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Monday, 18 November 2013 20:09

Arizona Democratic Party Shows Its Progressive Side at State Committee Meeting

Written by  Pamela Powers Hannley | Tucson Progressive
Sharon Thomas (right), outgoing co-chair of the Progressive Caucus, addresses approximately 80 progressives who attended the Arizona Democratic Party State Committee Meeting in Maricopa. Sharon Thomas (right), outgoing co-chair of the Progressive Caucus, addresses approximately 80 progressives who attended the Arizona Democratic Party State Committee Meeting in Maricopa.

Progressive voices were heard loud and clear at Saturday’s Arizona Democratic Party (ADP) State Committee Meeting in Maricopa, Arizona.

Unlike some past ADP meetings where progressives were ignored or where progressive resolutions were tabled and not heard by the full ADP membership, the Maricopa meeting was dominated by progressives.

During the morning caucus meetings, approximately 80 members of the progressive caucus met in the booming high school cafeteria to hear about legalization of marijuana, the plight of Dreamers, and a host of progressive resolutions.

In the progressive caucus, members unanimously endorsed resolutions: 1) in support of a Constitutional Amendment ending Citizens United and abolishing corporate personhood; 2) in support of passage of the Inclusive Prosperity Tax (AKA Robin Hood Tax); 3) against building the Keystone XL Pipeline; and 4) in support of allowing DREAMers to have Arizona drivers’ licenses and in-state college tuition. A resolution requiring clean elections candidates to give back extra funds passed, with some dissent. In addition, with only one dissenting vote, the Progressive Caucus voted to endorse Safer Arizona, the citizens’ initiative to legalize marijuana for personal use.

Former state legislator and PDA Tucson Chair Phil Lopes explains the Robin Hood Tax to ADP Progressive Caucus members.

Former state legislator and PDA Tucson Chair Phil Lopes explains the Robin Hood Tax to ADP Progressive Caucus members.

Following candidate speeches, including a rousing address by would-be governor Fred DuVal, the full State Committee heard staff reports, caucus reports, and resolutions. During the afternoon meeting of the entire State Committee, the corporate personhood and the Robin Hood Tax resolutions easily passed the entire body. Although the Resolutions Committee recommended against consideration of the Keystone XL Pipeline resolution and the clean elections resolution on technicalities, the State Committee membership overruled the Resolutions Committee and passed the anti-Keystone Pipeline resolution easily. The clean elections resolution was tabled until the court cases have been decided and could be heard at a future meeting. An additional resolution condemning private prisons also passed with little dissent. (The DREAMer resolution was new, and therefore, not heard by the entire body on Saturday.)

In addition to the progressive votes, State Committee members enthusiastically applauded Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) activists Dan O’Neal and Barbara Njos, who were arrested in Maricopa County last week at a pro-DREAMer protest.

For long-time Arizona progressives, Saturday’s meeting was a far cry from prior years’ meetings where all progressive resolutions were stopped by the Resolutions Committee on technicalities or tabled from the floor (and allowed to die). At the January 2013 meeting of ADP, many incumbents were voted out of the party leadership.

Is the ADP turning blue?

PDA activist Dan O'Neal introduces a resolution to allow DREAMers to have Arizona drivers' licenses and pay in-state college tuition.

PDA activist Dan O’Neal introduces a resolution to allow DREAMers to have Arizona drivers’ licenses and pay in-state college tuition.

Congressional candidate Mikel Weisser introduced a Northern Arizona DREAMer who is petitioning Congressional Rep. Paul Gosar to back immigration reform.

Congressional candidate Mikel Weisser introduced a Northern Arizona DREAMer who is petitioning Congressional Rep. Paul Gosar to back immigration reform.

 

 

Original article on Tucson Progressive 

Read 5063 times Last modified on Monday, 18 November 2013 20:16

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