DFA in the News

DFA in the News

How Activists Ousted St. Louis County’s Notorious Top Prosecutor Bob McCulloch

Huffington Post

A determined group of young and black grassroots activists threw their weight behind Bell’s candidacy. Action St. Louis, Organization for Black Struggle, Missouri Faith Voices and Indivisible St. Louis worked to mobilize the black community, and others across the county, to come out and vote for Bell. They were joined by a coalition of well-resourced national organizations committed to reforming the criminal justice system ― the American Civil Liberties Union, Democracy for America, MoveOn and influential political action committees, including Real Justice and Color of Change, both of which endorsed Bell.

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Democracy for America Endorses Jahana Hayes Connecticut's 5th Congressional District

Targeted News Service

Today, Democracy for America (DFA) endorsed Jahana Hayes in her fight to represent Connecticut's 5th Congressional District. Democracy for America has 16,594 members in Connecticut including 3,640 members in Connecticut's 5th Congressional District alone.

DFA Chair Jim Dean on the grassroots progressive organization's decision to back Jahana Hayes in her race for Congress in the CT-5: "An award-winning teacher with deep ties to her community, Jahana Hayes is not only poised to make history as the first Black Democrat to represent Connecticut in Congress, she's ready to be an unrelenting champion for economic and social justice in Washington."

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District Attorney Candidate Patalano Announces Safe Street Plan

Framingham Source

A former defense attorney and past chair of the Board of Bar Overseers, Patalano left her most recent position as a prosecutor and the Chief of Professional Integrity & Ethics in the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office in November. She has been endorsed by former Attorney General and Middlesex District Attorney Scott Harshbarger, Democracy for America, the Progressive Democrats of Lowell, Progressive Massachusetts, Our Revolution Massachusetts, UWUA Local 369, Adam Foss, Wakefield Councilors Mehreen Butt and Julie Smith-Galvin, Cambridge City Councilor Sumbul Siddiqui, Watertown Councilor-At-Large Caroline Bays, Somerville Aldermen-At-Large Stephanie Hirsch and Wil Mbah, Somerville Aldermen Matt McLaughlin, J.T. Scott, Ben Ewen-Campen, Jesse Clingan, and Mark Niedergang, Somerville School Committee member Andre Green, and Waltham City Council Vice Chair Robert Logan.

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Progressive Massachusetts Endorses Pressley for Congress

Charlestown Patriot-Bridge

“I am proud to have earned the endorsement of Progressive Massachusetts,” said Pressley. “Since their founding, Progressive Massachusetts and their member chapters have been on the front lines, fighting for progressive values across our Commonwealth. They have been dedicated to reducing inequality across Massachusetts, and I look forward to continuing to partner with them to combat the persistent disparities across the 7th District.”

Progressive Massachusetts joins a number of other grassroots progressive organizations in supporting Ayanna’s campaign, including Democracy for America, Indivisible, and Justice Democrats, which have all previously announced their support for the campaign.

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Prosecutor in Michael Brown Case Loses

Afro-American Newspapers

Bell’s victory may have come as a shock to some, but he defeated the incumbent by more than 13 points. His victory in the primary all but guarantees him the position, as there was no Republican candidate in the race.

He had gained a large amount of support from progressive Democrats, including influential endorsements from multiple political action committees concerned with social justice such as Real Justice, activist Shaun King’s organization, Democracy for America and Color of Change.

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Wesley Bell's Win Surprised Everyone — Except His Campaign

Riverfront Times

Local activist groups took up Bell's mission, too, among them the Organization for Black Struggle, Action STL, Ferguson 1000, Mobilize Missouri and Indivisible St. Louis. National groups, including Democracy For America, MoveOn, Color of Change and Real Justice, threw their weight behind Bell as part of their push to reform prosecutor's offices across the county.

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Rashida Tlaib Is Running for Congress on a Mission to Expand Civil Rights Protections

The Nation

The newly-nominated contender will have allies, on Capitol Hill and on the streets. Tlaib was backed in her primary run—against a crowded group of able contenders—by major unions such as the Michigan Education Association and activist groups such as Justice Democrats, Democracy for America, Greater Detroit Democratic Socialists of America and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, among others. Congressional Progressive Caucus leaders such as Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, D-Washington, and Congressman Ro Khanna, D-California, backed her candidacy, as did Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a fellow democratic socialist who is expected to be elected to Congress this fall from a New York City U.S. House district.

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Rashida Tlaib of Michigan Just Set Course to Become the First Muslim Woman in Congress

Yahoo! News

Running on a platform that touted the establishment of a $15 minimum wage; supporting unions; preventing cuts to social security, Medicare, and Medicaid; debt-free college and vocational training; and gender equality pay, Tlaib’s grassroots campaign raised more than $1 million dollars, according to The Detroit News. She was also highly endorsed by documentarian Michael Mooreand newly-elected Democratic primary winner Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

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Six things about Rashida Tlaib, who will likely become first Muslim woman in Congress

USA Today

Tlaib is from the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, whose leaders in Congress include Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Kamala Harris, D-Calif.

Among the progressive groups that endorsed her: Democracy for America, People for Bernie, Our Revolution, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, and the Greater Detroit Democratic Socialists of America.

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Democracy For America's Neil Sroka expects good things in 2018 & it was evident last night

Daily Kos

The 2018 election is around the corner and DFA's Neil Sroka expect the Progressive candidates they've endorsed to do very well. "We've got some amazing candidates running for office," Neil Sroka said. "We are going to be supporting over 250 candidates throughout the country this year. And those are folks running from the tippy top of the ballot for U.S. Senate all the way down to county commissioner and water board member. There is so much to be excited about."

Sroka pointed out that Democrats are likely to do very well in the gubernatorial races given the great Democratic candidates that are running. He specifically called out Stacey Abrams who turned the Democratic playbook on its head. She is running for Governor of Georgia. Instead of appeasing the establishment with moderation, she decided on expanding the base by attracting and ensuring that the real Progressive majority votes.

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Pro-Choice Democrat Wins Kansas Gubernatorial Primary

Rewire.News

Democracy For America (DFA) supported Thompson in the 2017 special election race and continues to back him as he prepares to challenge Estes in November.

“James Thompson’s shockingly strong showing in his 2017 special election was one of the very first signs that a progressive tsunami was possible in 2018,” DFA Chair Jim Dean said in a statement. “Democracy for America members were honored to stand with James Thompson in 2017, we were thrilled to stand with him once again in today’s primary, and we can’t wait to battle alongside him for critical inclusive populist priorities like Medicare for All, a $15 minimum wage, and criminal justice reform through November and beyond.”

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Overcoming 'Decades of Corruption and Systemic Racism,' Reformer Wesley Bell Ousts Prosecutor Who Let Michael Brown's Killer Off the Hook

Common Dreams

In a statement applauding Bell's upset win, Democracy for America chair Jim Dean said his success "shows us that voters are hungry for prosecutors who understand the structural racism that undergirds our criminal justice system and are committed to delivering on reforms that can fundamentally alter it."

"We can't fundamentally reform our criminal justice system if we don't change our criminal prosecutors, and that's exactly what St. Louis County is poised to do," Dean concluded.

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Elizabeth Warren is the left’s early favorite for 2020

Vox

“There’s not any other candidate I think, other than Bernie Sanders, that has the standing within the grassroots base of the party the way Elizabeth Warren does,” said Neil Sroka, the communications director for Democracy for America, a progressive PAC founded by former Democratic National Committee chair Howard Dean. “She has a national profile and, especially among grassroots progressives, has a reputation as a fighter and truth teller that goes on for almost a decade at this point.”

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Democratic rift: Grassroots liberals rally around identity politics in midterm campaigns

Washington Times

The liberal push to remake the Democratic Party into a more progressive and diverse political organization will be tested this week in Michigan, where a coalition of grassroots groups has unified behind Abdul El-Sayed’s underdog quest to become the nation’s first Muslim governor.

Mr. El-Sayed is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Stacey Abrams, who became the first black female nominee for governor in Georgia, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who is well-positioned to become the first Hispanic to represent the 14th Congressional District in New York after stunning the political world with a victory over Rep. Joseph Crowley. “Everyone in the progressive grassroots is lined up behind Abdul,” said Neil Sroka, spokesman for Democracy for America.

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Early polls favor Biden but Senate officials skeptical

The Hill

“He’s basically a Democratic placeholder that has universal name recognition and is kind of stand-in for people. When they think Biden, they think Obama,” said Neil Sroka, communications director for Democracy for America, a nationwide liberal grassroots activist organization.

“The next Democratic nominee and I believe the next president is going to be an inclusive populist champion. Period. Bar none,” he said. “The idea that you’re going to run in 2020 on a neo-centrist agenda is beyond ludicrous, especially in a big dynamic Democratic primary.”

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Can the Ocasio-Cortez Playbook Work in the Heartland? Cori Bush Is Trying

New York Times

She got a shout-out recently on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” On Wednesday, she secured an endorsement from the progressive group Democracy for America. Nina Turner, head of the Bernie Sanders-aligned advocacy group Our Revolution, campaigned with Bush this weekend. Even those who back Bush expect many voters, and older black voters in particular, to support Clay. That has prompted Bush at times to tailor her message to a younger audience. When she filmed a radio ad last week, she had the producer underlay it with Cardi B’s “I Like It,” in part because she and her advisers thought it would help her appeal to young voters.

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Democrats’ 2020 presidential fight gets an early dress rehearsal

Politico

Jim Dean, chairman of Democracy for America, predicted the candidate field could remain unsettled not only until after the November elections, but after state and local elections next year as well.

“This is definitely one of those times when we’re going to know a lot more after inflection points, and not before,” Dean said. “I don’t think we’ve heard the last of this field.”

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Abdul El-Sayed for Governor of Michigan

The Nation

This is a big-ideas campaign with bold ambitions that has attracted support from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and New York congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democracy for America, Our Revolution, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Justice Democrats, 350 Action, and the Michigan Nurses Association. Yet, El-Sayed’s embrace of grassroots democracy is what truly distinguishes his bid. He has traveled to every corner of the state and reached out to every urban and rural community with a message of unity that places its faith in voters to make him America’s first Muslim governor.

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Will Justice Ever Come to Ferguson, Missouri? A Q&A with Wesley Bell

The Nation

A former public defender, Bell has cast himself as a reform candidate, the progressive alternative to a deeply troubled status quo. His platform includes ending cash bail for nonviolent offenses, the death penalty, and mass incarceration and has earned him the support of influential groups like Color of Change, Democracy for America, and Shaun King’s Real Justice PAC. As King explained in an official endorsement statement. “In Ferguson, Wesley Bell emerged as a strong leader in the fight to transform our justice system.… As the St. Louis County Prosecutor, we can count on Wesley to expand this kind of critical reform work county-wide.”

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Democracy For America Progressive Group Backs Cori Bush For MO-1

Missouri Patch

Democracy for America, a progressive political action committee founded by former Democratic National Committee chair and 2004 presidential candidate Howard Dean, has endorsed Cori Bush for Congress in Missouri's first district.

Bush is challenging Rep. William Lacy Clay, an 18-year incumbent in the state's primary elections next Tuesday.

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President Obama Mostly Plays it Safe With His First Midterm Endorsements

TIME Magazine

Neil Sroka, communications director for the progressive group Democracy for America — which endorsed Ocasio-Cortez before she defeated Crowley — said Obama not including Ocasio-Cortez on his first list was a “missed opportunity.” An endorsement, he says, “would have shown former President Obama recognizing the leadership she already has in the party,” he said.

But Sroka also applauded Obama for declining to issue endorsements in contested primaries, a move that could influence the vote. “One of the major mistakes Democrats have made in primary campaigns is making endorsements before [the primary],” he says. “It’s good to see President Obama understand that, especially when it comes to 2018 primaries, it’s very important that grassroots-based voters have their voice heard.”

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With agreement on almost every policy issue, how should Fifth District DFL voters choose a candidate?

MinnPost

With the party’s endorsement, and the endorsements of Gov. Mark Dayton and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, Omar has the imprimatur of the DFL party, as well as access to its considerable communications and organizing resources. She has also been endorsed by several national progressive grassroots organizations, such as Democracy for America and MoveOn.

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Liberal group aligned with Howard Dean endorses Clay's opponent in primary

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

In a move that illustrates the schism in the Democratic Party, a liberal federal political action committee aligned with 2004 Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean has endorsed the challenger to Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-St. Louis, in next week's primary.

 Democracy for America says it supports Cori Bush over Clay because she supports Medicare for All, a $15 minimum wage, and free college - key platform components of Bernie Sanders, who ran for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.

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Can Florida elect a Black governor?

Miami Times

Organizations such as 350 Action, Working Families Party, Indivisible, Democracy for America, Next Up Victory Fund, Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Our Revolution, National Nurses United, NextGen America, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, FLIC Votes and the New Florida Majority will be actively bringing people to the polls.

“This is about turnout,” acknowledges James. “If that electoral looks a lot Browner he wins; if not, his chances are going to be tight. If we turn them out to vote on Aug. 28, we will be on our way to electing the first Black governor of Florida.”

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The St. Louis American endorses Wesley Bell for St. Louis County prosecutor

St. Louis American

Bob McCulloch is the prototypical white prosecutor who dominates these offices. Since he was first elected in 1991 – before his Democratic primary challenger, Wesley Bell, was even old enough to vote – he has been reflexively pro-police and anti-black. For decades he has been one of the most reviled public figures in the black community. His handling of the Darren Wilson case in Ferguson brought McCulloch national notoriety and revulsion, and the nation has not forgotten it, as Bell’s campaign is receiving national support. Democracy For America, the progressive organization founded by Howard Dean, endorsed him, and Color Of Change PAC, the political action committee of the nation’s largest online racial justice group, launched ad buys for Bell.

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A Revolution from Within

Dissent Magazine

That’s a large part of why upstart groups galvanized by or formed directly out of the Sanders campaign—Our Revolution and Justice Democrats—have been attempting to bring what they learned through that effort to Congressional fights and down-ballot races, from how to create robust volunteer networks to how to engage in small-donor grassroots fundraising, building on and often working with slightly older organizations like the Working Families Party, MoveOn.org, Democracy for America, and the Progressive Campaign Change Committee. The two groups aren’t institutionally connected, but share a commitment to a broad set of progressive values and policies like Medicare for All.

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Indivisible backs Nixon over Cuomo for NY governor

The Citizen

"With basic human rights under constant threat — in D.C. and Albany — it is time for a governor who's willing to stand with all New Yorkers, even when that means taking a political risk," said Maria Urbina, national political director of the Indivisible Project. "Cynthia Nixon will be a governor who we can count on to stand up for progressive values from Long Island to the North Country and beyond." 

The endorsement brings more national attention to the Democratic gubernatorial primary. Cuomo, a two-term governor, is viewed as a potential 2020 presidential candidate. Nixon, who is best known for her role on the hit series "Sex and the City," has received support from other national progressive groups, including Democracy for America. 

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It's not all about partisan insults

Idaho Press-Tribune

Five emails supported the candidacy of Stacey Abrams for governor of Georgia. A former minority leader of the Georgia House, Abrams has attracted a lot of attention this summer as the first black woman nominated for governor by a major party. Interest grew higher last week after Georgia Republicans chose Brian Kemp as their nominee. Kemp has promised to use his trusty pickup to personally round up criminal aliens and to make Georgia the most anti-abortion state in the union.

Those supporting Abrams included the Working Families Party, which originated in New York and now has an affiliate in Oregon; Democracy for America (Howard Dean); Our Revolution (Bernie Sanders’ supporters); Move On (founded in 1999 to support Bill Clinton); and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

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Wesley Bell: the First Saint Louis County Prosecutor Candidate to Challenge Missouri’s Most Entrenched Incumbent

Medium

Bell has received endorsements from esteemed organizations including NARAL, Democracy for America, and yes, Real Justice. He’s also namechecked by a host of elected officials reform-minded St. Louisans will recognize like MO Reps Bruce Franks Jr., Stacey Newman and an increasingly long list of local and state elected officials.

I had the chance to speak with Bell last week, where he clarified his positions on some issues about which I am personally passionate: non-violent offenders, drug cases, juvenile sentences, and mental health treatment.

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“Did you hear me beat up on Republicans today?” — A Progressive Democrat Running for Arizona Governor Promises to Revolutionize Education

The Intercept

Garcia, for his part, has name recognition on his side, along with endorsements from the Arizona Education Association, Planned Parenthood Arizona, Democracy for America, Arizona AFL-CIO, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, and the Working Families Party. A recent poll even shows Garcia with a sliver of a lead over the Republican incumbent in a head-to-head matchup. Forty-two percent of likely voters surveyed by Gravis Marketing favored Garcia, while 41 percent favored Ducey.

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