(NOTE: The Chelsea Reform Democratic Club's presidential endorsement election on January 21st resulted with no winner. This series doesn't reflect the views of CRDC, but does highlight the passion of one of our members in the quest for progressive reform)
May 15, 2016
PART ll: Mindy Berns For Bern
By Mindy Rosier
After my trip to NH, my quest to make Bernie Sanders our next President did not abate one bit. Actually it picked up steam. The NY Primaries were coming up in a couple of months and I knew we had to do something big. Besides being a special education teacher, a unionist, an Executive Board Member and Officer of CRDC amongst other things, I am also one of the original organizers for People for Bernie since we began more than a year ago. We are truly a grassroots organization filled with passionate organizers, many who can be traced back to the Occupy Wall Street movement, who want to see massive change to what we have now. Status Quo is unacceptable and we are doing what we can to reclaim OUR America. Down with the greedy 1%, it is time for the 99% to rise.
Our #March4Bernie back in January was a true success. Yes we didn’t get media attention for it but we didn’t expect to. Social media warriors helped us out plenty in putting our event out there and it spread like a wildfire. After some discussion, People for Bernie and it’s sister group Millennials for Bernie came to the conclusion that we needed to do an even bigger #March4Bernie event timed just days before our primaries on April 16th. As one of the lead organizers, I was responsible for creating different committees to make this a massively successful event plus other important responsibilities. Lots of work leading to lack of sleep was put into it. We amassed many incredible volunteers that I can honestly now call them friends. Solidarity can do that. I had also made a stop in Chicago for their annual Labor Notes conference. I spoke on a Labor for Bernie panel there and of course promoted our #March4Bernie.
Our rally was endorsed and funded by the National Nurses Union. We were able to have a stage and sound system in Foley Square Park down by the courts. We knew our numbers of attendance was going to at least triple from our last rally and we were not disappointed. Foley Square was quite packed that day.
Thanks to all the hard work of my co-organizers we had an amazing speaker list. Besides myself and a few of my co-organizers, plus campaign staff, we of course had some from the National Nurses Union speak at our event. We also had Verizon strikers from CWA 1101, Dan Cantor from WFP, Maria Svart from DSA, (Democratic Socialists of America,) fractivist Josh Fox, Seattle Councilmember Kshama Sawant, members from APWU, (American Postal Workers Union,) members from NYSNA, (New York State Nurses Association,) members from Black Men for Bernie, actress Shailene Woodley, and finally a hip hop band Pants Velour. Here is a video from that day which included my speech recorded by a friend. (I come in at about 4:26. Please forgive my hair.)
Before we took off on our march up to Union Square, our rally was concluded with an awesome flash mob that strutted their stuff to Disco Inferno. Bern baby Bern indeed.
Approximately 15,000 or so people took to the streets and were heard loud and proud for who they wanted to be their next president. We concluded at Union Square after some wrap up speeches. We heavily promoted people to canvass, to phone bank, and also to vote of course.
I don’t need to remind anyone about what happened on primary day. I was definitely disappointed but more angered by the low turnout of voters and all the drama caused by the Board of Elections and their polling places and staff. Despite what anyone might think, Bernie Sanders is NOT out. He has more states to go and can easily pick up hundreds of delegates. I never stopped believing. I can’t, I won’t. Although I did not make it in as a delegate via my district on primary day, (long story,) I am proud and honored to announce that I was chosen to be an alternate delegate by the Bernie Sanders campaign for the National Democratic Convention in July. I will do them proud. Philadelphia, here I come….
Mindy with fellow Bernie Sander campaigners in New Hampshire.
Part 1: Mindy Goes "Bern Storm'n"
My name is Mindy Rosier and I wear many hats so to speak. I am a proud TEACHER FOR BERNIE, I am die hard unionist who will be running with a social justice caucus named MORE in the upcoming UFT elections. I am an education and political activist, an organizer for People for Bernie and for Citizen Action. I am active in my community and I serve as an Executive Board Member and officer in my local democratic club, CRDC. Finally I am also a proud rabble rouser.
By now we know what Bernie Sanders’ platform is and it’s completely befuddling to me, that all of what he stands for, should really be common sense. Issues included are income inequality, racial and criminal justice, education, family values, climate change, etc. Why are we fighting for things that should be a given. So what if he seems too progressive or too radical to those more right. These are our lives, our children's lives and why shouldn’t we expect a better life for all??
Many winter weekends were spent in full Bernie Sanders mode. On January 30th, I helped co-organize a rally and march that began at Union Square with several moving speakers. More than 3,500 people came to be a part of this and we marched straight down Broadway to Zuccotti Park while chanting during it’s entirety. This end location was chosen for many of my fellow co-organizers were involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement and it’s message then still resonates with those today and aligns with Bernie Sanders’ platform. It was a beautiful sight to behold, seeing that park filled up with so many people waiting, wanting, and making a real change for their future.
I loved what I saw that day and I love what Bernie Sanders stands for. To me it was so amazing to see so many people there that were of different ages, races, religions, backgrounds, etc., and you know what? That did not matter one bit. We had been joined there together to make Bernie Sanders our next president....side by side in solidarity.
We began our journey for making Bernie Sanders our next President by organizing meet-ups, doing voter registration events, social media flurries, fundraisers, etc., and let me tell you, it turned into quite the Bernstorm. Most recently we added petitioning to the mix which is now completed. NYC took in over 85,000 signatures for Bernie Sanders and only 5,000 was needed for him to get on the ballot. Also efforts have since been kicked up for phone banking and canvassing. Since the beginning, we have been getting things done and we continue to do so.There is no slowing us down!!!
Recently, I helped organize a bus of volunteers up to New Hampshire for the Bernie Sanders campaign and GOTV, (Get Out The Vote.) Forty-four volunteers, including myself did phone-banking and canvassing. We had an amazing time with our new NH friends and they truly appreciated our NYC help. We did such an awesome job with phone banking, that we completed all the calls needed on their call list! How do we know? Bernie’s campaign told us so. Our volunteers also covered lots of ground with many groups going out and canvassing over the course of two days. Everyone came back with smiles on their faces as they knew that they were truly making a difference to their candidate. On the long bus ride home, there was already talk of heading to South Carolina in March ahead of their primaries. I am totally down to organize again for this.
Now why am I doing all that I am doing? Here is a quick little background. For most of my adult life I admit it, I was complacent. I wasn’t interested in politics at all and I was a quiet teacher. I did what I needed to do until almost 3 years ago when a very well known charter school had plans to kick out my special needs school after years of taking and taking from us. That was it. Enough was enough. I did my homework. I researched the politicians involved and saw quickly the players behind the scene. I call them the usual suspects because you see these same names, these hedgefunders, these millionaires, billionaires, behind the anti union, supposed education reform, and pro privatization of public institutions, rhetoric and attacks. I was completely disgusted and I learned quickly that hey, I had a voice and that I needed to use it. My voice was truthful, effective, fierce, and unrelenting. And to be perfectly honest, I have not shut up since. Point is, our voices ARE powerful. Everyone of you reading this... you are all powerful. Don’t ever forget that and together, we can truly make a difference.
I look forward to writing more Bernie stomping stories as the campaign moves forward!
— Mindy Rosier