Tuesday, 08 October 2013 00:00

Why I Am a PDA Sustainer

Written by  Bill Bianchi

My political education started in 2006 when I volunteered for anti-war progressive upstart, Christine Cegelis who challenged Republican Henry Hyde for the 6th Illinois Congressional seat. Neither the state nor the national Democratic Party did anything to help her. So she built her own grassroots campaign and she won about 42% of the vote in what had been a solid Republican district. And I thought, ah hah.

But in 2008 instead of backing Christine, the Democratic Party primaried Christine with their own candidate, Tammy Duckworth, an Iraqi war vet who didn't even live in the district. Why didn't the Party support Christine? Because she was progressive and independent, qualities that the Illinois Party doesn't like. The Party poured tons of money into Duckworth's primary campaign. She edged out Christine, and went on to loose big to a Republican in the general. If Christine had had some of the Party money, she woud have won the primary and probably the general too.

That experience learned me good. Most Party leaders are not progressives and don't want them to win. If we want to win, we need to build our own base that will support progressive candidates. But how to do that? PDA answered my question. Here was a group with a commitment to a progressive agenda, a strategy to make it happen, and a volunteer base. But here's something else I've learned. While I volunteer 20 to 30 hours a week for PDA, I know that's not enough.

Politics, even the bargain basement, all night, cold pizza and weak beer stuff we do needs more than volunteers. It needs full time administration and staff, travel money, media and tech experts, phone bankers, training, a sizzling website and sometimes cash to give a campaign a little extra juice. Plus some targeted mailings and advertising, too. That's a lot of balls to get into the air and that takes money. Not Koch Brothers money but, money. And once all those balls are in the air, PDA needs to know it will have the dough-ray-me to keep them there.

If we're going to plan for tomorrow, we need to know that we'll have cash to swing into action. And that's where Change Makes Change comes in. It's a regular monthly or quarterly amount that tells PDA, you can count on this next month, next season and next year. I've put what I've learned to work and became a regular CMC guy. You should too. Don't hesitate, go to the PDA website and add or renew your $10, $15 or $25 regular CMC commitment now.

Read 477 times Last modified on Wednesday, 09 October 2013 11:35

Trans Pacific Partnership Fast Track - Where Does Your Legislator Stand

Click your state to see your Senators and Representatives

Green = Most Legislators Oppose Fast Track, Yellow = Some Opposition, Orange = Oppose TPP, Gray = Unknown
DeLauro 13 - Signed 2013 DeLauro/Miller letter
Pocan - Signed Freshman Letter Opposing Fast Track
W/M - Signed Ways and Means Letter opposing TPP
Gibson - Signed Rep. Chris Gibson letter opposing TPP
SOPA - Oppose Stop Online Piracy Act - voted against
Currency - Oppose Currency Manipulation (Signed Michaud Letter)
Textile - Oppose changes to "First Yarn" (Signed Textile Industry Letter)

PDA In Your State

Join "Countdown to Coverage" Share TPP with your Daily Newspaper

CWA devised a simple plan for which they were uniquely suited: drag TPP out of the shadows and into the light - one city at a time - using a medium they understand intimately: Daily Newspapers!

Two CWA members - Dave Felice in Denver, CO and Madelyn Elder in Portland, OR have started the ball rolling. We just need to keep up the momentum leading up to a big day of petition deliveries in January.


Step 1 is to send an Op-Ed to your Daily Newspaper.

Sign the Petition - Sen. Sanders Run as a Democrat in 2016


Sign the TPP Fast Track Petitions Petition - Congress Don't Renew Fast Track

Pulic Citizen Petition - Congress Must Reject Fast Track Authority Petition - Stop the Trans Pacific Partnership

CREDO Petition - Stop the Massive Corporate Power Grab


Hand Deliver a Letter to your Senators or Representative on the TPP

If your Senator(s) and/or Representative is not currently opposed to Fast Track, they may not completely understand all the implications. Nothing sends a stronger message to a Congressional member than a personal visit to a district office by a voter with a written request. Phone calls and emails are incredibly important but nothing gets attention like a personal visit. Our Educate Congress page has information and a sample letter. Print the letter, sign it, deliver it.


Lori Wallach on the TPP from PDA Progressive Roundtable

Progressive Roundtable with Reps. Ellison and Pocan and Lori Wallach on TPP

TPP: The Biggest Threat to the Internet You've Probably Never Heard Of