Saturday, February 12, 2005

Toasting a Reformed, Grassroots DNC

I don't usually publish self-congratulatory notes from political organizations, but the Progressive Democrats of America deserve kudos for their hard work and support of Democratic causes and candidates since those dark days in November 2004. "Why Dean is Good for Progressive Grassroot Democrats" by Steve Cobble, PDA Advisor....

An effort that began in the dark hours after Kerry’s "loss" last November will end Saturday in victory as Howard Dean is elected the Chair of the Democratic National Committee. Despite intense opposition from the business, conservative, and Beltway elements of the Democratic Party, Deaniacs, Kucitizens, reformers from DFA, PDA, and the netroots community, (and some DNC members), united to push Dr. Dean ahead of his six opponents, one by one, until only the good Governor was left standing....

So this Saturday let us take this moment to savor our victory, to toast Howard Dean, to toast the energy, persistence, and vision of grassroots Democrats, and to toast the remarkable lift-off of PDA.

Only six months ago, in Roxbury, MA, PDA brought Howard Dean, Dennis Kucinich, John Conyers, Barbara Lee, and Reverend Jesse Jackson together, along with one thousand progressive grassroots activists, to promise to keep the grassroots energy from the Progressive Democrat primary campaigns alive.

Only three months ago PDA jumped headlong into the Ohio election results fight, simultaneously with entering the Dean for DNC fight. One path led Barbara Boxer and a core group of House members led by John Conyers and Stephanie Tubbs-Jones to stand fearlessly against voter suppression of African Americans. The other path led to a new DNC Chair, a man who believes in small donors and volunteer energy, who comes from outside the Beltway, who opposed the war in Iraq, and who stands up for principles when challenged.

And on the weekend after the inauguration, PDA fought back with a Progressive Summit conference attended by 500 snow-braving activists.

PDA is now deep in the fight to expose the Bush Administration’s propaganda about Social Security, so we can protect the most successful anti-poverty program ever established. We’re taking on the $80B war and occupation appropriation, refusing to be spun out of our conviction that an aggressive war initiated on patent falsehood is just plain wrong.

We’re continuing the voting rights fight from Ohio, joining with John Conyers and Stephanie Tubbs-Jones in the comprehensive voter protection bill that has been introduced into Congress. And we’re working with Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr., who brilliantly keynoted the PDA Conference in Washington 2 weeks ago, in his push for a Constitutional Amendment for the right to vote.

Most importantly, PDA has organized dozens of state caucuses and congressional district chapters from coast to coast and is holding our first regional caucus in Arizona this weekend. PDA is on the move. We’re proud of all we’ve accomplished and there is much much more to do. We’ve got a full agenda, and we’re not going to let up.

But for a few moments on Saturday, we’re going to take a small break, make a toast to the new possibilities for a reformed DNC, and savor a victory. Chairman Dean will need all of our help; and we’ll be there, both to prod him and to back him. On Saturday, we’ll just smile and say, "Way to go, Mr. Chairman!"

No comments: