how much supprt Bernie has?
    Who would want to do that in their city and organize an event and post it to Bernie's website? It's SUPER easy to make light brigade signs! (link below) Please, make your own posts with your bernie signs and share share share! let's get this trending!

    Check out my how-to video!


    Create your own event and post it to Bernie's event website!

    1. Fantastic idea! I love the Bernie Light Brigade signs and light shows. Creative people--get to work and click on the videos above. #FeeltheBern #NotMeUs

  5. Bernie Sanders is great it not presidential and his programs will not work! Any giver meant funded program sways end up a disaster - think about social security- ask any elderly person is the program worth their investment and for future seniors it may not exist - as a younger Redon you maynit have experienced these programs buttrustbtheexperienced


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