Anyone following politics knows by now that Bernie Sanders’ average campaign donation is $27, as the Vermont Senator has mentioned it in pretty much every speech he’s given. At the same time, Sanders has hit rival Hillary Clinton hard on her billionaire and corporate donations, most recently criticizing the “obscene” fees being charged for her upcoming big money fundraisers. For instance, if you have a cool $353,400 to spend on dinner, you can sit at a table with Clinton and the Clooneys, George and Amal.
One Bernie Sanders supporter decided to respond with a little dinner party fit for Sanders’ progressive, grassroots campaign. According to Bustle.com, Natasha Losada acted on an idea from her friend, Sarah Griffith, to initiate a “Dine with the 99: A Potluck for Bernie” Facebook event. I’ll bet you can guess what the suggested donation is, can’t you? Yes, the event asks for people to donate $27 to the Bernie Sanders campaign, or whatever they can afford. And even if you can’t afford to make any donation at all, all are invited to attend this inclusive dining event.
— Women For Bernie (@Women4Bernie) April 2, 2016
While raising money for the Bernie Sanders campaign is one goal of the event, the other objective is a call for supporters to get together with others in their community to sit down to a potluck dinner and get to know each other, as well as talk about the campaign of the Democrats’ outsider candidate.
Losada summed up the spirit of the event on its Facebook page.
“WE THE PEOPLE are tired of big money buying our elections. Bernie does NOT need a fundraiser with millionaires, because he has millions of supporters willing to contribute small amounts to his campaign!”
The “Dine with the 99: A Potluck for Bernie” is meant to be flexible for individual community organizers, with Losada recommending the potlucks be held between April 14 to 17, given that the big fundraisers with the Clooneys are being held on April 15 and 16. (Apparently, tax day isn’t so stressful for millionaires and billionaires.) That additional flexibility should help out people who have work schedules to consider when planning dinner parties and potlucks.
While this isn’t an officially-sanctioned Sanders event, Bernie Sanders’ supporters are known for taking the initiative to go above and beyond for their chosen candidate. Since primary season began, there have been several urban organized marches in support of Sanders, with hundreds and even thousands turning out simply to show support for their candidate.
So while Bernie Sanders’ supporters probably won’t find fancy chefs or filet mignon and caviar on the menu, they will likely find neighbors who support the same candidate, and probably have many of the same values. Speaking of values — and value for your dollar — Bernie Sanders’ campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, put the cost of the Clinton and Clooney’s dinner in perspective for the average American worker and voter in a Sanders’ campaign email.
“[It] would require an employee making the federal minimum wage to work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for more than 5 years.”
For the record, that’s even more than the $225,000 Goldman Sachs paid Clinton for her speeches to a room full of bankers and billionaires. While presidential campaigns can certainly be costly and fundraising is a necessity to compete, this kind of elite, high-priced fundraiser with the ultra-rich may reinforce the Bernie Sanders’ campaign allegations of her ties to big money and billionaires, and that Hillary Clinton is out of touch with the working class.
— Superman for Bernie (@Superman4Bernie) April 1, 2016
If you are a Bernie Sanders supporter — or even if you’re not, but enjoy community and polite political discourse — go to the Dine with the 99: A Potluck for Bernie Facebook page to find out more information and see if there is a potluck in your area, or organize one of your own. Share this article to spread the word, as well as using hashtags #DineWithThe99 #PotluckForBernie and #27dollarsAplate to get the message out.
[Photo by David Goldman/AP]