The Essential Summer of 2021: Progressives Must Remain Focused to Win

Jun 6, 2021 | PDA News

Thanks for all you do,

Alan Minsky for the PDA National Team

Now is the Time for Sustained Focus:
Achieve Progressive Victories on Policy and
Defeat the Forces of Reaction


This summer is setting up to be one of the most significant seasons for U.S. public policy in decades—as decisions on Capitol Hill and at the White House will influence the direction of our democracy, the U.S. and global economy, and our struggle against the climate emergency. On all of these fronts the progressive agenda could not be more clear. If we are organized and focused, we can win essential, significant victories—but if we don’t stay engaged, it’s a certainty that forces of reaction with their high-paid lobbyists will set us backwards.

One thing for sure: PDA will stay fully engaged all summer long.

While June, July, and August are traditionally a time when the northern hemisphere relaxes and enjoys the outdoors, this year the pathway to happiness for those of us who want a democratic society, economic prosperity for average people, and a healthy planet is through continued political engagement. We can’t take our eyes off the prize for a moment. The stakes are too high.

The massive Recovery Act bills will pass through Congress this summer: the American Jobs Plan and the American Family Plan.

However, the question remains: will these bills be structured to improve the lives of the poor, working, and middle classes, or will they be watered down and serve corporate interests?

While progressives have great allies on Capitol Hill—like Pramila Jayapal, head of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and Bernie Sanders, who is in charge of the Senate Budget Committee—they will need a movement to back them up:

  • Ensuring that environmental protections are included and no subsidies go to the fossil fuel industry;
  • Making sure that health care reforms strengthen Medicare and not the health insurance industry;
  • Standing up for affordable housing vs developers and Wall Street’s lobbyists;
  • Demanding that child tax credits are permanent;
  • Requiring federally funded infrastructure projects to hire union labor;
  • Guaranteeing that green energy systems get developed, as do green transportation systems;
  • Reducing, or better yet, eliminating college cost and student debt;
  • Verifying that federal funding goes to public education, not charter schools;
  • Providing clean water to Americans around the country;
  • Installing broadband for all.

The stakes are really high: if these bills spark a strong economic recovery—which they will do if they are the bills that PDA, Jayapal, and Sanders want them to be—this summer will be the moment when we finally change course away from trickle-down Reaganism, away from neo-liberalism, and we open up new possibilities for a progressive and inclusive economic agenda to take shape.

PDA will be there every step of the way. Reading the small print, and letting you know what’s up—and how we can best support our heroes on the Hill and across the country. Help us out by becoming a PDA sustainer.

And, yes, we will demand every day that the John Lewis Voting Rights Act and the For the People Act and the entire progressive social agenda gets voted on in a filibuster-free U.S. Senate.

The best way to support our sustained efforts is to become a PDA Sustainer—providing a reliable source of revenue to help us fight for progressive victories all summer long and beyond!

PS: For a good overview of much of the work we’re doing see the recordings from our recent Leadership Conference. If you like what you see, please become a sustainer today.