Section: Opinion

Kenyon College’s YDSA Chapter Endorses Bernie Sanders for President

GAMBIER, Ohio – The Kenyon College chapter of the Young Democratic Socialists of America (KYDSA) endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in the Democratic Primary for President of the United States at their weekly meeting on Tuesday, January 14.

KYDSA endorsed Sen. Sanders through a formal chapter resolution after reaching a consensus that there was clear, near-unanimous support for him within the organization. The resolution includes the specific reasons that members in the organization support Bernie Sanders: he is the only candidate making class-struggle central to their campaign, the candidate with the most comprehensive plan to fight the climate crisis, and the only candidate committed to achieving universal healthcare coverage through Medicare For All. The resolution passed by 28 yeas, 2 abstentions, and no nays. 

KYDSA’s endorsement of Bernie Sanders follows the national organization of DSA’s endorsement last summer. However, KYDSA’s endorsement also acknowledges Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s advocacy in the progressive movement and declares a commitment to the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee. While this differs from the national organization’s endorsement, these provisions were important to KYDSA. Members of the chapter believe that the progressive movement in the United States must stand united in their shared fight and recognizes the all-important goal of defeating President Trump in November 2020.

As part of the endorsement, KYDSA plans to launch a “Kenyon for Bernie” campaign. The campaign will involve weekly phone-banking as well as on- and off-campus canvassing, fundraising, and tabling for the Vermont Senator’s campaign. KYDSA will also host town halls around specific issues, including Medicare For All and the Green New Deal. Through this campaign, KYDSA hopes to serve as the check-point for all community members (students, faculty, and staff) who support Sen. Sanders and want to help him win the party nomination.

KYDSA co-chair Nick Becker ’22  (he/him/his) said in a statement: “We are proud to endorse Bernie Sanders because we know that his campaign is about more than one person. His campaign is about building a multiracial movement of working people in this country to not only beat Donald Trump in November, but actually fix the structural conditions of injustice that brought Trump and his politics of division to power in the first place. We are ready and excited to join Bernie Sanders, and millions of people across this country, who are fighting for issues—like Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, student debt cancellation, ending racism in our criminal justice and immigration systems, and establishing a just foreign policy—that would profoundly change America and the world for the better.”

KYDSA co-chair Katya Naphtali ’23 (she/her/hers) said additionally: “I’m endorsing Bernie because he matches my politics more than any other candidate. I want to be enthusiastic about the candidate we elect for the Democratic nomination and Bernie excites it in his voters more than other candidates. I believe Bernie can spark the most enthusiasm from 2016 voters from both parties while also bringing in disenfranchised and forgotten voters as well in this upcoming election. By endorsing Bernie, I’m committing to a working-class movement to take back the White House. I also find it important to support Warren because she represents a lot of overlapping causes—we especially need the left to be united rather than split by these two candidates.”

A Resolution for the Kenyon Young Democratic Socialists of America (KYDSA) to endorse Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) as the Democratic nominee for President of the United States

BE IT RESOLVED, the Kenyon College chapter of the Young Democratic Socialists of America (hereby referred to as KYDSA) endorses Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in the Democratic Primary for President of the United States;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, KYDSA will run a coordinated campaign and will follow an original action plan for the Kenyon College community to get involved in the Bernie Sanders primary campaign;

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, in the event of Bernie Sanders’s failure to win the primary, KYDSA commits to supporting the Democratic nominee for President in the 2020 election. 

WHEREAS, the national Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) has endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders;

WHEREAS, Bernie Sanders is the only class-struggle candidate in the Democratic presidential primary who is committed to building a multiracial working-class movement to win democratic socialism in this country;

WHEREAS, Bernie Sanders has the best plan to address the world’s gravest threat, climate change, with a Green New Deal that emphasizes a truly international approach to the climate crisis backed by a $200 billion commitment to the Green Climate Fund, democratization of the national grid, the prioritization of frontline and fenceline communities, litigation against fossil fuel companies, and a $16.3 trillion in new spending creating 20 million new jobs and just transition for displaced workers;

WHEREAS, KYDSA affirms the central role organized labor must play in any progressive movement and recognizes Bernie Sanders’ longtime commitment to the labor movement and backs his Workplace Democracy Plan to double union membership, restore the right to strike, and end the racist exclusion of domestic and agricultural workers from labor rights;

WHEREAS, Bernie Sanders is the only candidate to consistently fought for Medicare for All, the only single-payer healthcare plan that would achieve universal coverage, comprehensive benefits, cost savings for a majority of Americans, reduce national healthcare spending, and eliminate the use of health insurance as a tool of oppression and coercion;

WHEREAS, KYDSA admires and respects Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) for her advocacy for the needed structural reforms to the economy and government, her longtime work on behalf of consumers and victims of bankruptcy, and her inspiring contributions to the progressive movement in the United States;

WHEREAS, KYDSA commits to the Democratic Party presidential nominee and recognizes this commitment is separate from the national DSA;

WHEREAS, KYDSA endorsed Bernie Sanders by 28 yays, 0 nays, and 3 abstentions at the 1/14/20 general meeting.



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