Progressive Working Families Party Endorses Elizabeth Warren for 2020

By Janita Kan
Janita Kan
Janita Kan
Janita Kan is a reporter based in New York covering the Justice Department, courts, and First Amendment.
September 16, 2019 Updated: September 17, 2019

The progressive Working Families Party said on Sept. 16 that it is endorsing Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) for the Democratic primary, dealing a blow to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) who won the group’s endorsement back in 2016.

“The Working Families Party is proud to announce our endorsement of @ewarren for president in the Democratic primary,” the party announced in a Twitter post.

“We’re committed to helping @ewarren win—and to organizing in our communities and online to make sure that the issues that matter to working families remain at the center of this primary campaign,” it wrote in a separate post.

The Working Families Party (WFP), which calls itself a “grassroots progressive political party,” said in a statement that the endorsement came about after a three-month process that included debates and discussions, online forums, house parties, and live Q&As with five contenders for the Democratic nomination.

It said that a majority of members listed Warren and Sanders as their top two picks, with Warren coming out on top with around 60.9 percent of the votes, while Sanders received about 35.8 percent.

“Senator Warren strikes fear into the hearts of the robber barons who rigged the system, and offers hope to millions of working people who have been shut out of our democracy and economy,” said Maurice Mitchell, WFP national director.

“Our job now is to help Senator Warren build the mass movement that will make her transformational plans a reality.”

Mitchell also took to Twitter to clarify their position on Sanders in response to a New York Times article about the announcement.

“To be clear: this is no shot at @BernieSanders or his campaign, who are doing incredible organizing. This is a call to action to get progressive activists and groups engaged in the race,” he wrote.

Back in August, the WFP announced that they were endorsing Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.)—collectively known as “the squad”—for re-election in 2020.

“AOC, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib represent a seismic shift in our political system. That’s why they’re already facing both Republican challengers and Democratic primary threats. And that’s why we need to come together now and make sure they have the resources to take on ANY challengers in 2020,” WFP wrote in a press release at the time.

This comes days after Warren released a social security plan that would see benefits go up by $200 a month for every current and future recipient.

Warren said current social security benefits are “quite small,” noting that the average beneficiary receives about $1,355 a month, or $16,259 a year, in 2019. She said her plan “would provide the biggest and most progressive increase in Social Security benefits in nearly half a century.”

Warren said she intends to pay for the hike in government spending on social security—which will total $150 billion in its first year, according to the New York Times—with her plan to change how the rich are taxed.

Her plan involves raising the contribution requirements of the nation’s top 2 percent earners by imposing a 14.8 percent tax on wages for individuals who earn more than $250,000 a year, which will be split equally between employees and employers. Moreover, the plan also imposes a new 14.8 percent tax on investment income on individuals who make more than $250,000 or families who make more than $400,000 annually.

The latest Social Security Administration (SSA) Trustees report projects that the combined funds reserves are forecast to be depleted in 2035.

Janita Kan
Janita Kan
Janita Kan is a reporter based in New York covering the Justice Department, courts, and First Amendment.