Roe vs. Wade @ 43: Why progressives fight for Roe (and why we’re blessed with an entire Democratic field who will too)

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.

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Categories: Elections Endorsement Press Releases

Democracy for America backs Barragán in California's 44th Congressional District

BURLINGTON, VT – This morning, Democracy for America (DFA) endorsed Nanette Barragán for Congress in California’s 44th District.  

DFA’s endorsement of Barragán brings with it a one-million member-strong grassroots army that has knocked hundreds of thousands of doors, made over 11 million phone calls, and raised and contributed more than $32.7 million to help elect 843 progressive candidates nationwide since 2004.

Statement from Democracy for America's Chair Jim Dean on today's endorsement of Barragán:

"Nanette Barragán hasn't simply spoken out against income inequality and for racial justice, she's lead the charge against the wealthy and powerful interests that block the progressive change our country needs. 

"We need more leaders in Congress with the courage, integrity, and commitment to progressive values that Nanette has demonstrated throughout her career, and that's why we could not be more excited to stand with the grassroots campaign she's building in Los Angeles." -- Jim Dean, Chair, Democracy for America

Statement from Nanette Barragán on receiving DFA's backing:

“I am not running to represent special interests or big corporations. I am running because I believe the people of San Pedro, Compton, Carson, and every other city in the 44th District deserve someone who will make their voices heard in Congress.

"Democracy for America’s endorsement means so much to me because it is an organization founded on the principle that politicians should be beholden to the communities they represent. I am proud to have their support, and I look forward to championing our shared values throughout this campaign and in Congress.” -- Nanette Barragán, Candidate, CA-44

Barragán, the daughter of immigrants from Mexico, grew up in Carson and the surrounding areas where she attended Stephen M. White Middle School, learned to swim at Carson Pool, and studied at the Carson Library. She worked her way through UCLA and law school at USC before becoming a long-time advocate for the environment and the first elected Latina member of the Hermosa Beach City Council. She was also a leader in the fight against Measure O, a ballot measure that would have allowed oil companies to drill for oil in the Santa Monica Bay.

Democracy for America (DFA) is a member-driven, people-powered progressive PAC with more than 230,000 members in California and one million members nationwide committed to taking on income inequality, money in politics, and structural racism.

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Categories: Elections Candidate Press Releases

BREAKING: Democracy for America and MoveOn.org to Suspend Run Warren Run Campaign

Neil Sroka : 847-219-8491 : [email protected]
Brian Stewart : 319-936-3901 : [email protected]

Democracy for America and MoveOn.org to Suspend Run Warren Run Campaign, Deliver 365,000 Signatures to Sen. Warren

Groups point to the presidential race’s focus on income inequality and populist progressives’ increasing power as key accomplishments.

Six months after launching a major campaign to encourage Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) to run for president, the groups behind the Run Warren Run effort announced today that they will suspend their participation in the draft effort on Monday, June 8 after delivering a petition with 365,000 signatures asking Sen. Warren to run.

Democracy for America and MoveOn.org Political Action launched the Run Warren Run campaign in December 2014 with a commitment to invest at least $1.25 million after supermajorities of both groups’ members voted in support. Over the following six months, hundreds of thousands of Americans, the Boston Globe, the New York Working Families Party, prominent cultural figures, and elected officials and grassroots leaders in Iowa and New Hampshire joined the call for Sen. Warren to run. So too did dozens of nationally prominent progressive leaders including Van Jones, Larry Cohen, Zephyr Teachout, Annie Leonard, and Lawrence Lessig, who headlined a Run Warren Run event in New York in April.

On June 8, Run Warren Run supporters will deliver to Sen. Warren’s Washington, D.C., office a petition with more than 365,000 signatures asking Sen. Warren to enter the presidential race. The groups will then rest their case and suspend their draft effort, pivoting their focus to working alongside Sen. Warren and other progressive populists on issue fights like defeating Fast Track negotiating authority for the job-killing Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.

Since its launch, the Run Warren Run campaign has:

  • Signed up more than 365,000 Americans who believe Sen. Warren’s vision and track record would make her a great candidate;

  • Opened field offices in Iowa (Des Moines, Cedar Rapids) and New Hampshire (Manchester), hired field organizers in both states, and built a network of local, grassroots leaders in these key early states committed to encouraging Sen. Warren to run;

  • Recruited more than 60 state legislators and local party leaders from Iowa and New Hampshire to join the Run Warren Run effort;

  • Held more than 400 events, including rallies, house parties, teach-ins, honk-and-waves, and other events in nearly every state;

  • Been endorsed by dozens of prominent organizational leaders, elected officials, celebrities, and other progressives;

  • Generated coverage in thousands of news stories elevating Sen. Warren’s voice and demonstrating a groundswell of grassroots support for her leadership—setting the stage for the presidential race and changing the dynamics of important debates in Washington.

“Even without her in the race, Elizabeth Warren and the Run Warren Run campaign she inspired have already transformed the 2016 presidential election by focusing every single Democratic candidate on combatting our country’s income inequality crisis,” said Charles Chamberlain, executive director of Democracy for America. “We still think there’s plenty of time for Sen. Warren to change her mind, but now that we’ve shown that she has the support she would need to mount a winning a campaign, we’re excited to take the grassroots juggernaut we’ve built with our members and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Warren in the battles ahead.”

“The Run Warren Run campaign has changed the conversation by showing that Americans are hungry for Elizabeth Warren’s agenda—an agenda that rejects the rigged status quo in Washington and puts working and middle-class Americans over corporate interests,” said Ilya Sheyman, executive director of MoveOn.org Political Action. “We’ve assembled a grassroots army and demonstrated the substantial support Sen. Warren could expect if she were to enter the race. Now it’s time to suspend our active draft efforts and pivot to standing alongside Sen. Warren on the big fights ahead, starting with stopping Fast Track for the Trans-Pacific Partnership.”

For interviews with a Democracy for America representative, please contact Neil Sroka at (847) 219-8491 or by email at [email protected].

For interviews with a MoveOn.org representative, please contact Brian Stewart at (319) 448-0862 or by email at [email protected].

# # # # #

Democracy for America is the people-powered PAC founded by Gov. Howard Dean 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.

MoveOn.org Political Action is a community of more than 8 million Americans from all walks of life who are using innovative technology to lift up their voices in our democracy and build progressive power in campaigns for progressive change and in elections.

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Categories: Press Releases Elections Candidate

BREAKING: Democracy for America endorses Senator Russ Feingold for U.S. Senate

May 14, 2015

Democracy for America endorses Senator Russ Feingold for U.S. Senate

BURLINGTON, Vt. -- This morning, Democracy for America announced its endorsement of Senator Russ Feingold following the progressive champion’s decision to mount a 2016 bid to return to his U.S. Senate seat in Wisconsin.

Full endorsement email that was sent to DFA members, below.

If helpful, here’s an additional quote from DFA Chair Jim Dean on the national progressive organization’s endorsement of Feingold:

“From his valiant battle for campaign finance reform to his bold stand against the PATRIOT act, Senator Russ Feingold is precisely the kind of fighter and truth-teller our country needs in the U.S. Senate.

“Over the next nineteen months, Democracy for America members in the Badger State and across the country will knock on every door, make every phone call, and raise every cent we can to return Russ to the U.S. Senate where he can continue his courageous fight for Wisconsin working families.”  -- Jim Dean, Chair, Democracy for America

Founded in 2004, DFA is a people-powered PAC with 1 million members and nearly 28,000 members in Wisconsin.   

Over the last 11 years, DFA 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.


I have big news for you: Russ Feingold is back! He's running for Senate in Wisconsin and ready to take on the wealthy and the powerful. Below is his campaign announcement message, showing how he plans to win the support of the people of Wisconsin in this critical race.

When he was in the U.S. Senate, Russ was one of our country's most inspiring progressive champions. Who can forget the prescient and courageous vote he cast against the Patriot Act in 2001 -- the only Senator to stand against it in a 98-1 landslide. As he joked years later, "I took a very unusual step. I read the bill."

From fighting to get corporate money out of politics (remember "McCain/Feingold"?) to his gutsy vote against the Iraq War, Russ did the right thing even when it wasn't what pollsters told him to do.

Unfortunately, Russ lost a very close election to a Tea Party candidate in that terrible election of 2010. He's back for a rematch, and in a presidential year, I'm confident he can win. But he can't do it without the help of DFA members like you.

Will you send Russ Feingold back to the Senate? Click here to watch his announcement video and chip in $3 or more to help him win.

Thank you for standing with DFA in support of Russ Feingold.

- Jim

Jim Dean, Chair
Democracy for America


Across Wisconsin, people tell me all the time: Our politics in Washington are broken, and multi-millionaires, billionaires, and big corporations are calling all the shots.

Wisconsinites are tired of it, but no one says they want to throw in the towel. And I don't either.

But if we want to change our politics, we all have to fight together. So let me cut to the chase:

I'm running for United States Senate in Wisconsin, and I wanted you to be one of the first to know. 

Click here to watch my announcement video -- and tell me you're in this, too.

You've probably heard that I know Wisconsin like the back of my hand.

That's because I've spent my career in public service listening to and fighting for the people of Wisconsin. I've visited all of Wisconsin's 72 counties more times than I can count, and I'll be traveling to every corner of the state during this campaign to hear the concerns and ideas of all Wisconsinites.

Here are a few things I've already heard:

  • You want elected officials that work with you and listen to everyone's concerns and ideas -- not just those of a select few. 
  • You want a public servant who shares the optimism of Wisconsin and will work to expand opportunities for every family -- not lecture them about everything our country can't do. 
  • You want to be represented by a fighter who will speak truth to power and always do what he or she thinks is right, regardless of what Washington, D.C.'s powerful special interests and lobbyists say.

As I hit the road from my home in Middleton in the weeks ahead, I look forward to hearing much more from my fellow Wisconsinites.

But to build this campaign, I'll need your help, right from the beginning.

Click here to watch my announcement video -- and tell me you're in this, too.

I love Wisconsin. I love the spirit of the people here and the beautiful state we all cherish.

Thank you for coming on this journey with me. I know that, together, we can make great things possible again.


Russ Feingold

P.S. We're going to need to build a strong grassroots campaign to win next November, powered by support from all across Wisconsin and the country. So I hope you'll forward this email to your friends and

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Categories: Elections Candidate Press Releases

DFA to Senate Democrats: Reject the new deal on Fast Track for the TPP.

Statement from Jim Dean, Chair of Democracy for America, calling on Senate Democrats to reject the new deal on Fast Track for the TPP:

"In poll after poll and call after call, the American people have been extremely clear in their opposition to Fast Track and the job-killing, NAFTA-style Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. 

"Democrats in the U.S. Senate now must choose whether they stand with their constituents who oppose Fast Track or the army of corporate lobbyists and lawyers who see it as the first step towards a shadowy trade deal that will make it easier to sell tainted food in our supermarkets, sue governments in secret courts for passing laws they don't like, and pay foreign workers as little as 56 cents an hour.

"With the views of the American people so clear, there is simply no excuse for any Democrat who votes for Fast Track. Like a vote for the Iraq War or statements of support for the Social Security-cutting Bowles-Simpson plan, a vote for Fast Track and the TPP will never be forgotten and will haunt members of Congress for years to come.”-- Jim Dean, Chair, Democracy for America

Information about Democracy for America and the fight against Fast Track and the TPP:

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Categories: Labor and Unions Economy and Jobs Elections Press Releases

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