Democrats Support Boycott of Uber & Lyft, But Remain Frequent Users

Democrats Support Boycott of Uber & Lyft, But Remain Frequent Users

Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other Democrats still use Uber & Lyft despite claims services “rip off their employees.”

May 9, 2019
Democrats Support Boycott of Uber & Lyft, But Remain Frequent Users

As Lyft and Uber progress through their respective IPOs, driver advocate groups have become louder and louder in their fight for increased pay and more transparency. On May 8th, drivers for both Lyft and Uber struck in protest and encouraged their colleagues to do the same. Results were mixed.

Some Democratic Presidential candidates and socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez didn’t miss the opportunity to stand with the striking drivers. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Joe Biden, and Pete Buttigieg, in addition to Ocasio-Cortez, each have publicly supported one of two driver strikes over the past few months.

Bernie Sanders tweeted in support of driver strikes in March and in May. In contrast to some of the other candidates, Bernie went a step further by placing an op-ed in the San Francisco Chronicle in which he comes out swinging at executives who “rip off their employees.” However, that hasn’t stopped the Bernie campaign from using Lyft during 2019. As reported by the Washington Examiner, Bernie’s campaign disbursed over $1000 to Lyft during the first quarter of 2019.

Elizabeth Warren has been at the forefront of proposing progressive policy during the early stages of the primary campaign. She has also signaled her support for the Uber and Lyft drivers’ cause by publicly supporting one of their boycotts. However, just like Bernie, Warren’s campaign has leaned on ride-sharing services. Warren’s campaign spent nearly $3,500 during the first quarter of 2019 on Uber and Lyft.

Kamala Harris’ ties to ride-sharing services run far deeper than Sanders or Warren: Harris has family members that work in senior roles at Uber. She also supported the May strike on Twitter. Not unlike Warren and Sanders, Harris’s staff also are prolific users of the ride-sharing services. Harris’s campaign spent nearly $3,000 on Uber and Lyft rides during the first quarter of 2019.

Fellow Presidential candidates Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg also expressed support for the striking drivers on Twitter. Biden ally and fellow Obama-alum Valeria Jarrett is on Lyft’s corporate board.

Biden’s campaign has not been required to release expenses as of yet, so it is impossible to determine how much his campaign has spent on the ride-sharing services. Mayor Pete’s campaign spent a little over $600 on Uber during the first quarter of 2019.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was also a vocal supporter of the Uber and Lyft boycott. She tweeted in support of the riders and called for increasing their pay. As reported by the Washington Free Beacon, Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign is no stranger to spending big dollars on ride-sharing services. During the first quarter of 2019, her campaign spent nearly $2,000 on Uber and Lyft rides. Additionally, during her 2018 election year campaign, Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign spent over $16,000 on trips through Uber and Lyft.