The PDA Model: Transforming Politics by Building Community

Jan 23, 2023 | PDA Blog

In solidarity,

Alan Minsky for the PDA National Team

Become a PDA Monthly Sustainer today. We’re all about building and maintaining a grassroots progressive majority across the entire land – and nothing supports our work better than monthly donations!


PDA’s mission is simple. We exist 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.

How do we get this done? By building a national organization, with local chapters all across the country, that welcomes all progressives to join the effort. We bring together people who want to address the ills that plague their communities and the country, and improve their lives and society as a whole. Not surprisingly, strong personal bonds and friendships ensue. This strengthens the group’s resolve to challenge the Party’s status quo, that invariably prioritizes the interests of its big money donors and discourages citizen participation.

Indeed, an overwhelming majority of Americans believe our political system serves the interests of the rich and powerful above those of the average person – and they hate this fact. They want to live in an honest democracy, but year-in/year-out nothing  changes. There are two reasons for this:

1. Both political parties, in what remains an entrenched two-party system, are beholden to their major donors;

2. No oppositional group committed to the interests of the people over the powerful has seriously challenged for leadership in one of the two parties.

This, of course, is our goal at PDA – and our only hope of achieving it is through inspiring people to take action. Fortunately for us, millions-upon-millions of Americans passionately want to see our democracy redeemed, just as they long for a greater sense of community – and nothing builds community like shared purpose. What better way to transform the Democratic Party, and renew American democracy, than through mass participation in a voluntary organization?  This practice was so widespread in early 19th century America that Alexis de Tocqueville felt it exemplified America’s democratic culture.  It has all-but-disappeared in our era of money dominated politics.

Ours is, of course, an ambitious long-term strategy, and one that requires organizing across the entire United States. While our slogan could be, “they have the money, but we have the people,” the reality is that we need funding, too.

Perhaps the best way to support PDA is by making a monthly donation. We are here for the long haul, and together we can build a truly equitable and democratic America.