By Michael Messina
It’s over. It’s been over for a long time now. Even the fallout from the Wasserman Schultz emails won’t change anything. Hillary has been chosen as the Democratic candidate for president, but the Bernie bonanza lives on, and the National Nurses United union seems to be a leader in the fight, even if that fight has now taken a different shape.
The NNU endorsed Bernie Sanders in August of last year, and while some unions have switched allegiances the nurses aren’t backing down. They were anchored so early to Sanders because of his proposals on Medicare for all. Michael Lighty, policy director for NNU, advocated for this change on the DNC platform committee, but the idea was rejected.
From the San Francisco Chronicle:
To Lighty, the Medicare-for-all fight illustrated all the reasons he worked so hard for Sanders. The Vermont senator proposed transformative change, not centrist, incremental tweaks that really wouldn’t alter a political system skewed toward wealthy, entrenched power.
Another NNU leader recently vocalized her continuing support for Sanders, echoing the voice of her members, she said. USA Today writes:
Deborah Burger, a president of National Nurses United, said she assumes Sanders will call for unity in his speech. “But some of us have a different political agenda,” she said. “Some of our nurses aren’t ready yet (to endorse Clinton).”
They both know it’s over, but as the Chronicle writes, it’s now about exerting influence on the Clinton campaign:
First, the Berners want to make Clinton lean more progressive and change a “rigged” party’s nominating rules while they’ve got the leverage.
Second, the primary might be over, but this week marks the start of the Berners’ attempt to transform his campaign into a strong political force that can survive after him.
Through it all, Lighty says he remains focused on defeating Trump. He will vote for Clinton.
“Most Bernie supporters will vote Clinton,” he said, “then leave it at that.”
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