Maya Rupert, Campaign Manager, Julián for the Future
When Julián got into this race, he made a promise that in his Administration, everyone would count, and we would prove that in the way we ran this campaign.
He would go to the places where people felt forgotten and ignored and show them that they had a champion in him. He would focus on the issues that mattered — those others were afraid to confront — and not just mention, but center them. And on every single debate stage, he would bring those voices, those concerns, those issues, and those people with him.
As soon as he announced, we committed to paying all our interns a living wage and refusing to accept all PAC money or lobbyist money. Making those commitments with money in the bank, an existing campaign committee, a large email list, or personal wealth were luxuries that Julián’s People First campaign didn’t have.
But we made those commitments anyway.
We decided to run this campaign with the same political courage and moral clarity that he would display as President. It was the best way we could think to introduce him to people — we would show them exactly who he is.
And that is what this campaign has done. He has moved the field on some of the most critical issues facing people today. He has been bold when others urged him to accept the status quo. He has put moral imagination ahead of political expediency. He has gone places no candidate has ever gone and brought in people who never saw themselves reflected in our politics.
We wouldn’t poll test his positions. He would say what he believed and stand by it, even if it was unpopular — especially if it was unpopular. Because when the right position isn’t the popular one, that’s how we knew where his voice was most needed.
And now we are in very real danger of losing that voice.
Plainly, if we are unable to raise $800,000 by the end of the month, we have no hope to meet the November debate threshold, and we will have to end this campaign.
And if he leaves this race, I fear the issues that he has championed that are so crucial to our communities will leave with him.
We knew that running a campaign like ours carried a risk. By definition, polls cannot capture the importance of focusing on issues and communities that have been marginalized. If they did, well, those issues and communities wouldn’t be marginalized in the first place. We also knew we would be speaking to, and on behalf of, communities who could help us the least politically:
— those less likely to vote because of voter disenfranchisement and a political system that has never made them feel heard.
— those struggling to make ends meet who have never given to a political campaign before and certainly cannot be major donors.
— pragmatic voters whose rights are the most likely impacted by a Trump presidency so are less likely to express early support for an insurgent campaign — no matter how much it excited them.
— those who need a champion.
We knew it was a gamble. We took the risk. We bet on all of us. Because even if we were wrong, we knew it would be the best mistake we would ever make.
It didn’t scare Julián, so it didn’t scare me. He and I grew up the same way — like many people across this country — in a loving family that struggled financially, sometimes significantly. And so, we committed to, as Julián often says, to do what our families did: Work hard. Do more with less. And we did.
Our entire operation is the size of a single state team of many of our opponents. We have been outstaffed, outraised, outspent, but somehow, we have never been outworked. We have a team that puts its heart and soul into this campaign, and we do it because we have a candidate that is doing that — on behalf of all of us — every single day.
We have done so much more with so much less that I often forget we’re not competing with the same resources as our opponents. I’m only reminded in moments when it becomes painfully clear, and we’re at one of those moments right now.
Our People First campaign has reached a crossroads. To be clear, the money we are trying to raise today doesn’t offer any guarantees — it doesn’t guarantee us a spot on that debate stage, and it doesn’t guarantee us the power to sustain until February. All it guarantees us is a shot. But that’s all Julián has ever needed.
From the beginning of this campaign, Julián has been called a longshot. But here’s the thing about longshots. They happen every single day.
There was a time in the lifespan of every single issue you care about and every right you hold dear that it was considered a longshot, and the folks fighting for it were told it was out of reach.
Change happened because they reached for it anyway. This whole country was built by longshots.
People came together in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds and did something incredible together.
We have done something incredible together, and I’m still betting that we can do more. I’m still betting on all of us. But to get there, we need your help today.
Since the beginning of this campaign, there has been one person fighting for all of us. Let’s keep him on the stage. He’ll bring the rest of us with him.
DONATE now: http://bit.ly/Castro800
-Maya Rupert, Campaign Manager, Julián for the Future