Onward Together (OT) was launched by former U.S. Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on May 15, 2017, approximately six months after she had lost the 2016 presidential election to Republican Donald Trump. OT’s name is a spin on Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign theme, “Stronger Together.” From its inception, OT’s stated purpose was to “advance progressive values” by encouraging ordinary people to become politically engaged in grassroots opposition to President Trump’s policies. As Mrs. Clinton put it, the organization would aim to encourage people to “get involved, organize, and even run for office.” “More than ever, I believe citizen engagement is vital to our democracy,” Clinton added. “I’m so inspired by everyone.”
Mrs. Clinton announced OT’s formation via Twitter and a blast email exhorting her political allies to sign up and support the cause. “This year hasn’t been what I envisioned, but I know what I’m still fighting for: a kinder, big-hearted, inclusive America. Onward!” she tweeted.
Shortly before launching OT, Mrs. Clinton had issued a public statement saying, “I’m back to being an active citizen and part of the resistance” against the Trump agenda. Adhering to that theme, the homepage of her new organization’s website featured a quote where Clinton instructed: “Resist, insist, persist, enlist.” The website also displayed a statement that read: “There’s no telling what we can achieve if we approach the fights ahead with the passion and determination we feel today, and bring that energy into 2017, 2018, 2020 and beyond.” Recent events like the massive “Women’s March on Washington” and town hall meetings where leftist agitators had aggressively confronted Republican lawmakers, added OT, had shown “what’s possible when people come together to resist bullying, hate, falsehoods, and divisiveness, and stand up for a fairer, more inclusive America.”
Outlining the mission of her fledgling organization, Mrs. Clinton explained that OT would actively support the work of several groups that had recently emerged as part of a broad leftist movement opposed to Mr. Trump and his agendas. Clinton voiced effusive praise for the work of these groups, which included: (a) the Indivisible Project, devoted to providing leftists and liberals with strategies for countering the “radical, racist, and sexist” objectives of President Trump”; (b) Color Of Change, founded by the revolutionary communist Van Jones to combat what he viewed as the systemic racism pervading America generally and conservatism in particular); (c) Emerge America, which administers a six-month program “providing aspiring female leaders with cutting-edge tools and training to run for elected office and elevate themselves in our political system”; (d) Swing Left, dedicated to “supporting progressives” who run for political office in hotly contested “swing districts” across the United States, in an effort to help Democrats “take back the House [of Representatives] in 2018”; and (e) Run For Something, which seeks to “recruit and support talented, passionate young people who will advocate for progressive values now and for the next 30 years.” “In some cases,” said Mrs. Clinton, “we’ll provide direct funding to these organizations. For others, we’ll help amplify their work and do what we can to help them continue to grow their audiences and expand their reach.”
While introducing OT to the public for the first time, Mrs. Clinton said that former Vermont governor and Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean would be involved with the organization, though she did not specify what role he would play.
OT is registered as a 501(c)(4) organization, the Internal Revenue Service designation for so-called “social welfare nonprofits,” which are not required to reveal either the identities of their donors or the size of their contributions.