January 25, 2016
On the 43rd anniversary of the landmark Roe vs. Wade decision, Democracy for America's Executive Director Charles Chamberlain released this statement on why progressives fight for abortion rights.
Read the full statement on Medium here or below: http://medium.com/@DFAaction/why-progressives-fight-for-roe-and-why-we-re-blessed-with-an-entire-democratic-field-who-will-too-36238bc4fa9#.k8vxjd86m
Why progressives fight for Roe (and why we’re blessed with an entire Democratic field who will too)
By: Charles Chamberlain, Executive Director
Over the last 43 years, the fight to protect Roe v. Wade and access to safe and legal abortion has become a core policy position of the Democratic Party and standing up for abortion rights has become a requirement for anyone who wants to call themselves a progressive.
The centrality of abortion rights to the Democratic Party isn’t some blind ideological position — it’s deeply rooted in what it means to be a progressive. You can’t say you care about battling income inequality if you want to deny all women, rich and poor, basic human autonomy. You can’t say you’re willing to stand up to powerful interests, if you won’t stand up and confront those using religion, one of the most powerful institutions in human history, to stop women from being able to decide how to live their lives. You can’t say you’ll take on racial injustice, when you don’t speak out against right-wing legislation that is being used to forcibly limit healthcare options that are helping communities of color the most.
Democracy for America members only endorse candidates with a rock-solid commitment to protecting abortion rights. We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our progressive allies when the right attacks abortion rights because we know that we can’t combat income inequality, take our government back from the corporate interests who control it, or actually deal with our nation’s long history of structural racism without standing up for all women’s rights to abortion services. Simply put, DFA fights to protect abortion rights, not only because it’s necessary, but because protecting a woman’s right to choose and working to expand access to legal and safe abortion services is core to progressive values and fighting for progressive change.
As progressives, we’re blessed with an entire Democratic field steadfastly committed to protecting abortion rights, a fact that, fortunately, I think every progressive organization supporting an individual candidate recognizes.
For example, we know that Bernie Sanders has a life-long record of standing up for abortion rights, including against the Hyde Amendment which currently bans federal funds from being spent on abortion services. Even more than that, throughout his life Bernie Sanders has fearlessly called out some of the most powerful players in our political process — whether they are from the big banks, the military industrial complex, or the health insurance industry — and stood up with a steel spine when they’ve fired back. And that’s precisely what we’ll need to confront opponents of Roe and expand the access of all Americans to abortion services.
While our top two Democratic candidates may differ in other areas, it’s a tremendous victory for progressives that both are rock-solid in their commitment to protecting abortion rights and have the guts it will take to stand up and defend those rights against virulent opposition. Regardless of which candidate you’re supporting in this year’s primary, a champion for abortion rights will win the Democratic nomination and that’s something every single progressive should celebrate as we continue our defense of Roe v. Wade forty-three years after it became the law of the land.
February 25, 2015
Last night progressives had an overwhelming victory in Chicago. Successfully forcing Mayor Rahm Emanuel into a runoff election and defending 7 progressive members of the City Council. Check out DFA Chair Jim Dean's update to our members below.
We did it!!!
Last night's opening paragraph in USA TODAY would have seemed nearly impossible just a few months ago:
"CHICAGO -- Rahm Emanuel was dealt a tough political blow on Tuesday, after he was forced into a runoff election to hold onto his seat as mayor of the Windy City."
Progressives not only forced Rahm Emanuel to become the first mayor in Chicago history to face a runoff election, we also beat back his SuperPAC and his wealthy funders' campaign to defeat the progressive champions he attacked on the Chicago City Council.
Five of Democracy for America's seven endorsed progressive members of Chicago's City Council -- who we called the Chicago Seven -- have WON their primaries outright and two are the leading candidates in their impending runoff elections on April 7.
This a HUGE victory for progressives -- and now we need to finish the job. Will you chip in $3 or more to build the campaign to defeat Rahm Emanuel in the runoff on April 7?
DFA dedicated national resources and organizing power to defend seven progressive City Council members because we knew how important they were to defending the working families of Chicago against union-busters and big corporations. Rahm Emanuel and his corporate cronies have awoken a massive grassroots army across the city committed to ending his agenda of privatization, public school closings, and pension cuts.
In the weeks ahead, Democracy for America -- alongside our friends at United Working Families, MoveOn, and the Chicago Teachers Union -- will go all in to defeat Rahm Emanuel in the runoff on April 7 and elect Jesus "Chuy" Garcia as Chicago's new mayor.
We will also fight to re-elect Aldermen John Arena and Toni Foulkes, who are going to a runoff against two of Rahm's cronies. DFA members will harness that grassroots energy to build a lasting, broad-based progressive movement that will bring Elizabeth Warren-style, populist progressive reform to Chicago in the years to come.
As a flashpoint in the fight for progressive values, the April 7 runoff election will be one of the most important elections in years. Are you In? Chip in $3 or more now to defeat Rahm Emanuel and re-elect Aldermen John Arena and Toni Foulkes.
DFA members like you made this victory possible. Since December, Democracy for America and our members have rallied to fight back against Rahm Emanuel's attacks on the Chicago Seven by:
- Raising and spending more than $65,000 to defend the Chicago Seven.
- Making more than 30,000 calls and knocking on 2,157 doors in targeted wards.
- Hiring full-time staff organizers, working out of Northside and Southside offices.
- Working with MoveOn to turn out the vote for Jesus "Chuy" Garcia in the mayoral race.
- Supporting the local DFA groups, Northside DFA and Southside DFA, in their strategy to expand the map and elect strong new progressive challengers and turn out the anti-Rahm vote.
Rahm Emanuel and his allies had more than $30 million at their disposal. You helped build the people-powered campaigns that turned people out to the polls and overcame that huge financial advantage.
But this isn't over yet. Rahm Emanuel is bruised, but not beaten. Now that he is in a runoff against Chuy Garcia, Chicago voters can unite behind a strong progressive and put an end to Rahm's rule -- and re-elect progressive champions John Arena and Toni Foulkes. Will you help build the campaign and lead progressives to victory?
Chip in $3 or more to finish the job and defeat Rahm Emanuel on April 7.
Thank you for everything you've done to win this victory in Chicago -- and for going all in with us between now and the April 7 runoff.
Jim Dean, Chair
Democracy for America
December 18, 2014
The votes are in and Democracy for America members are speaking out loud and clear:
RUN WARREN RUN!
The results are stunning. Doubling down on MoveOn's 81.3% member vote, 87.6% of DFA members voted in favor of launching a campaign to draft Elizabeth Warren for president.
So that's exactly what we're going to do. And it starts today.
Shortly after the poll closed on Tuesday and our member vote was official, DFA Electoral Director Annie Weinberg jumped on a plane to Iowa to join MoveOn and Ready for Warren for a Run Warren Run kickoff meeting tonight in Des Moines.
We also announced that we're investing an additional $250,000 in the first stage of this campaign to expand -- in collaboration with MoveOn -- the effort of building an unprecedented people-powered Run Warren Run campaign.
As a Senator, Elizabeth Warren is forcing the Democratic Party to take on income inequality. As a presidential candidate, she could make the fight against income inequality a critical part of the 2016 platform -- no matter who wins the nomination. And, as President, no one else would be better prepared to rally the nation to fix the income inequality crisis than Elizabeth Warren.
America needs Elizabeth Warren to run for president. But she isn't going to run just because we announce a campaign to draft her. She needs to hear from DFA members like you. It's time to let her know what you think.
Run Warren Run! Sign the petition now: Ask Elizabeth Warren to run for president.
This isn't the first time there's been a campaign to draft Elizabeth Warren. It took a grassroots movement to convince her to run for U.S. Senate in 2012. We can do it again -- this time for the White House.
In fact, as recently as Monday morning, Sen. Warren refused to rule out a future bid for the presidency. She has only said that she’s not a candidate "right now."
Of course, that's true of everybody else. No Democrat has yet announced their campaign for the presidency. It's still a wide open race. That's why this is exactly the right time to draft Warren.
Regardless of what Warren decides to do, the Run Warren Run movement will help Sen. Warren be more effective in Congress -- according to DC insiders like Chris Cilizza at the Washington Post:
Let's say Warren absolutely does not want to run for president and won't be persuaded no matter what happens in the world over the next three to six months. Okay, fine. It still does her NO good to definitively rule out running right now because the second she does that, the huge national media spotlight will begin roving elsewhere -- limiting Warren's influence.
At the moment, there is no story bigger in politics than what Warren will do. She can use that attention to push her pet issues -- restricting corporate America and addressing income inequality.She did just that last week with her loudly-declared opposition to the omnibus bill because of its loosening of some derivative trading rules on corporations. Warren's power is at its height nationally at the moment.It makes zero sense for her to pop that balloon herself.
Sen. Warren listens to the people -- it's one of the reasons we love her so much. So add your voice now by signing our petition: Run Warren Run!
I do want to acknowledge the fact that not every DFA member voted this way. Some of you support other candidates for president. In fact, my brother Howard Dean is supporting Hillary Clinton, should she decide to run for president.
And that's OK, of course. Democrats and progressives are smart, passionate people who don't have to agree on who should become the next president. But we do agree that we need a Democratic candidate who will focus on fighting income inequality.
This isn't just about the White House either. A real grassroots movement starts from the bottom up. That's why DFA is going to:
- Draft and support the next generation of Elizabeth Warren candidates at all levels of office in all 50 states.
- Build a broad coalition of candidates for Senate, U.S. House, state and local office who will stand with Warren in the fight against income inequality -- no matter what office she holds.
- Train the campaign staff and grassroots activists who can help Warren Wing Democrats achieve victory nationwide.
This could be a turning point in American history. It starts with Elizabeth Warren's leadership at the top of the ticket. But she isn't going to jump in the race unless DFA members like you step up and ask her to run.
Your voice can convince Sen. Warren to run for president. Let her know you want her to join the race and sign the petition: Run Warren Run!
Thank you for stepping up to support DFA and MoveOn's plans for Run Warren Run. Now let's make history together.
Jim Dean, Chair
Democracy for America
August 30, 2013
As you know here at DFA we endorse progressive candidates all the way from Senate down to local school board. This fall there are many important elections going on around the country and we will be regularly highlighting our many great progressive candidates.
Politicians in Richmond, VA have created and poured gasoline on many fires -- bad transportation, ignoring the environment, terrible laws that take away retirees benefits, and the list goes on.
We believe in firefighter and paramedic Rob Farinholt, a Virginian with a proven track record of serving the public, and that’s why DFA is proud to support him for Delegate in Virginia’s District 94. Unlike the majority of delegates in office, Rob Farinholt comes from a public safety background with lifelong ties to his community.
Help Rob put out the fires in Newport News and Virginia and elect a man of integrity to office.
As a first responder Rob has a front row seat to happens when priorities are askew in Virginia’s state house. He’s seen what a lack of equipment and funds can do to a fire department. One of the most decorated firemen in his area, Rob earned a Medal of Honor in 2007 and Gold Medal of Valor in 2008 for marine rescues and he’s seen the impact that politician’s poor priorities have on the day-to-day lives our our brave first responders.
A champion of reproductive and LGBTQ rights, Rob is also an advocate for social development measures in Virginia’s 94th district. He is committed to improving industry, and advocates for essential job-creation legislation and increased funding of public services like education and transportation. Rob has seen firsthand the damage that government neglect does to communities and will bring that insight with him to Richmond as a delegate.
In striking contrast, Rob’s opponent, incumbent David Yancey, has aided the passing of a bill that removes purchase limits on handguns and a bill that reduces state employee retirement benefits. His conservatism doesn't stop there -- Delegate Yancey voted for forced vaginial ultrasounds and supported efforts to permit adoption agencies to discriminate against gay and lesbian couples. With 5,927 children in foster care and 14,000 same sex couples in Virginia, Yancey’s support for bigotry both denied children access to loving homes and cost Virginia taxpayers at least $2 million.
The progressive choice is clear. Rob Farinholt may not have wealthy 1% donors like Delegate Yancey, but he is ready to put up a fight with a team of dedicated friends and volunteers fueling his people-powered campaign.
November 19, 2012
POLITICO: Raul Ruiz win tells story of Election 2012
By KATE NOCERA | 11/18/12 11:20 PM EST
If the growing sway of Latinos in American politics was the story of election 2012, Raul Ruiz’s triumph in California’s 36th Congressional District was a dramatic subplot.
The son of migrant farmworkers who scraped his way through UCLA and then Harvard Medical School, Ruiz dislodged Rep. Mary Bono Mack, a 14-year fixture of the Republican Conference who didn’t seem to fully appreciate the district’s fast-growing Hispanic population until it was too late.
Did you know that Raul Ruiz was one of our top tier Dean Dozen Candidates? It was the polling we sponsored with the PPP, that skyrocket his campaign from unknown to a potential upset on the national stage.
Along with Raul Ruiz' strong grassroots campaign, DFA members provided an extra push to help put him over the top, making a grand total of 22,462 thousand get-out-the-vote calls. Thanks to your hard work this was at true grassroots victory. Congrats Dr. Ruiz!
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