Progressive Democrats of America

The Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) is a progressive political organization and grassroots Political Action Committee operating inside the Democratic Party.

History

The Progressive Democrats of America formed out of both Democracy for America, an organization that itself grew out of the presidential campaigns of Howard Dean and to a lesser extent Dennis Kucinich.

PDA was founded during the 2004 Democratic National Convention in , John Lauritsen, and Current PDA Executive Director Tim Carpenter.

PDA's mission is to strengthen the voice of progressive ideas within the Democratic Party by using "inside/outside" and "grassroots fusion" models of working both in the Democratic Party as well as working with other progressive organizations.

PDA gained support from actors Ed Asner and Mimi Kennedy.

Priorities

War in Iraq

The Progressive Democrats of America believe that the Iraq war is one of the worst foreign policy disasters in U.S. history. The PDA calls for a U.S. withdrawal and war funds redirected toward social needs at home and humanitarian aid to Iraqis. The Progressive Democrats of America have called on Congress to cut off military funding for the war and investigate all White House claims justifying the invasion. Representatives Raul Grijalva and Dennis Kucinich are the officials the PDA are looking to in order to challenge the expected $100 billion supplemental Iraq war request. The PDA is also behind the "Bring the Troops Home and Iraq Sovereignty Restoration Act", introduced by key members of the PDA board, Representatives Lynn Woolsey, Barbara Lee and Maxine Waters. The bill would bring all U.S. troops home within 6 months. The PDA has also publicly endorsed House Resolution 746, known as the Safe and Orderly Withdrawal From Iraq Act. [PDA Iraq Policy... [http://pdamerica.org/policy/priorities.php Link] ]

ingle-payer Health Care

With over 45 million people with no health care, and tens of million more with inadequate coverage, the Progressive Democrats advocate support for single-payer health care. The PDA supports Representative John Conyers bill, House Resolution 676, which establishes streamlined, nonprofit national health insurance - enhanced Medicare for All - which would negotiate drug and treatment costs. By replacing private insurers and recouping administrative savings of up to $300 billion per year. Care would be privately delivered by healers and hospitals, but publicly financed. PDA also supports health care initiatives at the state and local level that moves toward a nonprofit Single-payer health care system. [PDA Health Care Policy... [http://pdamerica.org/policy/priorities.php Link] ]

Economic Justice

The Progressive Democrats of America support an agenda of progressive taxation, 'fair' trade, and worker's control of the means of production. The PDA has worked to get Congress to roll back President Bush's tax cuts. The PDA also supports fair trade that it claims protects workers' rights and the environment, while opposing free trade agreements that it argues protect only corporate rights to globally exploit unprotected labor. The PDA, working with close allies like Senator Sherrod Brown, is attempting to block renewal of fast track authority, which allows the White House to enact trade deals without Congressional amendment. The PDA also endorses the Employee Free Choice Act, which would establish unions in any workplace where a majority of workers sign up. [PDA Economic Policy... [http://pdamerica.org/policy/priorities.php Link] ]

Fair Elections

PDA worked with Congressman John Conyers, Chairman of the United States House Committee on the Judiciary, in exposing the 2004 election irregularities in Ohio that might have helped elect President Bush in the 2004 presidential election. The Progressive Democrats of America support federal legislation that bans further use of touch-screen voting machines, established a paper ballot as the official record for deriving voter intent, and require rigorous mandatory audits for elections. Also, to eliminate big-money dominance, the PDA supports comprehensive campaign finance reform at the state and national level. [PDA Election Policy... [http://pdamerica.org/policy/priorities.php Link] ]

Global Warming

The Progressive Democrats of America call on Congress to lead in reducing the United States's dependence on oil and fossil fuels by raising auto fuel economy and imposing mandatory caps on carbon pollution while investing in public transportation, energy conservation technologies, and alternative energy development. [PDA Environment Policy... [http://pdamerica.org/policy/priorities.php Link] ]

Criticism

Since the Progressive Democrats of America are a PAC of the Democratic Party, many on the left have criticized it as simply serving as a "Judas Goat" organization - a mechanism to keep progressives within the party. One left-wing critic wrote, "I'm not sure how working to elect 'progressive' Democrats to office ... attempting to do with the PDA, will ever help build an alternative to the two pro-war parties." [ Joshua Frank: Counter Punch, [http://www.counterpunch.org/frank10182006.html Democrats or Bust: Cindy Sheehan's Lesser Evilism] (Oct., 2006)]

Advisory Board

* Mimi Kennedy, "Advisory Board Chair"
* Stephen Shaff, "Advisory Board Vice Chair"
* The Honorable John Conyers, Jr.
* The Honorable Raul Grijalva
* The Honorable Barbara Lee
* The Honorable Maxine Waters
* The Honorable Diane E. Watson
* The Honorable Lynn Woolsey
* Cindy Asner
* Medea Benjamin
* John C. Bonifaz
* Steve Cobble
* Jeff Cohen
* Jodie Evans
* Gary L. Flowers
* Lila Garret
* Tom Hayden
* Joe Libertelli
* Ralph I. Miller
* Greg Mooredn
* Joel Segal
* David Swanson
* Lyle Wing
* Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr.

Staff & Consultants

* Laura Bonham, Communications Director
* Kimberly Buchan, Administrative Coordinator
* Bryan Buchan, Virtual Outreach Coordinator
* Tim Carpenter, National Director
* Mike Hersh, Member Outreach Coordinator
* Michael Jay, Special Projects Coordinator
* Tom Pallow, National Volunteer Coordinator
* National Field Coordinator Diane Shamis works as a producer for the Laura Flanders Show.

External links

* [http://www.pdamerica.org/ Progressive Democrats of America official website]
* [http://www.commondreams.org/news2004/0720-06.htm Common Dreams Newswire]
* [http://pdamerica.org/articles/campaigns 2006 Endorsed Candidates]
* [http://pdamerica.org/orgs/allies.php Current Allies "outside" the Democratic Party]
* [http://pdamerica.org/orgs/index.php Current Chapters "inside" the Democratic Party]

References


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