What was expected to be a small intimate gathering, mushroomed quickly to a much larger event where we talked about women’s rights, the educational system, low pay, unequal opportunity and much more. The focus inevitably turned to the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), which PDA ardently supports through our ERA 3-State Strategy team, which you can find out more about here, and is spearheaded by national team member, Andrea Miller. One of our guests, Kamala Lopez, President of Heroica Films, also attended the meeting with her team, and discussed their upcoming film, Equal Means Equal, the story of the ERA. Needless to say, the evening was fun, interesting, and filled with excitement, as we continued to connect, discuss, and create actions on how to move the ERA forward.
Next on the agenda was another event in the Los Angeles area staring John Nichols and Robert McChesney, as they joined in supporting PDA while promoting their new book Dollarocracy (get a signed copy and support PDA by clicking here. Hosted at the home of PDA members Nina and Marc Mersen, their residence was filled to capacity. Books were moving through the crowd as John and Robert, pens in hand, signed copies, rubbed elbows, and engaged in lively one-on-one conversations with fellow members of PDA. As people sat down, with many more standing, Tim Carpenter, our National Director, and Mimi Kennedy, our Advisory Board Chair, gave greetings, introductions and thank you’s. John Nichols and Robert McChesney then got the audience fired-up as they rallied the people to their cause – economic and social justice! Needless to say, the event was a wonderful success.
The team then headed further south into Orange County, where several PDA members, including some members of our national team, state coordinators, members of the PDA Advisory Board, and the Winslow Group came together to discuss the future of PDA. The meeting was productive, fruitful, and fun, as we enjoyed the company of several special guests such as Tom Hayden, Cynthia Young, and Bill Gallagher, to name a few. As always though, there is never enough time, despite the working lunch that we all opted for. Maybe we just love being together THAT much!
Never ones to waste an opportunity though, the PDA group continued on to yet another incredible event in Orange County that night at the home of fellow PDA members, Sara Chesters and Frank Barbaro. This time John Nichols and Robert McChesney were joined by lifelong activist, Tom Hayden, as they each took center stage at the lovely and lively outdoor gathering. People stood elbow-to-elbow beneath the strings of lights in the trees, as they listened intently to the words these wonderful speakers had to share. It was also a special visit back to the home base of Tim Carpenter’s beginnings in activism, as many came to share hugs, love, and their experiences with Tim and PDA. One such guest was Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, who popped in for a surprise and much welcomed visit to the stage. Another great moment was the presentation of an award for Tim Carpenter’s service to the community, given by Santa Ana mayor, Miguel Pulido. It was an evening not just of political activism, but of family, one where all of us came together to celebrate and support each other and the causes that we as Progressive stand together on and fight for every day. And so, the night continued on with well wishes, hugs, book signings, conversation, and the sharing of ideas.
Thank you to all of our hosts, our supporters, and our PDA family at large, who helped to make this incredible week possible, and who help to continue the efforts to move our progressive values forward. Without you, none of this is possible, however, with you, we can do anything!