Tuesday, December 9, 2014

MoveOn Kicks Off Member Vote on Campaign to Encourage Elizabeth Warren to Run for President

MOVEON’S 8 MILLION MEMBERS WILL VOTE UNTIL 9 A.M. EST WEDNESDAY ON WHETHER TO LAUNCH A MAJOR ‘RUN WARREN RUN’ CAMPAIGN TO CONVINCE THE LEADING CHAMPION FOR WORKING FAMILIES AND THE MIDDLE CLASS TO ENTER THE RACE., one of the nation’s most influential grassroots groups, stood poised on Tuesday to throw its full weight behind an effort to convince Senator Elizabeth Warren to run for president in 2016, pending a vote of its membership.

For the first time in its 16-year history, the 8-million-member group is holding a nationwide membership vote on a presidential draft campaign. If the vote succeeds, the group will focus on persuading the Massachusetts senator, who has become known as a tireless, passionate advocate for middle-class and working families, to seek the presidency.

Voting is open to MoveOn’s full membership across the country until 10 a.m. Eastern time Wednesday morning. The result will be announced at 11 a.m. Eastern.

The campaign, if ratified by MoveOn’s members, will include:

  • offices and staff in early primary and caucus states like Iowa and New Hampshire,
  • the assembly of a national volunteer army ready to go to work if Sen. Warren enters the race,
  • recruiting small-dollar donors who pledge their support,
  • and ads and media products that call attention to how Sen. Warren has stood up and fought for the middle class and her powerful vision for our country’s future.

The organization will invest at least $1 million in the first phase of the launch.

“MoveOn’s 8 million members are the volunteers, activists, and supporters who make up a key part of the Democratic base and, if they vote to move forward, we’ll go all out to encourage Senator Warren to take her vision and track record of fighting tooth-and-nail for working people and the middle class to the White House,” said Ilya Sheyman, executive director of Political Action. “There is too much at stake to have anything other than our best candidates in the debate. We are prepared to show Senator Warren she has the support she needs to enter—and win—the presidential race.”

Sheyman made the case for launching such an effort to MoveOn members in the email that opened the vote on Tuesday morning. MoveOn is prepared to quickly launch the campaign if members decide to move forward.

MoveOn has prepared a campaign that would include a robust field organizing program, Sheyman said, with a national team-based organizing strategy inspired by President Obama’s powerhouse grassroots campaign. The campaign would hire organizing staff in early caucus and primary states including Iowa and New Hampshire. MoveOn members would also organize high-visibility social, cultural, and online actions and partner with key organizations and constituencies to highlight the groundswell of support for Warren.

“This is a huge opportunity for MoveOn members, if they choose, to inspire Senator Warren as she has inspired so many of us,” said Anna Galland, executive director of Civic Action. “There is no more tireless, passionate advocate for progressive values. We’re ready to show Senator Warren that we’ve got her back, and that by running for the Democratic nomination for President, she can change the course of history.”

The campaign would demonstrate to Warren that her core message—an electrifying call to fix a rigged political and economic system that is failing America’s families—resonates among crucial early primary voters and caucus goers.

“This moment was made for Elizabeth Warren,” said Ben Wikler, Washington director of MoveOn. “The defining theme of 2016 is also the defining theme of Elizabeth Warren’s life: inequality and the crisis of the middle class. From creating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to leading the charge against outrageous student debt, Senator Warren has shown by her actions that she’ll never stop fighting for an economy that serves regular Americans instead of Wall Street.”

MoveOn members have repeatedly stood alongside Senator Warren as she has fought for the middle class, from backing her proposed legislation to charge student loan borrowers the same low interest rates the government gives big banks to applauding her call for expanded Social Security benefits. When Warren ran for the Senate in 2012, Political Action bundled more than $1 million in small contributions to Warren’s campaign, and nearly a thousand MoveOn members in Massachusetts turned out to volunteer on her behalf.

In 2008, MoveOn members’ endorsement of then-Sen. Barack Obama just before Super Tuesday delivered a boost to his campaign for the White House. Political Action represents the collective will of MoveOn’s more than 8 million members at the ballot box by helping to elect progressive candidates.

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