Senior staffers behind the Joshua Collins campaign are seeking to unite socialists around the country through a new organization.
“We understand the platform isn’t perfect -yet-.” Rae said in a statement to bandr. “That’s why we have a living document, that is edited in an ongoing fashion as we reach out to people who are actually impacted by these policies, and see where they stand. Each iteration of our platform is more comprehensive, compassionate, and bold than the last.”
Violet Rae will be serving as the Rose Caucus chair. In a press release, Rae announced her resignation as Strategic Director for the Joshua Collins campaign to allow her to focus on the caucus and to avoid any conflicts of interest.
The caucus also announced a slate of 25 candidates they will be backing. The list includes candidates running for House, Senate, and state level positions around the country
According to Rae, community feedback from the Joshua Collins discord community plays a large role in shaping the policies of the Rose Caucus. The Collins discord has grown to more 1.3k members and was recently mentioned in an article by The Verge.
“[The discord community] efforts helped shape the concept of Rose Caucus. Without that community, we would not have had the ability to cross-organize between so many campaigns. The people on the discord represent nearly every demographic, and are scattered all across the country.”
For example, in situations where there are more than one potential candidate seeking an endorsement, Rae says feedback from the discord community is a crucial part of deciding who the Rose Caucus will back.
“We asked [the discord community] to closely examine and compare the [candidates]; to tell us if there was any reason they wouldn’t vote for them, and if it came down to it, to compare note for note policy, etc. They went on for some time, comparing them note for note, but it soon became clear based on research done by real, informed, active, voters not by -us-… that [one] was the better candidate.”
Rae stressed the Rose Caucus is not a PAC , and is currently not seeking to raise money themselves. Instead they are providing assistance by promoting an ActBlue community form, which splits all funds evenly between candidates without the caucus ever touching the money.
“As it stands, Rose Caucus doesn’t actually touch any of the money that is raised for the candidates” Rae said. “ActBlue divides that money evenly between the candidates, and deposits it directly to their individual campaign accounts. Our committee has never seen a dime of this money, and that is how we intend to continue operating.”
While Rae said the caucus wouldn’t rule out raising money in the future, it would only be to help cover server costs–currently paid out of pocket by committee members.
“We are working class folks, so we don’t really have the sort of financial machine that others are working with; and we are super okay with that.” Rae said. “Merch is cool and all, but it is a peripheral objective when compared to what it could mean for the socialist movement to get so many of us running for, or elected into offices.”
When asked about how the caucus compares to other socialist organizations, like the DSA, Rae said the Rose Caucus intends to work alongside rather than replace them.
“We are not the DSA. We do not wish to replace nor compete with the DSA or other organizations with similar structures.” Rae said. “Our intention is to work alongside such organizations and their membership, as a legislative caucus; to be pushing out a unified platform to a national audience; it is important that these concepts become normalized, much in the same fashion as Bernard’s 2016 campaign.”
When asked about the significance of the Rose Caucus logo, Rae said “The gold and stained glass represent ‘the dawn of tomorrow’. The rose, in focus, is where we are now; a young rose, not fully developed but prime to blossom.”
When asked about the star, Rae grinned and said “that’s because we’re the first star on the left.”