Eric Kingson, a Syracuse University professor who lost the Democratic primary for central New York's 24th Congressional District, is attending the Democratic National Convention (DNC) this week. Sen. Bernie Sanders, a former Democratic presidential candidate, had endorsed Kingson in his primary, but Colleen Deacon ultimately captured the party's ticket.
Kingson is a New York delegate to the party's national platform committee, which created what many contend is the party's most progressive platform ever. It calls for a $15 minimum wage, expanding Social Security benefits and a critical view of international trade agreements like the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). Kingson said it's an accomplishment of the Sanders agenda.
"There's an effort to build a movement that includes electoral politics but goes beyond electoral politics and that movement is something that's coming out of the Sanders campaign," Kingson said in an interview with WRVO News.
Kingson said he likely plans to vote for Clinton, but acknowledges that there are still sore feelings and clear fracture lines in the Democratic Party after a spirited campaign. He does expect the large majority of Sanders supporters will vote for Clinton, but only if she sticks to the progressive platform. Still, he said that may not be all she needs.
"The question is if she will be getting the enthusiasm that went into that campaign, which is terribly needed," he said. "The progressive side of the Democratic Party is the side that knocks on doors, is engaged in campaigns."
But Kingon said his priority is not 2016, but 2018, 2020 and beyond.
"I’m much more interested in advancing the message and Sanders agenda moving forward," Kingson said. "I think it’s critical that we involve more young people in politics."