Primary season is winding down, but our work has just begun. When you tell the story of 2018, what will your role be?

By Cory Archibald

We are just one week out from our final primary of 2018, where whistleblower Mindi Messmer is looking to lock down the nomination for New Hampshire’s 1st congressional district.

Mindi hopes to join the other 9 Brand New Congress candidates headed to November’s general election. In the coming weeks you will hear much more about those races and how you can help us win on November 6th.

But today I want to talk about our candidates who didn’t win their primaries.

What we’re doing here is bigger than winning a single election, and much bigger than any one candidate. We are in a fight to save our republic, and for many people that fight is literally a matter of life and death.

We can no longer afford to rally behind a single charismatic figure, pin our hopes and dreams on them, and bitterly swallow our disappointment when they fail to fix our problems on day one. The days of waiting for the next hero to crest the hill are over.

The heroes we need are all around us. It’s time for your neighbor, your co-worker — for you — to get involved.

That’s exactly what our candidates are doing.

Paula Jean Swearengin is still a hardscrabble activist giving a voice to communities ravaged by poverty, broken promises, and poisoned water.

Cori Bush continues to serve as a nurse for the mentally ill, and never skipped a beat in her advocacy to end police violence or bring racial justice to cities like Ferguson.

Anthony Clark and Jenny Marshall are still teaching; still engaging with their communities to, as Paula Jean so often says, #UniteOurFight.

Ryan Khojasteh continues his service on San Francisco’s Immigrant Rights Commission, while Roza Calderon and David Benac continue their relentless advocacy for clean water and environmental justice.

Robb Ryerse has joined forces with fellow progressive pastors to launch a new initiative called Vote Common Good, a bold movement to engage Christian voters in key races to oppose abhorrent policies such as family separation and for-profit healthcare, set party identity aside, and vote for progressive candidates in November.

Chardo Richardson, Michael Hepburn, Rick Treviño, Amy Vilela, J. Darnell Jones, Dorothy Gasque, and all the others — they are still fighting for you and me. And we can’t let them down.

To date, the Brand New Congress slate has earned more than half a million votes in the 2018 primaries. Running against multimillion dollar campaigns and spending as little as $1.05 per vote, each and every race you helped support made an impact on the national conversation.

A year ago it was unfathomable to many of our supporters that BNC had a progressive Republican running on Medicare for All. Today, a majority of Republican voters support Medicare for All.

A year ago, no one apart from a few activists was talking about shutting down the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE). Our candidates voted to #AbolishICE, adding it to our platform last November. Today, the calls to Abolish ICE grow louder every day.

Many from our 2018 slate are considering running again in 2020. But most importantly — they are working together. The candidates talk to one another, support one another, offer advice and solidarity. They continue to contribute to policy, sharing their expertise, connections, and resources. Their volunteers phonebank for one another, and whenever possible they travel to other states to campaign for their fellow candidates.

This is what we set out to accomplish. We’re building a caucus that’s bigger than party and strong enough to stand up to the powerful few invested in keeping things the way they are.

This is the path forward. Despite the divisions we feel today, it remains true that the majority of Americans want us to come together, to unite beyond party identity. In the current climate, this is a hard road to follow, but it is the necessary path.

Our tiny staff and relentless volunteers are putting everything we’ve got into winning these races in November. We are already recruiting candidates for 2020. We are laying the groundwork and building relationships that will bring the inevitable restoration of our democracy, and we need you with us more than ever.

What’s the best way for you to help?

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This year, none of us can afford to stay on the sidelines. Everyone has a role to play. What will your contribution be?

Cory Archibald has volunteered for Brand New Congress since January 2017, assuming the role of the Director of Communications and Chair of the Board of Directors in September 2017. For 18 years, she has worked all over the US and across the world as learning and development professional for a wide range of industries. She and her husband have also rescued animals for over 10 years. When she’s not looking after their dozens of dogs, cats, chickens, and ducks, Cory enjoys reading, writing, traveling, and dabbling in photography.