Maggie Wunderly is a progressive political organizer from Aurora. In 2015, Maggie joined Aurora for Bernie, a group of grassroots volunteers who laid the groundwork until the official Bernie campaign office opened in 2016. She created walklists, ran canvassing events, made calls, and trained volunteers for the Bernie Sanders campaign. Bernie won Aurora and the surrounding collar counties handily.
Maggie was one of only three people from Illinois selected to represent Bernie Sanders on the rules committee at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. She and her colleagues authored and presented several proposals to improve the Democratic primary process. The end result of this meeting was that the DNC agreed to create the Unity Reform Commission, which was tasked with finalizing recommendations on party and primary reforms. Throughout this 2 year commission process, she coordinated with Bernie delegates in other states to ensure that reform advocates attended these meetings around the country, monitored their progress, kept people informed, and shared livestreams from meetings she could not attend. She recruited people to attend the Chicago meetings to talk to committee members and wrote detailed explanations of the reforms to assist them with this task. The final reforms included preventing superdelegates from voting on the first ballot, making the DNC more transparent, making caucuses open and accessible, requiring states to submit plans to push for same day party registration, and combating voter suppression. She hopes these reforms level the playing field for 2020 and beyond.
Maggie is also a founding board member of Progressives of Kane County, which was formed by Bernie volunteers in order to get local progressive candidates elected. She helped write their platform and bylaws and organized coordinated canvassing events for endorsed candidates. She is also chair of her local democratic organization. She has recruited and trained dozens of precinct committeemen and advised candidates running for office.
In 2015, the grassroots, many of whom were new to politics, ran state organizing efforts up until shortly before the 2016 primary. These efforts were crucial to the campaign’s successes. This time around Bernie Sanders enjoys wide name recognition and popularity, and his volunteers have amassed a wealth of experience, but he has a lot more competition as well. It’s imperative these same grassroots organizers start building the foundation again now for 2020.