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DFA's press statement on Hassan move on Syrian Refugees and our petition

This afternoon, news broke that New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan had become the lone Democrat to join eleven Republican governors in attempting to turn their backs on Syrian refugees in the wake of last week's terror attacks in Paris. 

Statement from Democracy for America on Hassan's incredibly disappointing decision on Syrian refugees (and, below that, an email from urging Congress to do the opposite): 

"Gov. Maggie Hassan is caving to the Islamophobic fear-mongering of far-right extremists in attempting to shut New Hampshire's borders to refugees fleeing blood-chilling violence in Syria.  

"Turning our back on those doing everything they can to escape the brutal oppression of Bashar Assad and ISIS is an absurd rejection of our country's long and proud tradition of welcoming 'your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.' 

"While we might expect to see this kind of fear-based, amoral posturing from Kelly Ayotte, seeing it from a Democrat running for the U.S. Senate is truly disappointing."  -- Charles Chamberlain, Executive Director, Democracy for America

Below, find the email we just sent to our members this afternoon calling on Congress to reject efforts to turn our back on Syrian refugees.

DFA has 1 million members nationwide and 14,580 members in the Granite State.

DFA EMAIL ON SYRIAN REFUGEES

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Charles Chamberlain, Democracy for America <[email protected]>
Date: Mon, Nov 16, 2015 at 3:58 PM
Subject: SYRIAN REFUGEES: Stop the Republican attacks on innocent people
To: 
 

Neil --

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free."

Those familiar words of the poet Emma Lazarus are engraved at the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor -- a statue that was a gift to our country from France. They represent the promise of the United States of America to be a home to immigrants and refugees from all over the world.

Republicans and their extremist base are going all out to abandon that historic promise. They are using the Paris terror attacks to attack refugees from Syria, despite the fact that these refugees are just families seeking to escape the violence and oppression of Bashar Assad and ISIS.

Right-wingers are flooding Congressional offices right now with calls demanding that the United States close its borders to Syrian refugees. Republican presidential candidates and governors have said they won't accept Syrian refugees.

And if you doubt that this is about bigotry and Islamophobia: Jeb Bush said we should focus our efforts only on Christian Syrian refugees. President Obama called Bush's statement "shameful."

Here's the truth: not a single one of the 750,000 refugees who entered the U.S. through the refugee process after September 11, 2001 has been arrested on domestic terrorism charges. They already go through a rigorous screening process unprecedented in our country's history.

It's time to stand up for American values -- and reject bigotry and hate. Join Democracy for America and sign the petition to Congress: stand firm and continue providing a home for refugees fleeing the violence in Syria.

Syrians experience the violence and terror of ISIS on a daily basis in their own homes. That's why many of them are risking their lives to flee Syria and seek a safer home in Europe or North America. We only need to remember the horrible photos of drowned children to understand how important it is that we continue to welcome them.

DFA members have already been in the forefront of the movement to continue welcoming refugees. In September, tens of thousands of DFA members urged Democratic presidential candidates to expand the number of Syrian refugees we allow into our country. Those candidates defended our policy of welcoming Syrian refugees at Saturday night's presidential debate.

But Republicans sense a political opportunity and are exploiting hate and fear. Some, like Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, claim they just want a pause to allow the government to review its refugee procedures.

That's nonsense. The Department of Homeland Security's refugee process is already extremely strict. Refugees must undergo extensive background checks, biometric screening, and investigations by intelligence agencies. It takes between one and three years for a refugee to go through this process and be settled in the United States.

Republicans are simply caving to alarmist and Islamophobic elements on the far right who want our country to turn our back on a suffering population.

The best response to terrorism is to double down on our country's values, including welcoming refugees from Syria -- and show that the words on the Statue of Liberty still have meaning.

Stand up to hate and defend American values by signing the petition: tell Congress right now to continue welcoming Syrian refugees to our country.

Thank you for fighting back against bigotry.

- Charles

Charles Chamberlain, Executive Director
Democracy for America

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Categories: Press Releases


DFA’s Charles Chamberlain: "A vote for the TPP will haunt members of Congress for years to come"

This morning, the White House finally released the text of the job-killing Trans-Pacific Partnership.
 
Here is the reaction of Charles Chamberlain, Democracy for America's Executive Director, on the release of the full text of the TPP:
 
“Now that we’ve seen the full text, it turns out the job-killing TPP is worse than anything we could’ve imagined. This agreement would push down wages, flood our nation with unsafe imported food, raise the price of life-saving medicine, all the while trading with countries where gays and single mothers can be stoned to death.
 
“That’s what you get when you negotiate a deal with corporations behind closed doors and keep the public and the press in the dark until the very last minute.
 
“If they want to keep their jobs, members of Congress should stay as far away as possible from this rotten deal. Like a vote for the Iraq War, a vote for the job-killing TPP will never be forgotten and will haunt them for years to come.” – Charles Chamberlain, Democracy for America
 
Since our founding in 2004, DFA's one million members have raised and contributed more than $32.7 million and made more than 10.1 million volunteer calls to help successfully elect 831 progressive candidates nationwide.
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DFA reacts to Paul Ryan's election as Speaker

Reaction to Paul Ryan's election as Speaker (and why progressives are excited by it) from Democracy for America's Charles Chamberlain:

"As progressives, we could not be more excited about the far-right Republican House caucus' decision to back Paul Ryan as Speaker of the House. 

"Thanks to his Vice Presidential run, nearly everyone knows about Paul Ryan's steadfast commitment to doing whatever he can to cut Americans' hard-earned Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security benefits. Ryan's election as speaker will only make it easier for Democrats to expose Republicans as the party that'd rather starve grandma than stand up to its corporate funders.

"It's hard to understand why House Republicans would decide to wear a yoke like Paul Ryan and his dedication to attacking widows, orphans, and the elderly as a badge of honor.  Honestly, it's the kind of bone-headed move that makes the Democrats' difficult task of winning back the House seem possible.  However, as they say, far be it from me to interrupt our opponents when they're making an unfathomably stupid mistake."  -- Charles Chamberlain, Executive Director, Democracy for America

Founded in 2004, Democracy for America is a people-powered PAC with 1 million members who have raised and contributed more than $32.7 million and made more than 10.1 million volunteer calls to help successfully elect 831 progressive candidates nationwide.

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Categories: Press Releases


Democracy for America backs Kim Foxx for Cook County State’s Attorney

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OCTOBER 29, 2015
Contact: Omer Farooque, [email protected], 262-391-2653

Democracy for America backs Kim Foxx for Cook County State’s Attorney 

Burlington, VT -- Today, the national progressive group Democracy for America announced its endorsement of Kim Foxx for Cook County State’s Attorney.

The fully quotable email to DFA members endorsing Kim Foxx is below.

Statement from Democracy for America chair Jim Dean on Kim Foxx’s endorsement. 

“We’re supporting Kim Foxx in her race for Cook County State’s Attorney, because our country needs progressive prosecutors like her who understand that their job is to administer justice in a way that confronts, not worsens, racial and income inequality.

“Having a State’s Attorney like Kim Foxx who’ll take on violent criminals, battle wage theft, and demand real accountability for police officers who do wrong will be a huge boon for racial and economic justice in Cook County and our country." -- Jim Dean, Chair, Democracy for America

Quick facts about Democracy for America and our involvement in Chicago metro area elections:

EMAIL TO DFA MEMBERS

From: Jim Dean, Democracy for America

Subject: CHICAGO: Anita Alvarez has got to go -- and Kim Foxx should replace her

DFA member --

By now you've probably seen the awful footage from Spring Valley High School in South Carolina, where a black student was brutally assaulted and thrown across the room by a police officer simply because the teacher had asked her to turn off her phone.

This unjustifiable attack is a common example of the way in which our criminal justice system is failing to protect basic rights. When a child is treated like a criminal who requires massive police response, or criminal prosecution, the result is often brutality and violence. Black children across the country often suffer the most harm from these practices.

One place we can begin to end this routine abuse is by electing a new State's Attorney in Chicago. Under the incumbent, Anita Alvarez, Cook County jails are full of people, often young African-Americans, who were arrested for a something as simple as putting a campaign sticker on a signpost.

This is especially galling when Chicago, under Mayor Rahm Emanuel, is experiencing an epidemic of violent crime. The criminal justice system should be targeting violent criminals, not innocent black kids.

Democracy for America believes black lives matter -- and is committed to endorsing candidates who will fight for racial justice, especially in cities. That's why we are endorsing Kim Foxx in the important race for State's Attorney in Cook County. Kim Foxx can be the start of a national movement of throwing out prosecutors who are undermining the fight for justice -- and replace them with champions who will fix a broken criminal justice system.

Kim Foxx needs our help to get on the March 2016 ballot. She's got a grassroots movement out there collecting signatures, but she needs a few more. Sign up today to help Kim Foxx make it onto the ballot!

Anita Alvarez has a pattern of prosecuting the powerless while protecting the powerful -- especially rogue police officers. In 2010, Tiawanda Moore reported that a police officer groped her in her own Chicago home while responding to a call. Rather than prosecute the officer, Anita Alvarez actually chose to prosecute the victim because she had recorded the assault on her phone.

In 2012, 60 Minutes called Chicago the "false confession capital" and cited Anita Alvarez's office for refusing to support exoneration of people falsely convicted even when there was overwhelming evidence to show that a person was innocent of the crime.

Kim Foxx will put a stop to this, and use the power of the State's Attorney to work with the community to go after violent criminals, rather than victimize people of color. Rather than throw people in jail for low-level offenses, she will use alternatives, including drug treatment where needed, in order to free up resources to target murderers, thieves, and other people who commit acts of violence.

This is a race of national significance. While the violence in Cook County makes headlines across the country, Anita Alvarez is preoccupied with racially biased prosecutions of nonviolent drug offenders and other low-level crimes. Having Kim Foxx as State's Attorney, focused on fair and even-handed administration of justice, will be a huge boon for racial and social equality in Cook County and in America.

Will you help Kim Foxx get on the ballot? Sign up today to help collect signatures for this progressive champion!

Thank you for standing up for justice.

- Jim

Jim Dean, Chair\

Democracy for America

 
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Democracy for America backs Joyce Craig for Mayor of Manchester

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OCTOBER 27, 2015
Contact: Omer Farooque, [email protected], 262-391-2653

Democracy for America backs Joyce Craig for Mayor of Manchester 

Burlington, VT -- This morning, the national progressive group Democracy for America announced its endorsement of Joyce Craig for Mayor of Manchester, New Hampshire.

The fully quotable email to DFA members endorsing Joyce Craig is below.

Statement from Democracy for America chair Jim Dean on Joyce Craig’s endorsement: 

“Whether it’s her commitment to a state-of-the-art education system or improving the city’s infrastructure for the twenty-first century, Joyce Craig has the experience and a proven record of fighting for Manchester's middle class families.

“In the days ahead, we look forward to working with Democracy for America members throughout the Granite State to help elect Joyce as the next Mayor of Manchester.” -- Jim Dean, Chair, Democracy for America

DFA is a people-powered Political Action Committee with 1 million members nationwide, including 14,618 in New Hampshire.

Since its 2004 founding, DFA members have raised and contributed more than $32.7 million and made more than 10.1 million volunteer calls to help successfully elect 831 progressive candidates nationwide.

Full email to DFA members:

From: Jim Dean, Democracy for America 

Subject: NEW HAMPSHIRE: It's time for change in Manchester

DFA Member --

Manchester needs change -- and it starts by getting rid of its Republican mayor, Ted Gatsas.

Gatsas has made it very clear to voters that he prefers to pick fights with teachers, public workers, and other community members rather than tackle Manchester's problems. Schools are getting worse and crime is increasing. It's time for a new start.

DFA is endorsing Democrat Joyce Craig for mayor of Manchester because she has the experience and the insight it will take to deliver lasting solutions that will make life better for Manchester residents. Whether it's her commitment to a state-of-the-art education system, fighting crime and drug addiction, or improving the city’s infrastructure for the twenty-first century, Joyce Craig has the experience and a proven record of fighting for Manchester's middle class families.

Joyce Craig is running a people-powered campaign that will break the Republicans' hold on the Manchester mayor's office. Will you help her win next Tuesday? Chip in $3 or more today to elect Joyce Craig.

Ted Gatsas has had six years to try and make Manchester better. Instead, crime is higher than when Gatsas took office. Last month there were 103 heroin overdoses in the city, and Gatsas had no solution to the problem.

Joyce Craig has answers. She advocates for Medicare expansion and drug treatment programs that will save lives while also helping reduce crime. Gatsas vetoed legislation accepting federal grants to hire more police officers, while Craig helped override those vetoes.

Joyce's children attend Manchester public schools, and she has served as a school board member as well as an Alderman. She knows what it takes to get better schools for all of Manchester's kids -- smaller class sizes, more resources, and a partnership with teachers. In other words, the exact opposite of what Ted Gatsas has delivered so far.

Election Day is next week -- she needs our help right now. Chip in $3 or more to elect Joyce Craig as Manchester's next mayor.

Thank you for supporting this great candidate.

- Jim

Jim Dean, Chair

Democracy for America

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Categories: Press Releases


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