Anas “Andy” Shallal, the Iraqi American scientist turned poet, painter, activist and multimillionaire restaurateur, is the hard-to-define outsider in this year’s Democratic primary for mayor. Shallal is a novice candidate but a natural politician. Despite the spoken-word, song and dance performances that surround his campaign, he also is no sideshow.
“We have frequently printed the word Democracy. Yet I cannot too often repeat, that it is a word the real gist of which still sleeps, quite unawakened,” wrote Walt Whitman in Democratic Vistas. “It is a great word, whose history, I suppose, remains unwritten, because that history has yet to be enacted.”
It would be easy to make a list of 10 bad things—wars, government shut-down, drone attacks, lack of progress on immigrant rights, lousy health-care reform. But it’s also been a year of extraordinary activism: whistleblowers, DREAMers, Walmart workers, peacemakers, gay rights advocates, garment workers. As the year ends, let’s pay tribute to the good things their efforts have wrought.
It’s been quite a year. And thanks to a very generous offer from our allies at Social Security Works, we can hit the ground running in 2014—because they have offered to match $5,000 in donations, dollar-for-dollar! That means your donation is worth twice as much! Happy New Year! If you would like to double your money by donating to PDA now, please click here.
We promise to make as good use of our limited dollars next year as we did in 2013. It was a very busy year:
Just before Tim Carpenter came back home to Orange County in October for a Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) event in Santa Ana, he confided in an email that his doctors might not clear him to travel.
Though battling terminal illness, Tim Carpenter is still busy moving Congress left. Tim Carpenter is the national director of Progressive Democrats of America (PDA). Founded in 2004 in the aftermath of Rep. Dennis Kucinich’s (D-Ohio) presidential run, the group works what it calls an “inside-outside” strategy—aimed at translating the activism of outside social movements into progressive legislation in Congress.
D.C. restaurateur Andy Shallal kicked off his bid for the Democratic nomination for mayor Tuesday, saying the city needs a fresh approach to grapple with a continued crisis of public education as well as a businessman’s acumen to leverage a wave of economic expansion, including expanding affordable housing.
PDA leadership converged on Southern California for a weekend gathering October 19-21. California welcomed Andrea Miller, Jeanne Dauray, and Judy Hess—the women leaders of PDA’s National Team—Saturday afternoon. On Sunday, John Nichols and Bob McChesney were showstoppers at our fundraiser featuring their new book, Dollarocracy.
Always moving forward, Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) continued to cut a path to the future as they moved through Southern California during late October. First stop was an exciting event in the Los Angeles area that focused on women, and was hosted by PDA member, Shirley Monson.
Deals are made, and bills are negotiated not only in the halls of Congress but in offices and meeting rooms around DC. Since December 2012, Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) has been conducting monthly, Educate Congress roundtable meetings with Congressional representatives and key staff.
Sam Bell is in the third year of a PhD program in geology at Brown University. Geology as in rocks. But Bell also moonlights as the the state coordinator of The Rhode Island Progressive Democrats, the state affiliate of the 10-year-old Progressive Democrats of America. And in his work with The Rhode Island Progressive Democrats, Bell was instrumental to the investigation that ultimately led to the National Rifle Association paying the second largest campaign finance fine in the state's history.
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.
Thanks to a loophole that subsidizes CEO pay, McDonald's, Yum Brands, Wendy's, Burger King, Domino's, and Dunkin' Brands trimmed $64 million from their tax bills in 2011 and 2012.
The fast food industry is notorious for handing out lean paychecks to their burger flippers and fat ones to their CEOs. What’s less well-known is that taxpayers are actually subsidizing fast food incomes at both the bottom — and top — of the industry.
In December 1972, I was part of a nationwide campaign that came tantalizingly close to getting the U.S. Senate to reject Earl Butz, Richard Nixon's choice for secretary of agriculture. A coalition of grass-roots farmers, consumers and scrappy public interest organizations (like the Agribusiness Accountability Project that Susan DeMarco and I then headed) teamed up with some gutsy, unabashedly progressive senators to undertake the almost impossible challenge of defeating the cabinet nominee of a president who'd just been elected in a landslide.
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.
Tucson is one of the most impoverished cities in the country—for many reasons. The Arizona Legislature—driven by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and short-sighted, “small government” ideology—has routinely swept funds earmarked for counties and cities to “balance” the state’s budget or fund pet projects like lower corporate taxes. Beyond the Legislature’s negative impact on Baja Arizona, the Tucson economy is not diversified enough. Manufacturing is nearly non-existent in Southern Arizona. There is an over-reliance on defense spending, University of Arizona spin-offs, tourism, low-wage service jobs, and growth/development.
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