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

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