One of the main components of Sen. Bernie Sanders' platform is that big money has too great an influence over the political process in the United States. Staying true to his conviction that government should work for all people and not just the wealthy, Sanders has run his 2016 presidential bid primarily with small contributions, an amazing feat in the age of super PACs. Sarah Griffith and Natasha Losada, two Sanders supporters, came up with an idea to raise money for Sanders that highlights this aspect of his campaign. It's called "Dine with the 99," and will take place between April 14 and April 17 across the country. Here's how to dine with the 99.
It's really quite simple: Eat food with your friends. Dining with the 99 (percent) entails hosting or attending a potluck (which means you're expected to bring something), and making a donation if you so choose. Losada emphasized that the event should not demand contributions: "Have the availability for people to donate at your event if they wish. Donations should be made by individuals on their phones or laptops directly to the campaign, not given to potluck organizers. Remember this is a NOT a fundraiser, it is a movement of individuals!" she wrote on the Facebook event page.
Griffith and Losada started "Dine with the 99" in response to a fundraising event Hillary Clinton will be holding with George Clooney on April 15. A couple will have to contribute $353,400 to sit at a table with the actor and the former secretary of state. "Dine with the 99" is designed to emphasize the contrast between Clinton's wealthy donors and Sanders' smaller contributions, which have averaged $27. Losada wrote, "Hillary may have a few millionaires but Bernie Sanders as a nation of millions!"
Participation and inclusiveness are at the core of "Dine with the 99." Potlucks can be held any time between April 14 and April 17 that suits your and your friends' needs (though, of course, nothing's stopping anyone from hosting such an event before or after those dates). "Dine with the 99" events should be registered on the Sanders campaign's Event Central page so people can find potlucks to attend in their communities. Losada provided the following instructions for registering on the site:
Type: Volunteer Meeting or Activity Title: PotluckforBernie Description: Bernie described George Clooney's fundraiser for HRC as "disgusting" and I agree! In response, let's have have down-home potluck. Join me to eat and talk about why we LOVE Bernie Sanders!
Use the hashtags #DineWithThe99 and #PotluckForBernie to spread the word, and get ready for some "by the people, for the people" grubbing.