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Monday, 21 April 2014 19:37

PDA History 2014

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In 2014, we continued where we left off. In January, we held another Round Table meeting, and expanded our Educate Congress letter drops calling for single payer healthcare, and opposing both the TPP and cuts to Food Stamps. 

We lost the fight to prevent cuts to the SNAP program in the Farm Bill in the House by a 251-166 vote. Undaunted, we stepped up our efforts to defeat “Fast Track” legislation and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on both the House and Senate side. Economic and Social Justice Issue Team Coordinator Randy Shannon helped keep PDA supporters well-informed and connected with these issues, and Andrea Miller has been a key organizer working with the national stop the TPP coalition.



From coast to coast, PDA has been helping to lead the stop “Fast Track” / anti-TPP effort. Many PDAers attended rallies across the country speaking out against “Fast Track”. Mike Hersh helped lead constituents in Maryland engaging House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer’s staff at the Greenbelt district office and under the Capitol Dome. He also helped bring together activists to meet House Budget Committee ranking member Chris Van Hollen on the Hill. PDA Field Director Judy Hess helped lead similar actions in California. Deputy Director Conor Boylan joined Issue Team Coordinator Jeanne Marie Dauray engaging Congress members in Illinois, while Mike “Phone Guy” Fox worked the issue in Florida, and Tim Carpenter organized in Massachusetts.



Kurt Bateman and Dr. Bill Honigman continued coordinating our struggle to have the United States recognize healthcare as a human right. They helped mobilize PDA’s fight for H.R. 676—John Conyers’ Single Payer Bill—as well as the Bernie Sanders/Jim McDermott Single Payer bills, and kept us engaged with state single payer efforts from Vermont to California and many places in between.



Our Stop Global Warming / Environmental Issues Team—coordinated by Russell Greene, James Handley, and Barbara Warren—helped orga nize PDA’s work opposing Fracking, the Keystone Pipeline, and other attacks on our environment. They’ve held regular calls, and recommended effective legislation for our Educate Congress campaign. Russell and Jim spoke at Round Tables, and helped with both policy and outreach as we’ve participated in ongoing coalition efforts.



PDA’s Election Integrity work continued, with Andrea Miller hosting a call discussing our efforts supporting HR 12, the Voter Empowerment Act. Andrea had to step up because our good friend and leader of our Election Integrity Issue Team, Randall Holmes, suffered a stroke and was involved in a serious car accident Wed. Jan.22, putting him in intensive care in a Phoenix hospital. The PDA family is sending good thoughts and prayers his way as of this writing. Andrea also continued to coordinate our End Mass Criminalization organizing, and our ERA 3-State Strategy work, as she has for several months.



In February, PDA’s End Wars and Occupations Team and Florida PDA brought our Board Member and co-founder of Code Pink, Women For Peace Medea Benjamin to the Sunshine State. Code Pink are known for speaking out at Congressional hearings, marching in the streets, talking to the media, and visiting battle zones to shine a bright light on war crimes.

Medea had just returned from the peace talks in Geneva, Switzerland where Code Pink conveyed the voices of Syrian women and their desperate need for an immediate ceasefire. Medea met with PDA-Miami to discuss and plan for the rest of 2014: How can we leverage small steps for peace in Syria and diplomacy with Iran to build a stronger, more effective peace movement and work for a more peaceful future.

We dropped letters again in February, and joined with a large coalition demanding an end to National Security Agency (NSA) domestic spying. The Congressional Progressive Caucus invited PDA to join them at the Progressive Congress Strategy Summit in Philadelphia. There, they honored our teamwork by naming Tim “Advocate of the Year.”

CPC Co-Chair Rep. Ellison wrote to PDA’s base, thanking us for our hard work and explaining why he agreed to join our National Advisory Board: “You can’t get big things done for working families without a lot of help." He added, "I work with a lot of great activist groups and PDA is one of the best [because] PDA aggressively organizes around issues that matter to progressives through fast-growing ‘letter drops’ and monthly PDA Roundtables, which connect activists to members and congressional staff.” 

Rep. Ellison recognized, “Tim [Carpenter] and his team are key allies in our work to create more economic opportunity for working families. When I introduced the Inclusive Prosperity Act, a financial transaction tax to curb financial speculation and invest in creating good jobs, PDA was there to spread the word and organize. PDA has proved over and over their commitment to making a big difference with a small budget. I still remember the impact of ‘Progressive Central’ at the Democratic National Convention in 2008.That’s why I’m pleased to announce I will be joining the PDA’s Advisory Board.”

We closed out February with our now-annual leadership gathering in Winslow, reviewing PDA’s efforts over the last 10 years, and planning to do even better over the next 10 years—an effort that starts now!

Read 1263 times Last modified on Monday, 21 April 2014 20:00

End Wars and Occupations Articles

  • A Ceasefire and Lasting Peace: Why Israel and Hamas Must Agree to an Immediate Ceasefire, and Israelis and Palestinians Must Sign and Successfully Implement A Final Status “Land For Peace” Agreement Now
    A Ceasefire and Lasting Peace: Why Israel and Hamas Must Agree to an Immediate Ceasefire, and Israelis and Palestinians Must Sign and Successfully Implement A Final Status “Land For Peace” Agreement Now

    PDAers have, with the rest of the world, reacted with outrage and heartbreak to the violence in Israel and Gaza.  Board members like Medea Benjamin have worked for decades to bring attention to that area of the world, to its crying need for peace with justice. PDA was founded during the 2004 Democratic Convention in opposition to the Iraq War, which was being silenced by “official” party leaders. Our Inside/Outside strategy brought street heat to the suites, opening up our political process to the nonviolent call of Dr. Martin Luther King: turn from perpetual war to meeting human need. Nonviolence grounds all our policy advocacy: Healthcare Not Warfare; Windmills Not Weapons.

    Written on Saturday, 26 July 2014 13:06 Read more...
  • Congresswoman Lee Praises Passage of Bipartisan Resolution to Stop Endless War in Iraq
    Washington DC – Today, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the bipartisan McGovern-Jones-Lee resolution which requires the President to seek Congressional authorization before deploying armed services engaged in combat operations in Iraq.
    Written on Saturday, 26 July 2014 00:02 Read more...
  • SALAAM and SHALOM: Joint Statement on Israel/Gaza
    SALAAM and SHALOM: Joint Statement on Israel/Gaza The current military operations in Israel and the Gaza strip should disturb all people of faith. The only moral path to a solution between Israelis and Palestinians (Israeli Jewish/Muslim/Christian and Palestinian Muslim/Christian) will be dialogue and negotiation.
    Written on Friday, 25 July 2014 22:36 Read more...
  • Congresswoman Lee Praises Passage of Bipartisan Resolution to Stop Endless War in Iraq
    Congresswoman Lee Praises Passage of Bipartisan Resolution to Stop Endless War in Iraq

    Washington DC – Today, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the bipartisan McGovern-Jones-Lee resolution which requires the President to seek Congressional authorization before deploying armed services engaged in combat operations in Iraq.

    Written on Friday, 25 July 2014 20:06 Read more...
  • Against Intervention in Iraq
    Against Intervention in Iraq

    The stunning military advance into cities in northern and central Iraq by an Al Qaeda offshoot, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria—backed by some of Iraq's Sunni tribal paramilitary forces and a militia tied to remnants of the deposed Baath party—compounds Iraq's long-running tragedy. 

    Written on Thursday, 24 July 2014 00:10 Read more...
  • Israel: Stop the Invasion of Gaza, Stop the Bombing of Gaza, Free the Palestinian Prisoners
    Israel: Stop the Invasion of Gaza, Stop the Bombing of Gaza, Free the Palestinian Prisoners

    According to Ha'aretz correspondent Amira Hass, the [Israeli Defense Force] ] IDF has been conducting mass arrests in the West Bank, between 10 and 30 every day. Twenty-four of the arrested are members of the Palestinian parliament from Hamas' Change and Reform party. The number of those arrested since the kidnapping and murder of the Israeli teens has already exceeded 1,000. The Palestinians are convinced that most of those detained have nothing to do with the kidnapping and that these are mainly political arrests for purposes of intimidation and revenge.

    Written on Sunday, 20 July 2014 20:43 Read more...
  • PDA Advisory Board Members Urge Cease-Fire Between Israel and Palestine
    PDA Advisory Board Members Urge Cease-Fire Between Israel and Palestine

    PDA Advisory Board members Reps. John Conyers, Keith Ellison, and Barbara Lee joined 3 congressional colleagues--Reps. Jim Moran, Hank Johnson, and Alan Lowenthal--calling upon President Obama and Secretary Kerry to "redouble" their efforts to urge Israeli and Palestinian leaders to reach a cease-fire agreement. The full text of their letter is below, and a signed PDF can be found here.

    Written on Friday, 18 July 2014 22:35 Read more...
  • Bipartisan Letter Calls for Congressional Authorization before Any Military Action in Iraq
    Bipartisan Letter Calls for Congressional Authorization before Any Military Action in Iraq

    80 Members of Congress Write to the President on Iraq

    Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA13), Congressman Scott Rigell (R-VA02) and seventy other Members of Congress sent a letter to President Obama calling on him to seek Congressional approval before taking any military action in Iraq.

    Written on Friday, 04 July 2014 00:10 Read more...
  • Immediate Action Needed! Stop Iraq Escalation!
    Immediate Action Needed! Stop Iraq Escalation!


    Please act now! We need your Congress member's signature on the Lee-Rigell Letter opposing a military attack on Iraq. Consult the list (see below). If your member of Congress is not there, call the Congressional switchboard ASAP (before Close of Business July, 2nd) and ask them to sign on to the Lee-Rigell Letter. Republicans may be willing to sign on, so it's worth trying them as well. The Switchboard number is 202-224-3121. Tell them to contact Rep. Barbara Lee's staffer Monica Pham at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

    Written on Tuesday, 01 July 2014 22:19 Read more...
  • The President Has No Mandate to Bomb Iraq or Syria
    The President Has No Mandate to Bomb Iraq or Syria

    At this writing, President Obama has neither the legal nor the political mandate to conduct airstrikes in Iraq or Syria.

    On Thursday night, 182 Members of the House voted yes on Representative Barbara Lee's amendment defunding the use of the 2002 Iraq Authorization for the Use Military Force. 

    Written on Friday, 20 June 2014 18:00 Read more...
  • BREAKING: House To Push Back Against Military Action in Iraq
    BREAKING: House To Push Back Against Military Action in Iraq

    Members of Congress want to send a clear message to Obama: They won’t stand for another war.

    After a recent string of insurgent attacks from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in the northern part of Iraq, President Obama told Congress on Monday night that he will order 275 troops to the country to protect American personnel and the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. 

    Written on Wednesday, 18 June 2014 18:49 Read more...
  • Voices from Iraq: 'We have lived enough years of revenge and tyranny'
    Voices from Iraq: 'We have lived enough years of revenge and tyranny'

    Residents of Mosul and Samarra, and a spokesman for a militant group, speak about their experience of the latest conflict

    Written on Monday, 16 June 2014 11:08 Read more...
  • Returning to a Peacetime Military Budget.
    Returning to a Peacetime Military Budget.

    Why is Congress trying to allocate $601 billion to the military?

     

    Next week, Congress will begin debate on a roughly$601 billion Pentagon budget for FY2015.  Before we let this pass unchallenged, let's take a few minutes to put it in some historical perspective.


    Written on Tuesday, 13 May 2014 22:15 Read more...
  • 93 Countries Who Have Changed Their Minds About Obama
    93 Countries Who Have Changed Their Minds About Obama

    During the Bush years, people all over the world were horrified by America's aggression, human rights abuses and militarism. By 2008, only one in three people around the world approved of the job performance of U.S. leaders. The election of President Obama broadcast his message of hope and change far beyond U.S. shores, and Gallup's 2009 U.S.-Global Leadership Project (USGLP) recorded a sharp rise in global public approval of U.S. leadership to 49 percent.

    Written on Thursday, 01 May 2014 12:44 Read more...
  • America's Coup Machine: Destroying Democracy Since 1953
    America's Coup Machine: Destroying Democracy Since 1953

    U.S. efforts to overthrow foreign governments leave the world less peaceful, less just and less hopeful.

    Soon after the 2004 U.S. coup to depose President Jean-Bertrand Aristide of Haiti, I heard Aristide's lawyer Ira Kurzban speaking in Miami.  He began his talk with a riddle: "Why has there never been a coup in Washington D.C.?"  The answer: "Because there is no U.S. Embassy in Washington D.C."  This introduction was greeted with wild applause by a mostly Haitian-American audience who understood it only too well.

    Written on Thursday, 10 April 2014 19:30 Read more...
  • The Pentagon's Phony Budget War
    The Pentagon's Phony Budget War

    Or How the U.S. Military Avoided Budget Cuts, Lied About Doing So, Then Asked for Billions More

    Washington is pushing the panic button, claiming austerity is hollowing out our armed forces and our national security is at risk. That was the message Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel delivered last week when he announced that the Army would shrink to levels not seen since before World War II.

    Written on Wednesday, 26 March 2014 18:57 Read more...
  • The Pentagon's Phony Budget War
    The Pentagon's Phony Budget War

    Washington is pushing the panic button, claiming austerity is hollowing out our armed forces and our national security is at risk. That was the message Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel delivered last week when he announced that the Army would shrink to levels not seen since before World War II. Headlines about this crisis followed in papers like the New York Timesand members of Congress issued statements swearing that they would never allow our security to be held hostage to the budget-cutting process.

    Written on Friday, 07 March 2014 00:44 Read more...
  • 35 Countries Where the U.S. Has Supported Fascists, Drug Lords and Terrorists
    35 Countries Where the U.S. Has Supported Fascists, Drug Lords and Terrorists

    The U.S. is backing Ukraine's extreme right-wing Svoboda party and violent neo-Nazis whose armed uprising paved the way for a Western-backed coup. Events in the Ukraine are giving us another glimpse through the looking-glass of U.S. propaganda wars against fascism, drugs and terrorism. The ugly reality behind the mirror is that the U.S. government has a long and unbroken record of working with fascists, dictators, druglords and state sponsors of terrorism in every region of the world in its elusive but relentless quest for unchallenged global power.  

    Written on Friday, 07 March 2014 00:20 Read more...
  • We Need To End the Disastrous Failure Of The War On Terror
    We Need To End the Disastrous Failure Of The War On Terror

    America's military adventures have fueled a global explosion of terrorism and a historic breakdown of law and order.

    Twelve years into America's "war on terror," it is time to admit that it has failed catastrophically, unleashing violence, war and instability in an "arc of terror" stretching from West Africa to the Himalayas and beyond. 

    Written on Tuesday, 04 February 2014 01:28 Read more...
  • Iran Breakthrough a Triumph for Pragmatists and a Defeat for the Warmongers
    Iran Breakthrough a Triumph for Pragmatists and a Defeat for the Warmongers

    The implementation of the Iran accord Monday signaled a modest but still important sea change in that country’s relationship with the world. As with all good diplomacy, the deal is a win-win for Iran and the United Nations Security Council’s permanent members.

    Written on Thursday, 23 January 2014 15:29 Read more...
  • Syria Peace Talks: Bitter Exchanges Mark First Day Of Negotiations
     Syria Peace Talks: Bitter Exchanges Mark First Day Of Negotiations

    MONTREUX, Switzerland (AP) — The United Nations is taking a day to see if there is enough common ground between Syrian President Bashar Assad's government and the opposition to talk directly for the first time since the rebellion began in 2011.

    Written on Thursday, 23 January 2014 15:23 Read more...
  • No Seat For Syrian Women at the Peace Talks
    No Seat For Syrian Women at the Peace Talks

    The talks in Syria began today, with the Syrian government and opposition exchanging accusations and invectives. Missing was the voice of nonviolent civilians, especially women, even through they have been trying for months to have a seat at the table.

    Written on Wednesday, 22 January 2014 17:16 Read more...
  • Drones Will Be Tested in 10 US States - Is Yours One?
    Drones Will Be Tested in 10 US States - Is Yours One?

    At least ten states will be sites for testing drones — unmanned aircraft — in the next couple of years, the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) announced on Monday. Six institutions have been authorized to operate test locations for the use of drones and for studying how they will interact with air traffic systems.

    Written on Sunday, 05 January 2014 20:49 Read more...
  • Demilitarizing the Economy: A Movement is Underway
    Demilitarizing the Economy: A Movement is Underway

    As we end the longest period of war in our history, we should be entering a period of postwar downsizing - but what about the communities dependent on the massive post-9/11 military budget?

    End wars. Shrink the Pentagon budget. Reinvest the savings in neglected domestic priorities. It’s a logical progression. Right?

    Written on Friday, 20 December 2013 00:00 Read more...
  • Congresswoman Lee on Nelson Mandela’s Passing
    Congresswoman Lee on Nelson Mandela’s Passing

    Washington, D.C.— Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) issued the following statement on the passing of former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela:

    Written on Friday, 06 December 2013 17:29 Read more...
  • Anti-Drone Movement Speaks: 'End the Secrecy, No to Kill List'
    Anti-Drone Movement Speaks: 'End the Secrecy, No to Kill List' Activists from across the globe kicked off the largest-ever anti-drone summit Friday with a boisterous White House rally then march to the headquarters of one of the most notorious weapons manufacturers in the world.
    Written on Saturday, 16 November 2013 01:11 Read more...
  • US built 'powerful organs of state terrorism' in Iraq
    US built 'powerful organs of state terrorism' in Iraq

    Iraq is still suffering from the US invasion because the apparatus of state oppression and terror is still in place, killing people every day. But few in the US seem to realize the scale of the war crimes committed in Iraq, an expert author told RT.

    Written on Saturday, 09 November 2013 19:49 Read more...
  • The Tragic History of U.S. Military Supremacy
    The Tragic History of U.S. Military Supremacy

    Having the most expensive and destructive military does not make the American people safer. The idea of U.S. "national security" seems inextricably entangled with the notion of "military supremacy."

    Written on Friday, 25 October 2013 02:20 Read more...
  • Reading Obama’s Iran Speech
    Reading Obama’s Iran Speech

    All of a sudden we’re talking to Iran. Now, granted, that shouldn’t be such an astonishing bombshell. But given the reality of the last several decades, it pretty much is. And that’s all good. It’s been too long coming, it’s still too hesitant, there’s still too much hinting about military force behind it… but we’re talking. Foreign minister to foreign minister, Kerry to Zarif, it’s all a good sign.

    Written on Thursday, 26 September 2013 01:36 Read more...
  • Beating Swords Into Solar Panels
    Beating Swords Into Solar Panels

    A trillion dollars.  It's a lot of money.  In a year it could send 127 million college students to school, provide health insurance for 206 million people, or pay the salaries of seven million schoolteachers and seven million police officers.

    Written on Thursday, 19 September 2013 23:17 Read more...

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