Carol Cizauskas was the first northern Nevada staffer hired by the Bernie Sanders campaign, and she was a Nevada delegate to the Democratic National Convention, supporting Sanders. She wrote about the experience for us (“Disunited states,” Aug. 11, 2016). She also attended a 2016 summit meeting of party reformers in Chicago. That summit was held again this year, and she attended it, too.
The New York Times headline on this year’s summit was “The Base Wants It All. The Party Wants to Win.” Was it that simple? Does it matter who’s nominated against Trump?
Yes. Of course it does, because there were many people like me who could not vote for Trump’s opponent, because she is so centrist, so not- standing-up-for-the-working-class, for social justice. The only reason I may have voted for her was because of her stand on the environment versus Trump’s, and I see that as the one thing that can’t be reversed. Right? But, yes, it matters who Trump’s opponent is. … Absolutely. Especially with the growing movement of … the people who stand for social justice. I see this as another 1960s, when everybody was fighting against and protesting the Vietnam War, and during the period of the civil rights gains. This is another watershed moment in American history, and there are many people who are coming along who are fighting for social justice. They’re not just in the resistance. They’re not just resisting Trump. They’re resisting people like Hillary Clinton and so many other neoliberals and centrist people who, frankly, don’t care about the working people, who don’t care about the economically rigged game that we’re living in, that I’ve known all of my life, since I was 12 years old. … I’ve never known it to be an even playing field. And so many people I know haven’t known it to be an even playing field. … Absolutely it matters, because they can’t inspire us and because we don’t support them. We don’t support what they stand for.
When you attended the last summit, there was talk about how, “We’re going to go back to our communities and we’re going to organize at the grass roots level.” Did you get a sense that had happened and has it happened here?
I would say yes on both levels. This year the People’s Summit was different than last year because you had to apply to be accepted into the People’s Summit this year, whereas last year anybody could go. And so the people who were accepted … are people who are actively working on the revolution. And so there was a very different group of people at the People’s Summit this year than last year. Like, last year, I ran into a lot of Hillary supporters. There were a lot of people this year who at best are wary of the Democratic Party as it stands now. … And as far as what’s happened here [in Nevada], I see many people working hard on the revolution. For example, Working Families Party, I think, is doing a darn good job.