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PDA State Coordinators Paul Stokes, Laura Stokes, and Lisa Franzen spent 3 1/2 days in Washington D.C. at a leadership conference with our PDA friends from all over the country. We are all energized by the strong emergence of progressive ideas in the current political dialogue and feel that PDA has been responsible for much of the recent progressive momentum. This has all been done on a budget which someone at our meeting referred to as a joke. It just shows what true commitment and belief in a cause can bring about. The organization has remained true to its progressive principles when other groups which called themselves progressive wavered on issues like universal health care.
In D.C. we had lively meetings, walked the halls of Congress with our monthly letters to Congress, attended a PDA fundraiser in the Democratic National Committee building with Rep. John Conyers, Rep. Keith Ellison, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Rep. Jim McGovern, Rep. Hank Johnson, and an exciting House candidate from Virginia, Jamie Raskin, each of whom received appreciation awards from PDA. These individuals all expressed glowing praise for the work that PDA has been doing.
|Paul and Laura Stokes and Lisa Franzen visit Rep. Ben Ray Lujan’s office|
One of our members had an interesting experience in his lobbying attempts. All the offices in the House of Representatives have a welcome sign and are open to all, except the office of John Boehner. Our Arizona delegation found the door locked and when they knocked, a powerful bouncer came to the door and refused to let them in. They wanted to ask Rep. Boehner to bring the Post Office bills to the floor because there are enough votes to pass the bills to save the PO. One can only speculate as to why the Speaker needs to have a locked door with a bodyguard prohibiting admittance.
We attended and spoke at the PDA Round Table in the Cannon House office building and ended the meeting with a rousing communal time at Busboys and Poets Restaurant. PDA is going through some major transitions with the adoption of our 501(c)(4) People Demanding Action and the resignation of our beloved Executive Director Conor Boylan. Conor has given so much to PDA since Tim Carpenter left us. He has devoted most of his waking hours to the organization, with little compensation due to the financial constraints of our scrappy little organization. Conor feels it’s time to move on to other things.
So now you might not be surprised to hear me say that given the progress PDA has made in influencing the national dialogue on a shoestring budget, imagine what we could do if we had more resources to pay more staff and do more advocacy work. We are asking you to please consider becoming a monthly sustainer of PDA with whatever you can afford. $5.00 a month would be great; $10.00 would be really helpful. And PDA gives a percentage of money coming from each chapter back to that individual chapter.
PDA is at a critical stage where our future existence might be at stake. There are other organizations like MoveOn which have larger budgets, but they don’t have troops on the ground doing the necessary work that brings about real change. Please do your part by going to the PDA website and becoming a sustaining member.
State PDA Coordinator