June 28, 2015

Working Families Party is going National

By Mark Wachtler

June 28, 2015. Brooklyn. (ONN) For a group that’s 17 years old, the Working Families Party is still introducing itself to voters across the nation. That’s because the center-left organization concentrates on local elections and real people rather than on fundraisers and a top-down national office. With the elections of people like Kshama Sawant to the Seattle City Council in 2013, WFP has burst onto the national scene. The Party has now launched a national campaign to expand its presence from a half dozen states to the entire country.

The Working Families Party recently launched a campaign to run candidates in every state in America.


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Participatory Democracy Project

Valerie Ervin, Executive Director of the Working Families Party campaign called the Participatory Democracy Project, is no stranger to successful election campaigns. She’s a former union organizer and Executive Director of the Center for Working Families. Ervin was also twice elected to the Montgomery County, Maryland County Council and even served as its President in 2011. Today, her mission is to bring the WFP’s message nationwide by organizing WFP chapters and finding local candidates in the states the Party doesn’t yet have a presence in.

“All across the country, Working Families activists like you and me have been leading progressive fights on the state and local level that make big waves nationally,” Valerie Ervin announced to Party supporters, “It was just a few months ago that United Working Families in Chicago shook Rahm Emanuel into the political race of his life. And in the meantime we've elected grassroots progressive champions in Connecticut, Brooklyn, and the Philadelphia primary.”

Explaining the WFP’s goal, Ervin says, “We can't stop here. We've had great success in these races, now we need to keep going until all we do is win nationwide. I'm starting an initiative called the Working Families Participatory Democracy Project. The goal is simple: pass an economic justice agenda nationwide by identifying, training, and electing Working Families candidates just like we did this year, except across the nation.”

The announcement goes on to detail the steps the Party will take to achieve its national aspirations, and they include working with other like-minded individuals and organizations on the precinct level. Valerie Ervin continues, “Here’s how it works.” (from the WFP announcement):

  • We work with our partners in states to find candidates who will support our economic justice agenda in every election cycle for the next ten years.
  • We teach candidates how to win while running as a progressive in a series of day-long training sessions.
  • Once elected, we give the candidates the tools they need to govern such as model legislation, assistance with hiring staff, networking opportunities, leadership development, and assistance building progressive caucuses.

Taking aim at TTP & TTIP

Just as with nearly all of America’s 13 opposition parties, WFP has played a leading role in opposing the globalist trade alliances call TPP and TTIP. One includes Pacific rim countries and the other includes Atlantic rim countries. Both subvert America’s national sovereignty to the World Trade Organization, roll back environmental protections and all but legalize slave labor. In fact, a couple of the alliance nations already use slavery to keep corporate costs down. With the passage of these two trade deals, that’s what American workers will be forced to compete with going forward.

As a crash course for readers, when Congress approved Fast Track Trade Authority this week, it only paved the way for global trade deals to be debated and approved by Congress. While no changes or amendments can be added, at least America’s representatives will have the opportunity to reject TPP and TTIP when they’re eventually introduced for approval. That’s where the real battle for America’s jobs and sovereignty will occur. And it’s a safe bet that the Working Families Party will be on the front line.

Calling out the traitors

“Friend, I'm $()%&)* pissed. Mad. Livid. Bellicose,” WFP national spokesperson Amanda Johnson told Party supporters five days ago regarding the Senate’s vote to approve Fast Track, “This thesaurus doesn't have enough words for how angry I am. Thirteen Democratic Senators turned their back on working families and linked arms with Republicans.”

Labeled ‘13 Trans-Pacific Traitors’, the Working Families Party lists all 13 Democratic Senators that crossed Party lines and voted with the GOP to approve Fast Track Trade Authority. They include (from the WFP):

Michael Bennet, Colorado

Maria Cantwell, Washington

Tom Carper, Delaware

Chris Coons, Delaware

Dianne Feinstein, California

Heidi Heitkamp, North Dakota

Tim Kaine, Virginia

Claire McCaskill, Missouri

Patty Murray, Washington

Bill Nelson, Florida

Jeanne Shaheen, New Hampshire

Mark Warner, Virginia

Ron Wyden, Oregon

WFP’s Dan Cantor called the two global trade deals, “NAFTA on steroids.” “It's not really just about trade,” he explains, “The TPP is a massive power grab by the biggest multinational corporations and Wall Street banks to rewrite the rules of the economy to put even more power in their hands. Under one provision that Senator Elizabeth Warren has highlighted, corporations would be able to sue governments to overturn laws - like environmental or workplace safety regulations - that hampered their profits.”

With the passage of Fast Track Trade Authority this week, it sets the stage for what could be the battle of the year when TTP and TTIP are introduced in Congress for ratification. And the Working Families Party is leading by example in the fight to stop them. For more information on WFP, visit WorkingFamilies.org.


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Wachtler represents the Opposition on Liberty Talk Radio



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