Our Issues

Healthcare Human Rights

It is a moral outrage for a country as wealthy as ours to leave 60 million people with no reliable access to health care and tens of millions more with inadequate or overly expensive coverage. In addition, despite spending nearly twice as much as other developed nations on health care, our system performs poorly, because the private U.S. insurance bureaucracy soaks up as much as one-third of all the money and pharmaceutical interests overburden America by avoiding price competition.

Healthcare Human Rights is part of PDA’s Fund Human Needs/Cut Pentagon Waste platform.  We work on the following issue:

  • Medicare for All (National)
  • State Single Payer

Healthcare Human Rights Statistics

  • Americans with no health insurance = 60 million (est)
  • Americans with no insurance with full ACA implementation = 30 million (est)
  • Almost 1 million Americans declare bankruptcy each year because of medical costs – 75% had health insurance
  • 60,000 preventable deaths occur each year for lack of medical care – with ACA the estimate will still be 30,000

Healthcare Facts

  • Even with ACA, many won’t be covered
  • Medicare doesn’t cover dental or vision
  • Mental health care is underfunded
  • Copays and deductibles are prohibitive
  • No medical control with HMO’s

Legislation Our Team Has Endorsed

  • HR 676 (Conyers – D-MI-13) Expanded and Improved Medicare for All
  • HR 1200 (McDermott – WA-07) American Health Security Act
  • S 1782 (Sanders – VT) American Health Security Act

Team Accomplishments

How You Can Get Involved

  • Join our Monthly Conference Call (3rd Tuesday)
  • Join our Google Group
  • Join our Facebook Group
  • Suggest Coalition Partners and Activities

Coalition Partners

Healthcare-NOW, National Nurses United, Physicians for National Health Program (PNHP), Healthcare 4 All PA, Public Citizen,Campaign for a Healthy California, Vermont Workers, Labor for Single Payer, IATSE Local 1, MassCare, Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA), Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA), SPAN Ohio, Healthcare for All Colorado, Robin Hood Tax Campaign

Issue Team Leaders

Dr. Bill Honigman
Kurt Bateman
Robert Score, Recording Correspondence Secretary (IATSE Local 1)
Donna Smith, Executive Director, Healthcare for All Colorado and Healthcare for All Colorado Foundation
Benjamin Day, Director of Organizing, Healthcare-NOW!
Mark Dudzic, National Coordinator, Labor for Single Payer

Progressive Democrats of America
Progressive Democrats of America

Equal Rights Amendment

The ERA 3 State Strategy Issue Team is dedicated to ratifying the ERA in the timeliest manner possible—to finish what Dr. Alice Paul started 90 years ago. Our strategy is two-fold—removing the ERA ratification deadline on the national level by Educating Congress to support Joint Resolutions SJRES15 and HJRS113 while simultaneously organizing in targeted un-ratified states to gain the 3 additional required to make the ERA the 28th Amendment of the United States Constitution.

The ERA 3 State Strategy team is part of PDA’s Civil Rights/Civil Justice platform. We organize on the web and on the ground through education with the objective of bringing allied groups, organizations (1,000 is our aim), and individuals together from both sides of the political aisle, not only to support us, but to actively participate in our efforts.
Why We Need the ERA

  •  In 1972 when the Equal Rights Amendment was first passed women earned .76 cents to a man’s dollar. Today more than 30 years later women earn .77 cents to a man’s dollar with African-American women earning .65 and Hispanic women earning .55
  • There are only 7 countries that have not signed onto the CEDAW International Women’s Treaty (Convention for the Elimination of All Discrimination Against Women); the United States is one of those countries because we do not prohibit discrimination on account of sex in our Constitution
  • The US insisted that all countries drafting constitutions after World War II include a statement that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex; the US Constitution has no such clause


Endorsed Legislation

SJ Res 15/HJ Res 51 – Remove the ratification deadline from the Equal Rights Amendment

 

Team Accomplishments

146 House Members and 35 Senate Members are currently cosponsors of the 3 state legislation; Senate bill was dropped on May 9, 2013; House bill re-introduced on March 27, 2014.

Ongoing Educate Congress events in local districts and DC

Successful White House ERA Petition gathering more than 32,000 signatures

Developed Interactive Legislative Map

Organized alliances with National Organizations and grassroots activists

PDA BlogTalk Radio Show – The Women’s Room

Monthly PDA ERA 3 State Strategy Issue Team Calls

Introduced ratification legislation in Arizona, Virginia and Illinois; legislation passed in Virginia and Illinois Senate.

Organized and/or Participated in numerous events and Calls to Action

  • Panelist – Suffragist Centennial Celebration, Washington D.C.
  • Panelist – International Women’s Day Celebration, Columbus, OH
  • Speaker – Democratic Women’s Club Luncheon, Lancaster, PA
  • Speaker – “Women Matter Use Your Power” Rally, Richmond VA
  • Panelist/Presented ERA Resolution – NOW (National Organization for Women) Conference, Chicago, IL
  • Advocacy Alert – “Make Arkansas Purple – Ratify the ERA!”
  • Advocacy Alert – “Help Illinois Ratify the ERA!”
  • Twitter Campaign – “#IMAH – I’m Mad As Hell!! Support SJR 15 and HJR 43”
  • Facebook Campaign – “Rise Up! Shoulder-To-Shoulder for the Equal Rights Amendment”
  • Educate Congress – Republican Outreach Campaign
  • Thunderclap – #RiseUp for Alice! #RatifyERA
  • Thunderclap – #Women’s Equality Day
  • Tea with Friends of Alice Paul, Chillicothe, OH
  • Speaker, ERA Senate Briefing, Washington, DC
  • Constitution Day Rally, Washington, DC


How You Can Help Pass the Equal Rights Amendment

  • Join our Issue Team Calls on the 4th Monday of every month. Calls are at 9pm EST
  • Join our Google Group to get updated information from other Team Members
  • Join our Thunderclap actions
  • Join our ERA Twitter team; Tweet members of Congress and thank them for their support as well as ask for their support
  • Join our Educate Congress team and visit Congressional members, answer questions about the Equal Rights Amendment
  • Join a state ERA team and work to pass the ERA in unratified states
  • Use our tools on the right to call, email or make a visit to your Senators and Representative
  • Write a Letter to the Editor to keep the ERA in the conversation in your area


Coalition Partners

2 Pass ERA , Unite Women New York, Women Matter Use Your Power

Issue Team Leaders
Andrea Miller, PDA National Deputy Field Director, Congressional Liaison
Tammy Simkins, PDA Ohio, Congressional Liaison, ERA Action
Cathy Kaelin, PDA Ohio, Congressional Liaison, ERA Action
John Johnson, PDA State Leader, Nevada
Mike Hersh, PDA State Leader, Maryland, Executive Vice President, Maryland NOW

End Corporate Rule

Time and again, whether we are seeking sensible healthcare, environmental, economic, or foreign policy—supported by a majority of Americans—we hit a barrier, because corporate lobbyists and donors have managed to get between our legislators and us. National and local media is right-wing and true journalism has suffered.

End Corporate Rule is part of the We The People NOT We The Corporations PDA platform. We work on the following issues:

  • Overturn Citizens United
  • Protect the Postal Service
  • Negotiate Prescription Drug Prices Under Medicare Part D
  • End the Congress Member to Lobbyist Revolving Door

End Corporate Rule Statistics and Facts

  • 15 States and 500 Jurisdictions have called for a Constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United
  • From 1983 to 2004, due to tax cuts and the defeat of labor unions, distribution of new wealth has gone:
    • 42% to the top 1% of Americans
    • 94% to the top 20% of Americans
    • 6% to the bottom 80% of Americans
  • If Medicare were allowed to negotiate prescription drug prices with drug companies under Medicare Part D, we would save over half a trillion dollars over 10 years

Legislation Our Team Has Endorsed

  • HJ Res 48 (Nolan – D-MN)
  • SJ Res 5 (Udall – NM)
  • HJ Res 22 (Deutch – FL21)
  • H Res 54 – Restore Service Standards for the Post Office (McKinley – WV01)
  • HJ Res 23 – (McGovern – MA03) Corporations Are Not People

Team Accomplishments

How You Can Get Involved

  • Join our monthly conference call (4th Wednesday)
  • Join our Google Group
  • Suggest Coalition Partners/Activities

Coalition Partners

Move to Amend, Represent Us, Center for Media and Democracy, Free Speech for People, Common Cause, Public Citizen, People for the American Way, PR Watch

Issue Team Leaders

Stephen Spitz
Jann Campbell
Russell Freedman
Walter Kloefkorn
Steve Cobble

Progressive Democrats of America
Progressive Democrats of America - Progressive Round Table

Stop Global Warming

No issue reveals more clearly the flaws of the U.S. political-economic system than global warming. Greed and corporate power dominate the public good, and impose nearsighted focus on short term profits instead of serving our long-term needs and the welfare of future generations.

Stop Global Warming is part of PDA’s Protect the Earth platform. The team works on the following issues:

  • Climate Change
  • Carbon Tax
  • Green Energy (solar/wind)
  • End Fracking
  • Nuclear Free

Facts

  • Utilities make local ratepayers pay for damage the companies cause
  • Tax breaks and rebates for Solar and Wind have expired – just when we need them the most
  • Fracking, and more, in our areas

Stop Global Warming Statistics

  • Carbon dioxide in our atmosphere:
    –   We must achieve = 350 parts per million
    –   Beginning of industrial revolution= 290 ppm
    –   Today = 396 ppm
  • September Arctic Sea ice is declining at a rate of 11.5% per decade – ocean levels have risen about 3.16 mm per year in the past 10 years
  • 75% of Americans support a carbon tax

Team Accomplishments

Legislation Our Team Has Endorsed

  • S1135 (Casey-PA); HR 1921 (DeGette-CO01) Frac Act
  • HR 1175 (Cartwright-PA17) Hydrofracking Environment Regulation
  • HR 1154 (Polis-CO02) Breathe Act
  • HR 2825 (Cartwright-PA17) – Cleaner Act of 2013
  • HR 4754 (McDermott-WA07) Managed Carbon Price Act of 2014

How You Can Get Involved

Coalition Partners

iMatter Kids vs. Global Warming, 350.org, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Hip Hop Caucus, Grist, Climate Progress, Food and Water Watch

Issue Team Leaders

Russell Greene
James Handley
Barbara Warren
Ben Ptashnik
Ken Jones
Damien Luzzo

Voter Access Protection & Election Integrity

The U.S. election system is in crisis. Big-money interests dominate U.S. politics in ways unknown in other industrialized countries, with social and environmental progress often blocked by officials who cater to big donors to insure re-election funds. Incumbents are unfairly insulated by district gerrymandering and rules, which obstruct independent candidates and parties.

In recent years, voters themselves have faced political and even racial obstacles in casting votes and in getting their votes counted.

A final layer of disenfranchisement exists in all-digital voting systems and internet voting. Offered as a solution to disenfranchisement, such systems are vulnerable to error and manipulation and defy public verification of results. An auditable paper ballot must protect our right to vote.

The Election Integrity Team is part of PDA’s Civil Rights/Civil Justice platform. We work on the following issues:

  • Voter Access/Voter Protection
  • Comprehensive Campaign Finance Reform
  • Elimination of Electronic Voting Machines/Return to Verifiable Paper Ballots
  • Mandatory Audits of Election Results
  • Restoration of Voting Rights
  • Public Financing of Elections/Free TV Time for Candidates
  • Instant Runoff Elections

Election Integrity Statistics and Facts

  • 30% of eligible Americans are not registered to vote
  • In 2012 the Republican National Lawyers Committee reported that 200 individuals nationwide had been charged with voter fraud since 2000; however 24 states have enacted Voter ID legislation to prevent voter fraud and 6 states are considering legislation
  • 10% of the voting population has no Photo ID which will be required by the new restrictive state laws
  • Over 40% of Americans vote on machines with no paper trail; no valid audit is possible
  • Only 12 of the 50 states have reliable post-election audits
  • More than 5 million US citizens have lost their right to vote due to a past felony conviction

Legislation Our Team Has Endorsed

  • HR 12 (Lewis – D-GA05)  – Voter Empowerment Act
  • HR 3276 (Ellison – D-MN05) – Same Day Registration Act
  • HR 3277 (Ellison – D-MN05) – Voter Access Protection
  • HR 871 (Jeffries – NY08) – Formerly Incarcerated Voter Registration Act
  • HJ Res 25 (Pocan – D-WI02) – Voting is a Constitutional Right
  • HR 317 (Norton-DC)/S1688 (Carper-DE) New Columbia Admissions Act
  • HR 1459 (Conyers-MI13)/S772(Cardin-MD) Democracy Restoration Act

Team Accomplishments

How You Can Get Involved

Coalition Partners

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Brennan Center for Justice, The Advancement Project, Black Box Voting, NAACP, Election Defense Alliance, National Election Integrity Coalition, Hip Hop Caucus,Vote Riders

Team Leaders

Mimi Kennedy
Andrea Miller
Claude Conkrite
Andrew DiLiddo
Randall Holmes
Rev. Terence Dicks
Paul Stokes
Dave Sonneborn

Economic and Social Justice

The enormous wealth disparity between the top 1% and the rest of America is an unsustainable economic and social injustice. We are committed to an economic recovery that employs all those willing and able, that houses all those needing shelter, and that imposes the cost based on the ability to pay.

The Economic and Social Justice Team is part of the following PDA platforms: We the People NOT We the Corporations, Tax Wall Street, Jobs and Fund Human Needs/Cut Pentagon Waste. We work on the following issues:

  • Living Wage Jobs
  • Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)
  • Student Debt
  • Tax Wall Street (Financial Transaction Tax aka Robin Hood Tax)
  • Affordable Housing/Mortgage Relief/Homeowner Protection

Economic and Social Justice Statistics and Facts

  • Oct. 2008 – fewer than 14 million households received Food Stamps – in Dec. 2012, 23 million households did
  • In the same period, benefits per household have dropped from $295 per month to $274, while food prices have escalated
  • 5 years growth of disposable personal income hit a high of 25% in 1965 and has plummeted to -5% currently
  • In 2000, corporate profits were about $500 billion and 66% of the population was engaged in civilian employment
  • In 2013, corporate profits were nearly $2 trillion and fewer than 59% of the population was engaged in civilian employment
  • Banks are holding record amounts of cash

Legislation Our Team Has Endorsed

  • HR 377 – (DeLauro – D-CT03) Paycheck Fairness Act
  • HR 1000 (Conyers – D-MI-13) Humphrey Hawkins Full Employment and Training Act
  • HR 1579 (Ellison – D-MN-05) Inclusive Prosperity Act
  • HR 1617 (Schakowsky – D-IL09) Emergency Jobs to Restore the American Dream Act
  • HR 3892 (Wilson – D-FL24) Student Loan Borrowers’ Bill of Rights Act
  • S2292/HR 4582 (Warren – D-MA/Tierney – D-MA06) Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act
  • S567/HR 3118 (Harkin – D-IA/Sanchez D-CA38) Strengthen Social Security Act

Team Accomplishments

How You Can Get Involved

Coalition Partners

National Nurses United (NNU), Communications Workers of America,  Public Citizen Global Trade Watch, Public Banking Institute, Citizens Trade Campaign, MoveOn.org Regional Organizers and Councils

Issue Team Leaders

Randy Shannon

Stop the Trans Pacific Partnership Fast Track

President Obama has asked Congress to provide “Fast Track” authorization for consideration of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) a new “free trade” deal. The negotiations for this new “free trade” agreement have been conducted in secret. Members of Congress as well as the public have no factual information about the contents of this deal.

End Wars and Occupations

Since 2001, terrorism and instability have increased wherever the U.S. has intervened militarily. We call on the President and Congress to rethink the false premises of an ever-expanding "global war on terror" in which Western-led alliances of absolute monarchs, corrupt governments and proxy forces fight endlessly proliferating enemies in more and more countries.

Instead we support political and diplomatic initiatives to genuinely promote peace, disarmament and the rule of international law, and to treat terrorism primarily as a crime, not as a pretext for war and global military expansion. Cut the US military budget to its 1998 level and beyond, and bring our troops home to their families. Redirect wasteful military spending to meet real human needs, create jobs and reinvest in America. From nuclear weapons to climate change, the challenges facing the world today are too serious to be sacrificed to the strategic ambitions of any one country, including our own.

The End Wars and Occupations Team is part of PDA’s Fund Human Needs/Cut Pentagon Waste platform. We work on the following issues:

  • Complete US withdrawal from Afghanistan
  • Diplomacy to prevent war and end sanctions on Iran
  • End CIA/JSOC operations against Syria and recommit to June 2012 Geneva peace agreement
  • End drone strikes, and all other “targeted killing” operations
  • Recommit to peace and to the rule of constitutional and international law
  • Reduce the record US military budget, bring troops home and reinvest in America

End Wars and Occupations Statistics and Facts

The current $633 billion Pentagon budget is higher than at any time during Vietnam or the Cold War.

The Obama Administration has conducted an average of 13 air-strikes per day, 91% in Afghanistan. Bush conducted 17,500 air-strikes on Afghanistan and 29,000 on Iraq during the invasions of those countries, but otherwise launched only 9 air-strikes per day.

The US returned to a peacetime military budget of $390 billion per year in 1955, 1975 and again in 1998 (adjusted for inflation). We can do the same agai now saving $243 billion per year, enough to create 5 million good jobs in America building windmills and solar panels, educating our children and providing healthcare for all.

Legislation Our Team Has Endorsed

  • HR 4608 (Lee – D-CA-13) Repeal Authorized Use of Military Force
  • HR 200 (Lee – D-CA-13) Responsible End to Afghanistan War
  • HR 783 (Lee-D-CA-13) Prevent Iran from Acquiring Nuclear Weapons and Stop War Through Diplomacy
  • HR 2494 (Gibson-R-NY-19) Protecting Americans from the Proliferation of Weapons to Terrorists in Syria

Team Accomplishments

How You Can Get Involved

Coalition Partners

National Priorities Project (NPP), United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ), Code Pink, Win Without WarProject Defense Alternatives (PDA), US Labor Against the War (USLAW), Jobs NOT Wars Campaign, Peace Action

Issue Team Leaders

Rob Hansen
Marc Levin
Sally Weiss

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