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As one of the first Bernie staffers in Colorado, there are many trademark soundbites and catchphrases Bernie uses that have resonated with me.
But one above all has really stuck with me. It was from April 2015, when Bernie stumbled into the San Francisco studio of the online publication Mother Jones. With conviction, and integrity to his principles and values he said, “it is better to show up than to give up.”
In ten words, Senator Sanders started a political revolution.
Sanders would go on to officially announce his candidacy for President in the following weeks. In July, during a single day of action, he mobilized more than 3,000 house parties across the country, with over 100,000 attendees. By fall and winter, his campaign was fully up and running, and by February, with a narrow loss in Iowa and a landslide victory in New Hampshire, he seemed poised to make a successful run at the Democratic nomination.
I was honored to be part of that movement. Bernie captured my heart at a CU Boulder rally, and I never looked back.
But the primaries are now over. As I write, there are less than 30 days left in this election– and the first thing I think of everyday is his words: now is not the time to give up– now’s the time to show up.
It’s time to show up for our values – like getting money out of politics. Clinton has vowed to introduce a constitutional amendment to end Citizens United in the first thirty days of her presidency. And she’ll nominate Supreme Court justices who understand that corporations aren’t people.
It’s time to show up for our principles – like the principle that all of us are created equal and that our nation is a nation of immigrants. Sexism, racism, and xenophobia have no place in our democracy or our Oval Office.
It’s time to show up for our big hairy audacious goals – like making healthcare affordable for all and guaranteeing a world-class education system for any kid, no matter his or her zip code. Dating back to her law school years, Hillary has been a leader on both of these critical issues. After law school she went to work for the Children’s Defense Fund in Massachusetts, where she fought to improve education standards for individuals with disabilities. And as First Lady of Arkansas, she spearheaded an education reform movement that catapulted Arkansas’ public education record.
Further, as First Lady of the U.S., she fought tooth and nail for healthcare reform, and when Republicans rebuffed her, she worked to pass the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which covers 8 million kids, including nearly 100,000 each year in Colorado alone.
Anyone who considers themselves a progressive, anyone who truly embodies the values so passionately articulated by Sanders, must advocate for these programs and this progress, and therefore must vote for Clinton.
Shorter: Bernie’s fights are Hillary’s fights.
So it’s time to show up for Hillary now. It’s time to get the polls, to get to an office and volunteer, to talk to your friends and neighbors about this election. We’ll be making Bernie proud – it’s time we show up, not give up.
Photo credit: Phil Roeder, Creative Commons, Flickr