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Jul 4, 2017

By Donna Smith, Executive Director – Progressive Democrats of America

Patriots and Progressives—Together this July 4th

Over the past several months, you may find it hard to believe that we still have much to celebrate around our shared American experience or what we might have believed was the shared American value of independence from tyranny and oppression. Now, wait, we at Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) are not saying that this nation has lived up to that long-held value, but many of us still strive to make real the promises of the Declaration of Independence.

As in 1776, Americans are planning effective actions to stand up against a tyrannical regime. Please join PDA and allies sitting in at Senators’ offices this July 6th. We’ll demand that our elected officials stand up for us and vote to kill TrumpCare before it kills 10,000s of Americans every year. Sit-ins not your thing? No problem. Please sign up with our phone team to make important calls from your own home. No time to make calls? Please donate now to help PDA mobilize to stop TrumpCare.

Join a Sit-In Near You, or Sign Up to Support a Sit-In

Every month, across small towns and large urban areas, in suburbs and in living rooms, PDA chapters gather to plan the next steps in our paths to more progressive, more just government. These meetings are sometimes small and often quite large (since November 9, 2016). While many would not celebrate meeting up in restaurants and pubs and the like, PDA is confident that we are carrying on the richest and most powerful traditions of this republic when we gather.

In November of 1775, at the Tun Tavern in Philadelphia, a small group gathered to begin the first recruitment of patriots of the American Revolution who would serve in the fighting force that would oppose the British and that would eventually become the U.S. Marine Corp.

Historians may argue the exact location of that meeting and others will say that snippet of history glorifies militarism, but few would dispute that small groups of concerned and engaged Americans have been gathering throughout our nation’s 241 year history to gather together with other concerned people to bring about change.

One of these groups of concerned, committed Americans carried on the rich American tradition with their Denver PDA chapter meeting in June. We were joined by Nancy Jackson, Arapahoe County Commissioner, and Kim Gillan, former Montana State Legislator, for conversation around citizen engagement in government and how those serving in local, county and state offices interact with national elected officials and issues.

It was a fascinating hour of shared empowerment and planning for future activities, in the best American tradition. From these gatherings we often find the next steps in our work to achieve real, tangible policy progress, and we have launched many candidates and campaigns that go on to enjoy enormous success and productivity.

So while it may be difficult to see how a PDA chapter meeting relates to our current national political stress or our past experiences as revolutionaries, rest assured that our American vision still includes a society that embraces the soaring words of the Declaration and actually works to achieve their call to justice from so many generations past.

We still hold some truths to be self evident. We are committed to achieving and protecting our unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And we will keep meeting up in those small pubs, restaurants, meeting rooms and the like to plan the best ways we know to assure future generations that we did not lose our way in 2016 because Bernie did not become president, we actually gained courage, power and clarity around the similarities between the promises and sacrifices of long-ago patriots and the dreams, passions and commitment of huge numbers of present-day progressives fighting to achieve justice, equality and peace.

It is hard, perhaps, for us to see ourselves in the same light as some of those early American revolutionaries when we are sitting in a deli sipping iced tea with other PDA allies, but perhaps this week you can ponder how vital your engagement truly is and make a pledge that fits you. As for tradition, the pledge and commitment was pretty clear, “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

Show up. It matters.


Donna Smith for for Mike F., Judy, Mike H., Janis, Dan, Deb, Kimberly, and Amos—Your PDA National Team

P.S. Here’s a great write up in the San Francisco Chronicle of PDA’s work with our allies organizing impeachment marches around the country. We’ve been really busy fighting for healthcare and accountability. Stay tuned for an exciting announcement about the Climate Emergency. With all this work, we need your help now. Please donate now to help PDA and our allies stand up against Trump.