CHICAGO — Over three long and boisterous days, from Friday to Sunday, 4,000-odd proudly left-wing activists organized along Chicago’s waterfront with a simple goal: transforming the United States as quickly as possible. The headlines focused on Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) speech, but the focus of the conference was on a “movement” that, according to the activists, is happily identified with the senator but not limited by him.
The left is going local. In the halls, when there was buzz about a politician not named “Bernie Sanders,” it often concerned an office far, far from the political spotlight. It was Christine Pellegrino, who took a deep red Assembly seat in a New York special election; it was Larry Krasner, the new DA nominee from Philadelphia. A breakout star of the conference was Chokwe Antar Lumumba, the new mayor of Jackson, Miss., whose father had briefly held the office only to pass away before implementing a progressive agenda.