Joe Sanberg, a Los Angeles-based entrepreneur and progressive activist, is endorsing the presidential bid of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) ahead of California’s primary elections on Tuesday.

Sanberg, a founder of Aspiration, the socially conscious online banking company, described Sanders’ diverse, young and working-class coalition of supporters as a key reason for getting behind the Vermont senator’s candidacy.

“I think about the kind of progressive governance that I want to see happen over the rest of our lives ― it’s going to require the multiracial, working-class coalition under 45 that have been inspired by his campaign,” said Sanberg, 40, a founder of multiple progressive advocacy groups, who emphasized that he was making the endorsement in a personal capacity. “The endorsement for me is both about my belief that Bernie can beat Trump and be a great president, as well as standing by the coalition he’s awakened.

“We have several decades ahead to fix all the problems we’ve created. I’m sure even Bernie Sanders would acknowledge it’s not going to be fixed in one or two terms,” he continued. “It’s going to take the rest of our lives. The critical partner in that is going to be this coalition under 45.”

Who is Joe Sanberg?

Joe Sanberg
Joe Sanberg

Sanberg, a co-founder of the group Business for Medicare for All, characterized Sanders’ commitment to achieving single-payer health care as a major factor in his endorsement as well.

Although Sanberg acknowledged the difficulty Sanders would have trying to enact single payer in the current Congress, he believes that Sanders’ embrace of the policy is the “right campaign posture.”

“One of the things that I think I bring from my experience as an entrepreneur is that you don’t negotiate from a place of compromise. You negotiate from a place of clarity,” the entrepreneur said. “Bernie has stood head and shoulders above every other candidate around this clarity that single payer should be our guidepost.”

Bernie Sanders
Bernie Sanders claimed victory at the Iowa Caucus

Sanberg’s endorsement is liable to provide some modest immediate benefits to Sanders before Super Tuesday this coming week, when more than a dozen states and territories hold their Democratic nominating contests. Sanberg plans to inform his 200,000-person email list about his endorsement and hit the trail for Sanders in whatever capacity the senator welcomes him to do.

But the bigger potential impact of Sanberg’s blessing may well be the way it can defuse some of the stigma associated with Sanders’ “democratic socialist” moniker in the broader public.


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