As we head into the general election and beyond, several questions loom large concerning Sen. Bernie Sanders' accomplishments. Will the Democratic Party actually shift left by pushing for the policies Sanders pushed to include in the party platform? And will the millions of young people his candidacy mobilized stay politically engaged? Ultimately, it's up to the people to keep "the revolution" going, but Sanders is going to help. That's what the Sanders Institute and other organizations Sanders will spearhead are all about.
The Sanders Institute will be an educational organization to raise awareness of the real problems Sanders thinks America faces. Another organization, Our Revolution, will, according to USA Today, recruit progressive candidates who want to run for office and help to fund their campaigns. (As of this writing, the organization's website is sparse, and the only option offered on the site is to donate.) Sanders told USA Today that he might also get involved with a third organization responsible for campaign advertising.
Interestingly, Sanders did not mention Brand New Congress, an organization established by former campaign staffers and volunteers who aim to recruit and support the campaigns of over 400 progressive candidates with whom to stack the 2018 Congress. Whether this could be the third potential organization he gets involved with is unclear at this time.
For now, Sanders is focusing on 2016's elections, and he plans to endorse 100 or more candidates for everything from school boards to the Senate and the House. He told USA Today:
The goal here is to do what I think the Democratic establishment has not been very effective in doing. And that is at the grass-roots level, encourage people to get involved, give them the tools they need to win, help them financially.
Sanders is here describing the "50-state strategy," a strategy by which a political party gains strength by focusing resources in all 50 states to have power at the local and state level. According to The New York Times, Republicans' employment of the 50-state strategy is responsible for its victories over Democrats, who had largely abandoned the strategy, in 2010 and 2014 at various levels of government. By focusing on supporting specifically progressive candidates, Sanders hopes to both continue his push left on the Democratic Party and increase the party's control at the same time.
Sanders is doing more than returning to the Senate after his bid for the presidential nomination. With the Sanders Institute, Our Revolution, and other efforts, Sanders will continue his push for progressive policies, and attempt to keep his supporter base engaged.