Game On: Rematch vs. Wasserman Schultz
On Thursday evening, I made it official and announced that I am running against Debbie Wasserman Schultz in 2018, in a rematch of last year’s House race in Florida’s 23rd Congressional District.
Last year’s race was an epic David versus Goliath. When I jumped into the race, Wasserman Schultz was the chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and she had the support of the entire Washington political establishment and the largest corporations and Wall Street banks. I put in $15,000 of my own meager savings, launched our website and social media, and made the most important pledge of my campaign: that I would not take a penny from any corporate interests.
Thanks to all of you, I kept that pledge and we raised nearly $3.8 million in small online donations, more than 200,000 individual contributions with an average donation of about $17 — reportedly breaking records for the highest percentage of small donations of any campaign in history. I am renewing that pledge for this campaign: I will not take a penny from any corporate interests and I will not take money from any political actions committee (PACs).
Once again, I am calling on each of you to step up and do your part by contributing what you can to our campaign. As we saw last year, each and every small donation is crucial, because small donations add up with the power of the grassroots!
Campaign finance and political reform will be meaningless without real election integrity reforms. Throughout the 2016 election, millions of fellow citizens lost faith in our election system in the face of massive suppression of voters and apparent wrongdoing in the counting of ballots in numerous races, including several key primaries where it seemed Bernie Sanders was crushing it, only to fall short in the official counts. We need to protect our voting systems, make them more transparent, and verify the votes through the counting of paper ballots in public. With your help, I pledge to raise the funds we need to pay for a recount in my race next year, no matter the outcome in this election! We will protect the vote, verify the ballots, and demand transparency!
Our political system has been rigged for too long against ordinary folks like you and me. I am running again to represent those who Franklin Roosevelt referred to as the forgotten men and women in our society — those who have been left behind by a political system awash in big corporate money. In the coming days and weeks, I will outline my agenda for progressive reform. Rest assured it is the same People’s Agenda that I have been advocating and working for as an activist and a law professor since I was in my early 20s.
Please contribute whatever you can. My fight against Wasserman Schultz is your fight for a better world. I am of, by, and for the grassroots. Together we will fight the corporate machine, reform our political system, and lay the foundation for a better world for future generations.
More than anything, our generation needs jobs and economic opportunity, not from trickle down policies, but a green and solar New Deal approach that rebuilds our country and helps the people from the bottom up. We need to stop privatizing everything, we need to reinvigorate the capabilities of our public sectors to do great things. This is the progressive tradition we must all embrace. We know that it’s not truly progressive if it’s not “progress for all.”
I am grateful for all of your support as we set sail on this new and exciting campaign to breathe new life into our democracy.