Think about it, Progressive Democrats of America! In December 2013, we began the unlikely venture to recruit Senator Bernie Sanders to run for President on the Democratic ticket. Bernie was right there with us on the Issues we had embraced 9 years earlier at our founding. Alone, then and for a long time, we pursued that dream – and then realized it.
The extraordinary success of that presidential campaign could not have been predicted then. But in retrospect, it was as if PDA had birthed this amazing candidate who in turn birthed Our Revolution. A few of us think of PDA as Our Revolution’s “grandmother”! Not really that much of a stretch.
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On Wednesday August 24, Senator Bernie Sanders launched “Our Revolution” with a livestream shown in thousands of venues across the country. In uptown Fresno, CA-22 Bernie delegate, Bill Hess invited other Berners to join him. 47 people came to see what Bernie had to say, and learn how to get active. Need we tell you it was very well received?
As it happened, that was the night of our PDA Chapter’s (Central Valley-Sierra Progressives) regularly scheduled Chapter Meeting. What a great coincidence! As Bill closed out the Our Revolution showing, we called PDA to order. The focus of our Meeting was “PDA and the Inside Outside Strategy”!
On the Inside, we had panelists Bill Hess and Yamina Roland - Bernie Delegates from CA-22. (You can’t get much more “Inside the Party” than becoming a Delegate to the Presidential Convention and casting your vote for your choice as Nominee!) There are no surprises here, but the speakers chosen at the Delegation Breakfasts and the floor sessions for the days prior to the vote greatly disappointed Bernie’s delegates, whose ranks constituted 46% of the elected delegates.
They rightly felt that speeches from Bernie surrogates, particularly Nina Turner could have given Bernie his “due”. Bill and Yamina described in detail the major challenges Bernie Delegates had in the Convention Hall. They also described and demonstrated the incredibly powerful esprit de corps of the Bernie delegates, and the strategies they employed.
As one delegate put it, “Since we did not have a voice, we used what we had – our chants, our hands and our feet.” The Delegates are still tied deeply together, particularly in California, and are already running for offices and donating $27 to each other’s campaigns.
This political revolution has embedded itself in the soul of America. The Democratic Party fails to recognize this at its own peril. Help us expand Our Revolution. Donate generously here right now, and sign up to make monthly donations. If you become a sustainer or increase your automatic monthly contribution right now, you will receive a special gift as our thanks upon completion of your fourth donation. If you act now, you could receive your gift in time for the holidays (no guarantee, but we'll try our best).
Money tight? Kick in whatever you can afford as an investment in a better tomorrow. Absolutely cannot afford to donate anything? Volunteer with Mike Fox to make important calls from your own home. Rather not make calls? Then reach out to me and I'll help you start or expand a chapter in your state or locality.
On the Outside
Many California Berners went to Philly to participate in events outside the Convention, among them, new PDAers, Jill Cisneros and Emily Cameron. They were able to describe the activities they attended, including the 10,000 strong March for a Clean Energy Revolution, numerous rallies, and Progressive Central, PDA’s 3-day event, with smashing panels, where they volunteered to help.
Back Home – what we are beginning!
During the California Primary, it was evident that Election Protection is critical. Emily and Jill and a host of others spent all day every day for over two weeks at the Fresno Registrar of Voters office and warehouse, observing processing of the ballots after June 7. A lawsuit has been filed against CA Secretary of State, Alex Padilla, for failure to ensure that the Registrars in the State are not just following the letter but also the spirit of our election laws.
Attorney Bill Simpich who brought that lawsuit was on the Election Integrity panel at Progressive Central in Philly, and Emily and Jill were there to see it. They are launching our Chapter’s subset of our national team, Voter Access Protection and Election Integrity, around a permanent presence at Fresno County polling places, and at the Registrar’s locations after elections. Mimi Kennedy has agreed to come to Fresno to assist them in October.
Single Payer Health Care
As Bernie said that night, Our Revolution will endorse and help with the passage of good ballot initiatives, among them this year, Colorado’s single payer initiative on November’s Ballot. In CA, the Campaign for a Healthy California, is working toward an improved and expanded Medicare for All law.
PDA Is a member of the Campaign, and in our Fresno Chapter, James Williams, already our Healthcare Human Right Issue Team Leader, has assumed the role of Regional Coordinator for the Campaign. James will be presenting to groups the Fix It movie, and armed with the facts, will enlist more affiliates to the Campaign.
Inside the California Democratic Party
As in the past, we will run candidates on the Progressive Slate to become elected delegates from our Assembly Districts to the CA Convention. In our local Assembly District two years ago, the Progressive Slate won 13 out of 14 positions! Preparations are beginning. So, we continue – as PDA and as the parents, grandparents, grandchildren and the children, of Our Revolution.
What we're doing in Central Valley-Sierra CA is rewarding and effective. You can accomplish equally important progress too! We're here to empower you to make progress in your state and locality! If you need any help organizing a new PDA chapter or energizing your existing chapter, please contact me right now! Don't delay, start organizing now to make a real difference where you live! We're here to help!
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