Mission Statement: Progressive Democrats of America
Progressive Democrats of America was founded in 2004 to transform the Democratic Party and our country. We seek to build a party and government controlled by citizens, not corporate elites-with policies that serve the broad public interest, not just private interests.
As a grassroots organization operating inside the Democratic Party, and outside in movements for peace and justice, PDA has played a key role in the rise of the progressive movement. Our inside/outside strategy is guided by the belief that a lasting majority will require a revitalized Democratic Party built on firm progressive principles.
For many decades, the Democratic Party declined as its leadership listened more to the voices of corporations and the donor class than those of average Americans. PDA strives to rebuild the Democratic Party from the bottom up – from every congressional district to statewide party structures to the corridors of power in Washington, where we cooperate with the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
In its short history, PDA has succeeded in shaking up the political status-quo with its stated opposition to the Iraq war and to excessive military budgets; advocacy for universal single-payer healthcare, racial and economic justice; fighting environmental racism and the climate emergency; support for voter rights and the Equal Rights Amendment; and, notably, being the first national organization to ask Bernie Sanders to run for President as a Democrat, launching the Run Bernie Run campaign in early 2014.
OUR BASIC PRINCIPLES
Progressive Democrats of America was founded in 2004 to transform the Democratic Party and our country. We seek to build a party and government controlled by citizens, not corporate elites—with policies that serve the broad public interest, not just private interests. We are a grassroots PAC operating inside the Democratic Party, and outside in movements for peace and justice. Our inside/outside strategy is guided by the belief that a lasting majority will require a revitalized Democratic Party built on firm progressive principles. Progressive Democrats of America’s vision is rooted in the aspirations of all people for liberty, economic opportunity, guarantees of civil and human rights, peace, and social justice.
Progressive Democrats of America is guided by the progressive vision of a renewed nation, fully integrated into the community of nations and peoples, respectful of the rule of law at home and abroad, and committed to the universal values of human dignity, justice and respect, and stewardship of the planet on which we live. Therefore, Progressive Democrats of America stands in opposition to militarism, corporatism, and economic and military imperialism. We believe that our domestic and international policies must be reoriented from maintaining a worldwide military empire to one of meeting the needs of our citizens for healthcare, education, nutrition, decent housing, and jobs. We believe that our tax system must be based on the idea of a graduated system of payment in which the corporations and wealthy pay their fair share. We believe that government has a moral and constitutional responsibility to foster the welfare and prosperity of the people under its jurisdiction. It is our responsibility to form a government that can enact that mandate.
We believe that the bill of rights is an inviolable covenant with the American people and accept as our solemn mission the defense of our constitutionally guaranteed liberties. Our heritage stems from the great social and liberation movements of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and we are in solidarity with the labor, woman’s rights, civil rights, environmental and peace, and justice movements of today. We support the right of all people to organize trade unions and bargain collectively. We oppose any restrictions upon or intimidation of the people to organize in efforts to protect their rights. We support peoples around the world who struggle for basic human rights and self-determination.
In January 2005, PDA helped organize televised hearings on the voting “irregularities” in Ohio. Chaired by Rep. Conyers, and supported by a wide coalition of concerned organizations, we helped bring to light the abuses, errors, and other problems which remain troubling to this day. PDA continues our work to guarantee clean, fair, and transparent elections.
Later that month, PDA Executive Director Tim Carpenter, a longtime campaigner for peace and justice, welcomed 500 activists to the PDA national conference in Washington, D.C., amid a snowstorm at the University of D.C., Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. gave the keynote address. Greg Moore, DNC veteran, and NAACP Voter Education Fund Director, said he’d never seen so much energy and maturity so soon after an electoral defeat. Conference participants dedicated themselves to victory understanding that would require reconstructing the Democratic Party from the grassroots, based on firm principles. In pursuit of that mission, organizing continued.