This is my candidate statement:
When I launched the Bernie Sanders campaign in the U.K. in July 2015 – at the Independence Day picnic of Democrats Abroad in Portman Square – I had no idea where it would all lead.
Hillary Clinton was widely assumed to to be the party’s candidate in the 2016 elections and Donald Trump was one of many potential Republican rivals, then seen as unlikely to win the nomination.
No one was more surprised than me when our campaign rapidly grew, and Sanders triumphed in the Global Presidential Primary that year.
My work on the Sanders campaigns that year and again in 2020 came after decades of political activism going back to Senator Eugene McCarthy’s campaign in 1968. My involvement in protests against the Vietnam war led me into a life campaigning for social justice, fighting against racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia.
While still in high school, I joined the democratic socialist movement. In fact, Bernie Sanders and I were both members of the same small organization, though I joined it a decade after he did.
After 18 years living on a kibbutz in Israel, I moved to London where I established LabourStart, the news and campaigning website of the international trade union movement. I encourage all of you to join us in campaigns supporting workers’ rights around the world: https://www.labourstart.org
As a member of the Executive Committee of Democrats Abroad UK, I will continue that work – fighting for progressive values, for a more just and fair society, and above all for strengthening the power of working people and their organizations, the trade unions.
Like all of you, I am delighted that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the election. I campaigned for them (primarily through my journalism) as I did four years earlier for Hillary Clinton. I publicly debated people in London and Berlin who refused to back the Democrats because they were not seen as left-wing enough.
I am as convinced now as I was when I joined the Young People’s Socialist League (YPSL) back in 1971 that our place is inside the Democratic Party.
Our job is to constantly push the party to the left. That means rejecting the neo-liberal and pro-corporate ideas that turned off many working people to the party and drove them into the arms of populist demagogues.
Democrats Abroad is uniquely positioned to play a progressive role in the party. Here in the UK, where we all benefit from the NHS and the welfare state, we understand that social democracy is not something to be feared. We can advocate for things like healthcare as a human right because we have experienced that in our daily lives. We have learned that trade unions are a vital component of civil society, and we should encourage the Democrats to prioritize their pro-worker, pro-union agenda – as Senator Sanders is doing.
I believe that we will defeat Trumpism and ensure a Democratic majority in the years to come only by embracing social democratic values – as I have done my entire life.