The Progressive movement in America has lost one of its greatest fighters.
Each night when I close "The Big Picture," I tell you that democracy begins with you, and encourage you to get out there and get active.
Tim Carpenter was the living embodiment of those words.
Yesterday, Carpenter, co-founder of the Progressive Democrats of America and a tireless political and social activist, passed away after a long and courageous battle with cancer.
He was only 55-years-old, and leaves behind his wife, Barbara, and two daughters.
Tim was a graduate of Cal State Fullerton University, where he earned Bachelors Degrees in History and Political Science, and a Masters Degree in History.
After leaving CSUF, Tim went on to teach U.S. History and Government at the high school and community college levels in California.
Tim played a central role on the Rev. Jesse Jackson presidential campaign in 1988, and again played a key role on Governor Jerry Brown's 1992 presidential bid campaign.
That same year, he was a DNC delegate, and even addressed the Democratic National Convention.
Tim was also the Deputy National Campaign Manager for the 2004 Kucinich for President campaign.
In 2007, Tim was honored as "Progressive Activist of the Year" by The Nation Magazine.
During the 2004 Democratic National Convention, Tim helped found the Progressive Democrats of America.
His unique "inside-outside" strategy helped to grow the influence of PDA, on the streets and at the ballot box.
Since then Tim, and PDA, have fought tirelessly to strengthen the voice of progressive ideas both inside and outside of the Democratic Party.
PDA strongly opposed wars and occupations, and fought for political and diplomatic solutions to global crises, and promoted nuclear disarmament and a cutback in wasteful military spending.
The group has also played a major role in the fight for healthcare for all Americans.
Tim worked for an improved Medicare for All national healthcare program, and had his sights ultimately set on a single-payer health care system.
He also spent a lot of his time fighting for social and economic justice.
PDA pushed for a rollback of George W. Bush's tax cuts, while encouraging progressive taxation policies, and an end to so-called free-trade deals that devastate American workers and the economy.
Meanwhile, PDA has also fought for comprehensive election reform in America, including things like restoring voting rights for convicts, ending the use of privatized electronic voting machines, and stopping nationwide voter suppression efforts.
Tim and PDA have also done a lot in the fight to save our planet, and the human race, from the devastating effects of climate change.
PDA supports a carbon tax, and support policies to protect Americans from the dangerous effects of "fracking" while fighting for a cleaner and greener America.
Tim Carpenter spent over 35 years fighting for the American people and for an America that worked for everyone.
As Congressman Jim McGovern put it, "He was a passionate fighter for peace and justice and all causes that are good. He was a remarkable person with a spine of steel and a heart of gold."
And when President Obama learned Tim was sick, he sent a handwritten note cheering him on and saying how important and his activism has been for our nation.
While Tim may be gone, both PDA and his legacy of tirelessly fighting for social and political change will live on.
Democracy begins with all of us, as Tim's life so vividly shows us.
Now, it's time for all of us – and that means you, too! – to hop on board, get over toProgressive Democrats of America's webiste or any other activist group of your choice, and get active.
Tag – you're it.
This article was first published on Truthout and any reprint or reproduction on any other website must acknowledge Truthout as the original site of publication.
Original article on Truthout
Congress may be on recess, but activists across the country are not taking a break from the nationwide push to get big money out of politics. Today activists teamed up for a massive petition drop, delivering petitions in support of a constitutional amendment to overturn decisions like Citizens United to 21 Senate offices in 15 states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington).
It seems like every e-mail I receive these days from a Democratic Senate candidate or Senator up for re-election this cycle includes a warning that the infamous Koch brothers will do anything, no matter the cost, to take over the US Senate - and with it, our country.
On Thursday, a group of Democratic lawmakers proposed a law to establish a Code of Conduct for the Supreme Court.
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On June 23rd the State Senate passed AJR 1, making California the second state in the union to officially call for an Article V constitutional convention for the sole purpose of passing a United States constitutional amendment that would effectively overturn Citizens United v. FEC and limit the corrupting influence of money in our electoral process.
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This is an idea worth spreading - so - please watch & share with 5 or 10 friends. It’s important to get money out of politics and the average person back in. Also - leave a message on the YouTube and let TED know - this is one of the most important issues of the day."
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is, as they boast on its website, the world's largest business organization, as well as the nation's largest corporate lobbying group. It is also a recipient of some of the largest amounts of so-called "dark" money in the country, refusing to disclose to the public its donors or even the amounts it receives.
Citizens United is not just the default reference for US Supreme Court decisions—including the 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling—that have ushered in a new era of corporate dominance of American elections. It’s the name of the conservative group that encouraged Chief Justice John Roberts and the most activist Court majority in American history to tear the heart out of what were already weak campaign finance laws.
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Postal workers are giving it their all this holiday season, as cards and packages and returns must be collected and delivered amidst ice storms, snowstorms and wild temperature drops.
They deserve our thanks in 2013.
And our support in 2014.
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MoveOn.org Petition - Congress Don't Renew Fast Track
Public Citizen Petition - Congress Must Reject Fast Track Authority
MoveOn.org Petition - Stop the Trans Pacific Partnership
CREDO Petition - Stop the Massive Corporate Power Grab
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