OUR ISSUES

Healthcare Human Rights

Healthcare Human Rights is part of PDA’s Fund Human Needs/Cut Pentagon Waste platform. We endorse and work primarily on Expanded and Improved Medicare for All (National) and state-based single-payer universal healthcare plans with elected officials and allied organizations.

It is a moral outrage for a country as wealthy as ours to leave 27.5 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 healthcare, our system performs poorly, because the commercial U.S. insurance bureaucracy soaks up as much as one-third of all the money and pharmaceutical interests overburden America with predatory pricing and by avoiding price competition.

Expanded and Improved Medicare For All will save millions of lives and billions of dollars. PDA is fully committed to enacting Medicare For All, with the intention of achieving nothing less than healthcare justice and equity for all Americans.

Equal Rights Amendment

PDA unequivocally supports Equal Rights for all women, and will fight to make sure the Equal Rights Amendment is passed and implemented nationwide.

The Equal Rights Amendment was passed by Congress on March 22, 1972, and sent to the states for ratification. In order to be added to the U.S. Constitution, it needed approval by legislatures in three-fourths (38) of the 50 states. A deadline for state ratification was set, then extended to 1982, but fell three states short. Since then, Nevada (2017), Illinois (2018), and Virginia (2020) have ratified the ERA. Legislation was reintroduced in 2021 to remove the deadline. It passed the House with a bipartisan majority, and is pending in the Senate.

PDA works with allied organizations to educate members of Congress and encourage passage of legislation to remove the arbitrary ratification deadline.

End Corporate Rule

The End Corporate Rule Issue Organizing Team (IOT) was formed almost a decade ago, given the ever increasing corporate control of not only our economy but also our politics. We are fighting for a government of the people, by the people, and for the people rather than a government for the corporations, by the lobbyists, and to benefit the wealthy. 

With the Supreme Court‘s 5-4 decision in the Citizens United case in 2010, the floodgates of millions and then billions of dollars have flowed into elections at every level. We have advocated for a constitutional amendment not only to overturn Citizens United, but to declare that corporations are not persons with constitutional rights and that money is not speech. The End Corporate Rule IOT has fought against privatization of the Postal Service, and against the Koch network’s efforts to privatize public education and to foster climate denial. PDA has advocated for Medicare for All and for Medicare being able to negotiate drug prices with the drug companies. We have resisted the privatization of prisons and the massive inequalities in wealth and income exacerbated by the financial sector’s manipulation of the tax code. In coalition with other progressive organizations, we oppose fossil fuel subsidies and the bloated Pentagon budget driven by the greed of defense contractors. 

Climate

At PDA we understand that the climate emergency is the existential threat of our time. Although we rarely agree with the Pentagon, we applaud their assessment that climate change is the single most dangerous threat to global stability and our national security. We support a WWII-style ramping up of focus and resources to bring about a fossil fuel-free energy system and sustainable manufacturing practices that will generate good-paying jobs as a result.
 
Recognizing that communities of color and the poor are disproportionately hurt by pollution inherent to our current reliance on fossil fuels and other sources of pollution, we demand that any path forward must address these issues of environmental justice at every turn.
 
We believe that together we can develop new technologies and approaches to consumption and biodegradable and recyclable materials that will provide a high standard of living for all, while protecting our most valued resources: our earth and our diverse ecosystem.

Voter Protection

Since our founding in 2004, PDA has been in the forefront of Election Protection. Florida 2000 was fresh in memory, where a partisan Secretary of State, who was the Republican candidate’s state co-chair, purged 96,000 mostly voters of color from Florida rolls and went to the Supreme Court to stop a paper ballot recount that was trending towards reversal of the Republican victory. The Help America Vote Act (HAVA, 2002) made things worse. In the name of efficiency, paper ballots disappeared across the country in favor of paperless electronic voting machines. Elections were being counted invisibly.  PDA’s Clean, Fair, and Transparent Elections task force challenged these evils and called for an end to the increasing power of money in our elections, especially after the 2010 Supreme Court decision in Citizens United that ended restrictions on corporate contributions. 
 
In 2013, the Supreme Court struck again, gutting the Voting Rights Act and releasing states with Jim Crow histories from pre-clearing new voting laws with the Justice Department. They could pass whatever restrictions they liked – and they did, burdening mostly the poor, the young, and people of color.
 
The welcome sight of paper ballots being recounted to publicly confirm results in Arizona and Georgia was testament to PDA’s work and the democracy movement that has grown exponentially since we were trailblazers. Suppression and stealth are being exposed. But the right is fighting back with suppression and gerrymandering in many states, and refusal to pass any federal voting protections. PDA continues to advocate, to organize, and to educate both voters and officials about transparency, increased voter access, and putting the “free” back in free speech by ending the unrestricted buying of candidates and elections.

Economic and Social Justice

The enormous wealth disparity between the top 1%—the billionaire class, where just 5 families have more wealth than the bottom 50% of the entire population—and the rest of America is unsustainable and clearly a blatant case of economic and social injustice. Instituting a wealth tax is imperative to rebalance wealth distribution in America.

PDA is committed to fighting for the multi-racial working class on all issues stemming from economic inequality. We envision a society that guarantees all people the right to life’s basic necessities—and guarantees those rights regardless of income, race, religion, gender, country of origin, or sexual orientation.

Federal legislation is needed to end poverty, homelessness, and massive disparities in the availability of housing, jobs, healthcare, and education. We call for full employment, a raise to the minimum wage, workplace democracy, support for labor unions and organizing efforts, expanding Social Security, cancelation of student debt, and the end to wage, economic, and social discrimination against women in American society.

Real social justice in America demands an end to mass incarceration—particularly for people of color, and an end to the for-profit criminal justice system, including for-profit prisons and detention centers. We need sweeping changes to systemic race-based policing policies and practices, and support redirecting funding into social needs and away from continuing militarization of police departments.

We work toward a future where all people are equal before the law and within society.

End Wars and Occupations

PDA, founded in 2004 in opposition to the raging war and occupation of Iraq, opposes wars and occupations of foreign countries. Our dedication to peace has not wavered over the years. The U.S. war machine harms the planet and the peoples of the world. We call for the elimination of all weapons of mass destruction that are constantly a looming threat to the world and its people. 

We need a new U.S. foreign policy based on peace, cooperation, and support for human rights and democracy. PDA advocates for the withdrawal of U.S. troops and contractors from endless wars across the Middle East and other areas of the world. We oppose the unbalanced policy of U.S. sanctions on countries of Iran, Venezuela, and Cuba, while simultaneously giving political and military aid to repressive governments that are our so-called allies. We support diplomacy and international cooperation, Palestinian rights and the rights of indigenous peoples, and growing calls for peace in conflicts around the world.

PDA works tirelessly with progressive members of Congress to support legislation that divests from the war machine, reduces the Pentagon’s soaring military budgetary priorities, and redirects our tax dollars into healthcare, education, green jobs, and other human needs. 

Comprehensive National Immigration Reform

PDA stands for fundamental fairness and equality for all. We are working with our allies in the forefront of the fight for justice and human rights for the millions of our immigrant neighbors and friends. We strongly support federal legislation that will give legal status and a path to citizenship for all undocumented persons living in the United States.

We call for a stop to all raids, detention, and deportation, and an end to the criminalization of immigrant communities. We believe that U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) should be abolished and replaced with an agency whose first mission is human rights, fairness, and family unification. We call for a government policy that provides protection and security without walls and militarization at our borders. 

We believe that the root causes of migration – Income inequality, U.S. government oppression and support for corrupt governments, and climate change to name a few – need to be thoroughly  examined and remedies acted on so that future immigration is, fair, humane, and regulated,  rather than chaotic and repressive.