This has been a long, rough year. The November elections shocked many of us, and dismayed most of us. Still, this has been a years of highs as well as lows. Here's a brief recap of our year (plus) as Progressive Democrats of America (PDA):
Over a year ago, PDA's "Run Bernie Run" campaign persuaded Bernie Sanders to run for president as a Democrat. Then, as an independent grassroots PAC, we promoted his candidacy with rallies, blasts, get out the vote calls, house parties, organizing calls, joining the National Nurses United (NNU) Bus Tours, and by designing and widely distributing materials including flyers, bumper stickers, rally sign, and buttons. Bernie gave us a shot out in his new book, and many have said if not for our effort, Bernie's Revolution may not have happened.
In Chicago last Summer, we organized at the People's Summit with allies especially the summit conveners CNA/NNU at which we helped lead panels and joined progressives from around the country making plans for the upcoming Democratic National Convention and beyond. Also last Summer, PDA activists participated in the platform drafting process, and had a major impact on the platform especially regarding climate and healthcare policy. We sent representatives to platform deliberations, and achieved some significant progressive victories. PDA is working to pressure Trump and Congress by sending more progressives there, and by challenging comfortable incumbents with Progressives.
At (and leading up to) the DNC in Philly, PDA and allies founded the Bernie Delegate Network, and helped present a unified and effective progressive voice at the convention. Also, we cohosted Progressive Central, at which Rev. Jesse Jackson, John Nichols, Rep. Grayson, incoming Rep. Jamie Raskin, and countless other progressive leaders participated.
Leading up to Election Day, we supported or endorsed candidates with events, blasts, get out the vote calls, house parties, poll work, and organizing calls. Many of our candidates won, some largely due to our support. In December, we organized Healthcare Not Warfare events across the county to mark International Human Rights Day, and demand drastic cuts to weapons and warfare spending to pay for an expanded, improved Medicare for All program. Last week, we supported our allies including CNA/NNU and Social Security Works at a major "Hands Off Medicare" press conference and demonstrations on Capitol Hill.
Moving toward the new year, we've launched a grassroots coalition effort to retake the Democratic Party from the bottom up. This by urging current and newly-elected progressive Democratic Party office-holders--as well as encouraging new candidates--to join the political revolution at the local and state party levels. Also by strongly backing Rep. Keith Ellison for DNC Chair.
- Debra Schrishuhn, PDA Staff
Russell Freedman (MA, $200/month sustainer) writes, "I am a monthly sustainer for PDA and glad to do it. I have 4 grandchildren and I give some money each month in their names: Sam, Jake, Max and Rosie. From climate change to healthcare, peace, and justice, I feel that PDA gives me the biggest bang for my buck and the best investment I can make for the future of all of our kids and grandkids."
Jenise Porter, (AZ, $10/month sustainer) writes, "What I love about 'Change Makes Change' is that I don't have to remember when or how much I last gave to PDA. My contribution is helping to move our political system to the left without me even having to think about it."
Dawn Dershem, (CA. $75/month sustainer) writes, "My monthly donation is my way of supporting those of you who are working so hard to make my dreams come true... As I get older, it becomes more difficult for me to take physical political action, but I can still share my limited retirement check with PDA who will continue to do this important work for me."
To achieve the progress we need, we still need dozens of new sustainers this month. We want to recognize those who dig deep to help sustain PDA as monthly sustainers. "Change Makes Change" helps us more budget and make plans by relying on a steady flow of your generosity. Thank you! We couldn't do anything without you. If you're not yet a sustainer, please click here now to help us reach our goal of 100 new sustainers by Election Day.
My husband Larry and I have been PDA sustainers for years. We see these donations as investments in a better future—for us, and like Russell, especially for our kids and grandkids. We want to leave them a more peaceful, livable world with guaranteed high quality healthcare for all, and a meaningful voice in their workplace, community, and nation. Please click here now to help us reach our goal.
Donna Smith for Deb, Mike H, Judy, Mike F, Janis, Dan, Kim, Amos, and Teva
Your Progressive Democrats of America National Team
P.S. We're here to help you make progress in your state and locality! If you need any help organizing a new PDA chapter or energizing your existing chapter, please contact PDA Field Coordinator Judy Hess.
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