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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

The People's Party registers in Oregon, gains endorsement of Railroad Workers United

"Working people in the United States need a political party of their own that is not beholden to big money."

The Movement for a People's Party that grew out of the Bernie Sanders campaign and disillusion with the Democrats has previously registered as an official party in Colorado, California and Maine.

Now it has also registered in Oregon and picked up a new endorsement from Railroad Workers United.

The initiative -- which is endorsed by public figures like Dr. Cornel West, Cindy Sheehan and Chris Hedges -- seeks to create a "major new progressive populist party that will deliver what regular people take for granted in so many other countries: single-payer health care, free public college, money out of politics, an infrastructure jobs program, a $15 minimum wage, financial regulations, and more."

According to a press release on April 26:

The People’s Party has officially registered as a new political party in the state of Oregon. To get on the ballot, organizers will gather signatures equal to at least 1.5 percent of the total votes cast for governor in the last election, or some 23,000 signatures.
They have until March 2023 to gather the requisite signatures along with a cushion of several thousand more. Organizers plan to gather them well before that date in order to nominate candidates in the 2022 election. Oregon joins the states of California, Colorado and Maine in officially registering for party recognition.
The Oregon People’s Party will look to its roots in the 1890s as a populist party for inspiration. Then, as now, Wall Street’s control over its major industries created a rural and urban divide that is leaving rural communities facing harsh poverty. The state's Peoples Party is looking to bridge that gap by including people from rural areas in its organizing and leadership committees.

This comes just days after the new party picked up an endorsement from the Railroad Workers United "an inter-union, cross-craft solidarity "caucus" of railroad workers, and their supporters, from all crafts, all carriers, and all unions across North America" on April 20.

The endorsement read, in part:

Railroad Workers United (RWU) is proud to support the efforts of the People's Party to build a major new political party in the United States. RWU has long proclaimed its discontent with the two established parties, seeing them both as hopelessly under the influence of big corporations, Wall Street, and the rich - including the nation’s big Class One rail carriers. Working people in the United States need a political party of their own that is not beholden to big money. We need a party that is of, by, and for the working people, one that is under the control of unions and other popular organizations, free of corporate influence and special interests. We urge all railroad unions to join in our efforts to build a People's Party in the United States.

The People's Party "is organizing for ballot access in all 50 states. People's Party candidates will run for Congress in 2022 and the presidency in 2024."

Its temporary platform, to be finalized at a founding convention planned for late 2021, includes sections such as An Economic Bill of Rights, Strong Unions and Workplace Democracy, Medicare for All and Free Public College and Quality Education.


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