But several of the advocacy groups backing his campaign have begun strategizing about the next phase of what many of them view as Sanders’ “political revolution.”
“Many are wondering, ‘What’s next?’ We want to get together and talk about it,” said Charles Lenchner, co-founder of People for Bernie, a grassroots organization that has been unofficially working alongside the senator’s presidential campaign from the beginning.
“I think it will be an opportunity for people to meet each other outside of the specific groups and areas where they have been active for the first time,” Lenchner said in a phone interview.
Sanders’ campaign and volunteers have arguably built one of the largest and most effective grassroots progressive organizations in recent history. How exactly to capitalize on the energy surrounding the campaign and mobilize the social media community remains the million-dollar question for groups hoping to push Sanders’ policy platforms during the next administration. How the formal “Bernie 2016” campaign chooses to mobilize its golden email list is another question all together.
Some people, such as those from National Nurses United, will likely come to the summit ready to push specific policy platforms, while others have a background in more general grassroots organization building.
One of the nation’s largest progressive grassroots groups, MoveOn, has been organizing on behalf of Sanders’ presidential bid since endorsing his candidacy and is also in touch with those planning the summit.
“As Bernie Sanders has said from the beginning, the political revolution is bigger than one candidate or one campaign,” MoveOn’s Washington director Ben Wikler said.
“While fighting to win primaries and caucuses, MoveOn members are also thinking about how to help make the incredible success of the Sanders' campaign a permanent force in our politics for positive change.”
He added: "MoveOn is talking with many progressive allies, including some of those behind the People's Summit, about the way forward for this movement, whether Bernie is the nominee, a senator, or the president of the United States.”
National Nurses United spokesman Chuck Idelson agreed Monday afternoon: “[Sanders] has always said, it’s not about him, but about a movement.”
Still, summit planning participants also insist that that they are not conceding the Democratic nomination.
“Honestly, almost everyone involved is so busy in trying to earn even more delegates for Bernie,” People for Bernie co-founder Lenchner said. “He still has a shot.”