Progressive Democrats Hail Large “No” Vote for Party Platform While Condemning DNC’s Extraordinary Delay in Releasing Tally

Aug 23, 2020

For Immediate Release — Sunday, August 23

[ Posted here ]

For further information, contact:
* Judith Whitmer, chair of Nevada delegation to Democratic National Convention,
jwhitmer73@gmail.com, phone/text: (407) 927-7912
* Norman Solomon, Sanders delegate, national director of RootsAction.org
norman@rootsaction.org, phone/text: (415) 488-3606
* Alan Minsky, executive director of Progressive Democrats of America
alan@pdamerica.org, phone/text: (818) 749-9497​

Seven days after the close of voting by delegates — and 36 hours after the national convention ended — the Democratic Party finally disclosed that more than 1,000 delegates to the party’s national convention had voted against the party platform. The large “no” vote came after a grassroots campaign to reject the platform because it did not advocate Medicare for All.

On Saturday (Aug. 22), in an email to delegates, Democratic National Convention secretary Jason Rae announced: “The 2020 Democratic Party Platform was adopted with 3,562 delegates voting to approve, 1,069 voting no, and 87 abstentions.”

Progressive leaders pointed to the large number of “no” votes, despite pressure from Joe Biden’s campaign, as indicative of the popularity of Medicare for All. This year, one nationwide poll after another, as well as primary election exit polling, have shown that Medicare for All has majority support among voters.

Judith Whitmer was the chair of the national convention’s Nevada delegation, which led the nationwide pledge campaign for a “no” vote on the platform. She said Sunday: “At the Democratic National Convention this week, 1,069 DNC Delegates voted to reject a Democratic Party platform that excluded Medicare For All. During a pandemic, as millions of people lost their jobs and their healthcare at the same time, our private, for-profit insurance system failed to meet the needs of patients, front-line healthcare workers and the people of this country. As one of the 1,069 delegates who rejected the platform, I chose to recognize the suffering caused by our broken healthcare system and vote my conscience. Delegates representing every state, commonwealth and territory of this nation cast their ballots, but then had their votes deliberately suppressed in order to protect a party narrative that refuses to acknowledge that the majority of Americans desperately need and want Medicare for All. By excluding the final vote tally in the platform committee report submitted to the convention, the DNC committed a travesty against 1,069 delegates who had their voices silenced and a grave injustice against the American people.” 

Whitmer added: “On the closing night of the convention, our presidential nominee promised to be an ‘ally of the light.’ To fulfill that promise, the Democratic Party must also be an ‘ally of the people’ and stand with us in the fight for healthcare justice. Medicare for All should be the rallying cry of a Democratic Party united in the fight to protect and uphold healthcare as a human right guaranteed to all people.” 

The executive director of Progressive Democrats of America, Alan Minsky, said on Sunday: “I applaud every one of the 1,069 delegates who voted ‘no’ on the party platform because it does not include Medicare for All. Not only because we need universal single-payer healthcare in the country, which we do; but also because taking a stand and saying that the progressive wing of the party will continue to fight for what most Americans, and the overwhelming majority of Democrats, want is essential for winning this year.”

Minsky added: “These brave delegates have shown that it is the debate inside the Democratic Party that will deliver the programs that Americans recognize will improve their lives. I worry that this truth is lost on the powers-that-be inside the DNC, who have apparently tried to bury the news of this incredible vote total. We, at PDA, see this total as great news for the party and its prospects this fall. It shows that the vibrant progressive wing of the party will continue to fight for the policies Americans support; thus, the people can trust that voting Democratic will advance the fight for Medicare for All and other popular progressive policies.”

Norman Solomon, national director of RootsAction.org and a Bernie Sanders delegate from California, slammed what he called “voting-results suppression” by the Democratic National Committee. “The one-week delay in disclosing the vote totals on the platform, until after the end of the convention, is an affront to every delegate who voted ‘no’ and actually to every delegate who wanted the convention to be something more than a chance to serve as an extra in a scripted production,” Solomon said on Sunday. He added: “RootsAction.org remains committed to our vigorous work in swing states to defeat Donald Trump, while this egregious incident will make it even more difficult to persuade skeptical strong progressive activists that the Biden team at the top of the party can be trusted.”

Among the votes against the platform was one cast by Congressman Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), who wrote on Aug. 13 that he was voting “no” on the platform “because when we say that healthcare is a human right, we must truly mean it — and fight for it.”

2 Comments

  1. Linda Sandoval Foley

    Great response! I had to constantly remind my FB friends who were NOT delegates and who liked the convention, that while they were watching a great production on TV, there were many others who were hard at work to bring about a real substance to the event- which, unfortunately- none of them even suspected was going on.

    Reply
  2. Rod Rylander

    For every person without insurance or adequate funds but with corvid 19 will infect many people who will infect many people causing another wave in the pandemic.

    Reply

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