Celebrate PDA? You Bet We Will
By Donna Smith, Executive Director – Progressive Democrats of America
As we watched Senator Elizabeth Warren on stage in Boston with Bernie on Friday, we puffed up our chests for just a moment to celebrate how far the conversation and a real movement has come in such a short time. What only PDA leadership dared consider back in 2013 (Tim Carpenter, Steve Cobble, and others) was that we might be able to compel Bernie to run for President as a Democrat. The rest, as they say, is history yet unfolding.
Yet, even as we are witnessing the terrible dysfunction of the Trump-Bannon-Ryan-Ivanka-Mitch-Jared oligarchy, let’s not forget the Republican Party’s embrace of this mess. Try their level best to make us all think any of this is normal in a self-governed nation, we know that this is not normal. No matter how many times Mike Pence tilts his head lovingly with deference to his king and talks about the blessing of his life that is his President, we know that something is rotten in Denmark… no, we mean, D.C. And what is rotten is the selfish, misguided and dangerous course this regime is attempting to take on climate, on healthcare, on immigration, on voting rights, on LGBTQ rights, on racial justice, on cuts to the social safety net while making massive increases in militarization, and in so many other ways. We would be remiss if we did not mention that moving an oligarch’s daughter into the West Wing to advance women’s issues might not solve the overall adherence to pervasive sexism that is unacceptable and immoral in 2017.
So, what has PDA done to celebrate? Well, first of all, we had a tremendously successful monthly letter drop and lobby day effort during which we gained co-sponsors for several pieces of legislation that are critical to our progressive agenda. We will send out listing to our state coordinators and chapter leaders, and we are more aware now than perhaps ever of the power of working in coalition and solidarity to gain Congressional support for our platform. We are with many others in the streets, online and on the phones in resistance but we are also standing up for and pushing forward on our priorities.
PDA held chapter meetings all over the country last month, as is our practice. And now we have vibrant new chapters working as allies with Our Revolution, People Demanding Action, National Nurses United, PNHP, Healthcare-NOW, and so many more. Just last week in Amherst, MA, two of our favorite progressive champions and advisory board members Rep. Jim McGovern and Rep. Keith Ellison joined PDA-MA and their allies for an amazing evening of engagement around being a real progressive in this wild political time. Read a wonderful account here and see a fabulous photo of our own PDA-MA state coordinator, Russell Freedman, at the podium with the Congressmen with that article, and in the photo at the right with many of our PDA-MA activists. Thank you all for filling that auditorium and for all you are doing.
Finally, PDA advisory board leaders, PDA members and our executive director were out front in the news, challenging us to not only resist Trump and his team of hatemongers but to step up and act together with other allies to insist on a course of peace and justice and economic sanity. Click on these names and enjoy some of the great writing and thinking going on with PDA: Jim Hightower, Thom Hartmann, Michael Moore, Donna Smith, and John Nichols. No doubt we have missed some that you saw or heard about. And how about Belen Sisa, Dreamer? Resist and insist.
We have a lot of work to do right now and we need you to help us by digging deep and donating if we are to keep up this incredible organizing in so many ways — we need signs and banners and leaflets. We need stickers and buttons. That is part of the way we spread the word. And organizing all this great work requires a small, dedicated national staff. Your donations matter. Click on one of the links in this paragraph to donate or on the donate button below.
We have Defend Health: Improved Medicare for All rallies coming up this Saturday, April 8th, and we hope you will be there too.
Oh, and mark those calendars for the People’s Summit 2017, June 9-11, 2017, in Chicago. Bernie ad Jane Sanders will be there along with an amazing line-up of the best organizers and movement builders and leaders in the nation. More info to follow as soon as we have registration links and more detail.