When we fight together, we win.
When we fight together, we win. Lester Black

We know how powerful progressives can be when we unite around a common goal. We saw it last year, when progressives and socialists rallied together to stop the business establishment from buying the 2019 Seattle City Council elections.

Senator Elizabeth Warren was the first national politician to support people over profits in those contests. Shortly thereafter, Senator Sanders endorsed the Seattle City Council candidates who refused help from major corporations.

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The result? Five of the six Warren/Sanders-backed candidates won their elections, and the sixth only narrowly lost by four points despite being out-spent 100-to-1 by corporate and conservative PACs.

When we fight together, we win.

Many of Washington State’s progressives were committed to Senator Elizabeth Warren’s incomparably detailed and nuanced policy plans. We were both proud supporters. But with Warren exiting the race on Thursday, now is the time for fellow Warren supporters to recognize that Bernie Sanders is the best option for progressive change in the 2020 Presidential Primary.

(L-R) Sen. Joe Nguyen and Sen. Liz Lovelett
(L-R) Sen. Joe Nguyen and Sen. Liz Lovelett Washington State Senate

For all the strife we saw between Warren and Sanders during the campaign, the fact remains that the two have much more in common than not.

Responding to Warren’s exit from the race, Sanders said, “Senator Warren has taken on the most powerful corporate interests because she cares about those who have been left behind. Without her, the progressive movement would not be nearly as strong as it is today.”

In taking on big banks, credit card companies, and major corporations in the years after The Great Recession of 2008, Warren established herself as a progressive reformer in the tradition of Ann Richards. Following the footsteps of Eugene Debs, Sanders has been a democratic socialist crusader for economic justice; Barack Obama once praised Bernie for his “great passion, great authenticity, and fearlessness.”

Recently, legal scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw, originator of the concept of intersectionality, endorsed Senator Warren. Earlier in the campaign, Barbara Smith of the Combahee River Collective, which laid much of the groundwork for Crenshaw’s intersectional analysis of race, gender, and class, endorsed Senator Sanders.

Senator Sanders earned endorsements from fierce women of color, including leaders such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Washington’s own Rep. Pramila Jayapal, as well as prominent progressive organizations like the Sunrise Movement.

Senator Warren’s coalition is similarly diverse, with backing from Rep. Ayanna Pressley, the Working Families Party, and former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich.

Members of the Sanders-Warren coalition grasp the need for Big Structural Change. Together, we must build an economy that works for everyone: working people, communities of color, and the climate. And together, we must undo the damage Trump has wrought.

We are all deeply committed to defeating Donald Trump in November. However, there is a gulf that cannot be ignored between the progressive approach of Warren and Sanders, and the business-as-usual politics of Joe Biden.

Sanders and Warren believe health care is a human right. Biden opposes Medicare for All while a super PAC run by health care industry lobbyists bankrolls his campaign.

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Sanders and Warren believe in an end to the prison-industrial complex. Biden co-authored the infamous 1994 Crime Bill, which devoted $10 billion to the construction of new prisons and the militarization of police departments across the country.

Sanders and Warren want to expand social security. Biden tried to slash it in the 1990s and again in the 2010s.

Biden paints himself as a safe pair of hands, but in a general election against Trump he will be portrayed as the candidate of a decaying establishment. He will be unable to attack Trump on key issues without being accused of complicity with the corporate establishment. We have to acknowledge that Trump won by being bold about his poisonous beliefs. We must win by being equally unapologetic about our progressive beliefs. The middle of the road is where we will lose.

Bernie Sanders has built a coalition by recognizing a simple truth: the system is not working. For decades elites have siphoned wealth from the people who created the world’s richest economy, and they’re hoarding it for themselves. Meanwhile, from Seattle to South Carolina, workers who created that wealth struggle to make the rent, provide a future for their families, and look after themselves in times of sickness.

Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders ran different campaigns, but they both understand what is at stake for our country over the next few months. That’s why we’ll be doing everything in our power in this crucial, historic contest to ensure that Bernie wins decisively in our state, wins the nomination, and goes on to become the next President of the United States of America.

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