Monday, January 21, 2013

UPDATED: PDA Tucson's Phil Lopes runs for Dem Party Vice Chair

UPDATE: Phil got elected!

On Saturday, January 26, 2013, the Arizona Democratic Party will hold its reorganization meeting in Phoenix. New state party officers will be elected by elected precinct committee (PC) people. If you are a progressive and an elected, please consider voting for Phil Lopes. If you are a PC and can't make the meeting, contact your legislative district chair and give someone your proxy vote.

Phil Lopes for Vice Chair

Dear AZ State Democratic Committee member,
This letter is to ask for your vote for the position of Vice-Chair of the AZ Democratic Party. I would be honored to have your support and vote. I am running for Vice-Chair to:
  • strengthen the party, especially in public policy advocacy, and,
  • to improve the public’s perception of the Party
Although the Party raises money during campaign season, it does not advocate with candidates, elected officials or the public at large for policy positions that reflect the values of Democrats. This is one reason why the public perceives Democrats and Republicans as not very different. For example, during the recent campaign, I heard no mention of developing a fairer tax system. This is inconceivable given that our State tax structure is way too sales tax reliant and the sales tax hits the poor the hardest. Likewise, most Democrats feel that there is too much money spent on campaigns but too many of our candidates chose not to run using Clean Elections.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

PDA Tucson delivers "prosperity not austerity' letter to Barber

The Tucson Chapter of Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) has been participating in PDA's national effort to educate Congress. In December, more than 80 letters were delivered to Congressional offices around the country-- including those of Congressman Raul Grijalva and Congressman Ron Barber.

Above, Jim Hannley, a member of the PDA Tucson Steering Committee, discusses the January 16 "prosperity not austerity" letter with Barber's staff. Below is the text of the letter, which also appears on our Facebook page.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

January 19: A Peoples’ Inauguration

In you're lucky enough to be in Washington DC for the Presidential inauguration, check out PDA's People's Convention.

The Progressive Democrats of America plan to bridge the gap between Capitol Hill and the progressive grassroots.

By Cole Stangler  
Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), the self-described “grassroots PAC operating inside the Democratic Party, and outside in movements for peace and justice” is gearing up for its third Progressive Central, a one-day gathering of politicians from the left wing of the Democratic Party and prominent activists from the labor, anti-war and environmental movements.

The “Peoples' Inauguration” in Washington, D.C., scheduled for January 19, two days in advance of the more prominent inauguration to be held a few miles across town on Capitol Hill, is intended to kick off PDA’s lobbying and organizing efforts for the next four years. In a national political context dominated by talk of austerity, PDA is aiming to keep popular progressive demands on the agenda in Congress—issues like universal single-payer healthcare, ending the wars while slashing the defense budget, and implementing a financial transactions tax. Emblematic of the group’s “inside-outside mission” of translating the demands of existing social movements into action from sympathetic members of Congress, the event on Saturday will feature a mix of Democratic representatives and leaders.

“When we say inside-outside, if it’s the peace issue, we’re working inside the Democratic Party to support Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) [who sponsored a bill last session calling for the swift removal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan]. The outside piece would be working with folks like Phyllis Bennis from the Institute of Policy Studies and Medea Benjamin of CODEPINK,” Tim Carpenter, PDA’s executive director, tells In These Times. “We’ve got to organize demonstrations, we’ve got to put together candlelight vigils, civil disobedience, the street heat, that’s the outside piece. What PDA is trying to do is be that bridge. Every great social movement starts outside the halls of Congress, but if it’s successful at the end of the day, it’s going to pass legislation.”