As a political scientist who has focused on “democratization NGOs” (nongovernmental organizations) in South Africa, Tajikistan, and Argentina, I was intrigued by the recent emergence of similar organizations in my own country. After the 2016 election, I started volunteering for a new political organization, founded, prophetically, even before Trump was elected, in April of 2016 (brandnewcongress.org) by veterans of the Bernie Sanders campaign. It immediately attracted major volunteer and financial support, particularly from idealistic, young millennials, but also from older followers such as myself.
The founding “post- partisan” principle of BNC was to look for “extraordinary, ordinary” people in all walks of life who had already demonstrated their creativity by improving life in their own communities. They also had to subscribe to the major principles of the BNC platform, including environmental protection and revamping our energy infrastruture, getting money out of politics, protecting the Bill of Rights, immigration reform, combating stagnant wages, medicare for all, and ending foreign wars plus citizen activism in foreign policy.