Peoples Party Press Release - August 19, 2020
Detroit, MI — Two former Democratic presidential candidates, Marianne Williamson and Sen. Mike Gravel are joining The People’s Convention on August 30. As reported in Politico this morning, they will join keynote speakers Sen. Nina Turner and Dr. Cornel West to discuss the formation of a major new political party in America.
Joining them are Amazon essential workers organizer Chris Smalls, Move to Amend National Director Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap, and National Bernie Delegates Hanieh Jodat and Cheng-Sim Lim.
More than 7,500 people have signed up to attend The People’s Convention, hosted by the Movement for a People’s Party. The event will be digital and streamed live to YouTube, Facebook and Twitter pages with millions of followers.
Marianne Williamson is an author, activist and spiritual thought leader, having written four #1 New York Times bestsellers. She founded Project Angel Food, a non-profit that has delivered more than 12 million meals to ill and dying homebound patients since 1989. She also co-founded The Peace Alliance, which seeks to establish a U.S. Department of Peace.
U.S. Sen. Mike Gravel represented Alaska in the Senate from 1969 to 1981. He famously read the Pentagon Papers into the public record in 1971. Gravel founded the National Citizen’s Initiative for Democracy, which proposes a national direct democracy initiative process. He was drafted into the 2020 presidential race by teens David Oks and Henry Williams, who sought to bring an anti-war message to the primaries. After the race, he founded The Gravel Institute dedicated to continuing his work towards “global peace and democracy.”
“An entirely new way of being is struggling to be born, and we need a political container for it — one that puts humanitarian values before amoral economic ones, and breaks free of a 20th Century political paradigm that no longer serves our democracy or even our survival on the planet,” said Williamson. “A new ‘birth of freedom’ is struggling to be born, emerging from the hearts and minds of millions of people no longer willing to go along with systems that devolve rather than evolve our life on earth.”
The People’s Convention will stream on August 30 at 4 pm ET and offer a people’s response to the Democratic and Republican conventions. Speakers will discuss the state of the nation under the management of the corporate-funded political parties. At the conclusion, attendees will cast a historic vote on forming a major new party free of corporate money and influence.
Convention speaker Chris Smalls is a former Amazon worker who was fired in March after staging a walkout over unsafe Covid protections at a Staten Island warehouse. He is currently organizing workers at Amazon to protest unsafe working conditions and has founded The Congress of Essential Workers.
“It has become clear that neither the Democratic nor the Republican parties truly care about working class people. Both party platforms think that our demands like Medicare for All, raising the minimum wage to $30/hour, a wealth tax, and the right to unionize without fear of retaliation are radical ideas. I am honored to be at the grassroots level of creating a new party platform that actually fights for the working class and gives them an opportunity to elect people they can be excited to vote for,” said Smalls.
Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap is the co-founder and national director of Move to Amend, which aims to amend the U.S. Constitution to establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights. Sopoci-Belknap also serves as president of the Board of Directors of Democracy Unlimited and is a Local Democracy Fellow for the Liberty Tree Foundation.
“We are long past due for a major political party that works in the interest of working people and is free from the influence of corporations and billionaires. The corruption we see in Washington DC is a direct result of the fact that lawmakers care more about what their donors think than the needs of their constituents. This has to end,” said Sopoci-Belknap.
Hanieh Jodat is the co-founder of Muslim Delegates & Allies, and is one of the founding members of Women’s March Los Angeles (WMLA) from 2017 to 2019. As the Director of Partnerships for WMLA, she served on the planning committee for Families Belong Together Los Angeles March, March for Our Lives, as well as the International Women’s Strike. She served as fundraising coordinator for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) USA and Australia, and a successful fundraising coordinator for Oxfam America in Los Angeles.
Cheng-Sim Lim is a National Bernie Sanders delegate and was a lead organizer of the just-completed Building Beyond Bernie conference. She is a film curator, immigrant and Medicare for All activist. She serves on the Board of Healthcare for All – Los Angeles Chapter, and is a member of Progressive Asian Network for Action (PANA) and DSA-LA.
“Even in the middle of a pandemic that has killed over 160,000 Americans, sickened over 5 million, and caused over 14 million to lose their jobs since March (and consequently lose their health insurance), all disproportionately BIPOC, the DNC could not bring itself to acknowledge the need for life-saving Medicare for All. That is a morally bankrupt party,” said Lim, referring to the DNC’s recent rejection of Medicare for all in the party platform.