DFA in the News

DFA in the News

Joe Biden Won The Primary. Now He's Trying To Win Over Progressive Groups

NPR

Of all issues, health care is likely the most difficult for Biden to move on, but Yvette Simpson, CEO of Democracy for America, feels it would be the most meaningful. Her organization also backed Sanders in the primary.

Simpson worries that if Biden can't show any additional policy changes on health care, it'll be challenging to motivate progressive voters to support him.

Two other important issues, she said, are climate change and income inequality. And on those, she thinks there could be some room for change. 

"Despite the fact that I'm very, very hard on Biden, I think we have seen him shift over the decade, so I'm cautiously optimistic about his potential to shift," Simpson said. "We know him to be someone who is willing to listen, we've seen this shift on the [1990s] crime bill and his acknowledgement of his failures there."

DFA issued a statement Wednesday saying that is a "100% committed to doing everything" it can to ensure Biden defeats Trump. 

That means it'll be using its organizing muscle — money and people — to turn out voters for Biden in November. "That'll be easier to do if he has some actual issues we can get people excited about," Simpson added with a laugh.

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How the Bernie Sanders movement reshaped the Democratic Party forever

Newsweek

Several organizations and media outlets have been founded or boosted by veterans of Sanders' 2016 effort. Besides Jacobin and the Sunrise Movement, there's also the activist group Indivisible as well as progressive political action committees Our Revolution, Democracy for America and Justice Democrats.

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Sanders exit leaves deep disappointment on left

The Hill

For many on the left, the work now turns to ensuring Biden engages with Sanders’s supporters and does not compromise when it comes to enacting a liberal agenda.

“Biden has his work cut out for him in terms of winning support from progressives,” said Neil Sroka, a progressive strategist for the liberal group Democracy for America. “I do think progressives will ultimately turn out to make sure Trump is defeated in November, but it will require work to ensure that the millions of young people getting involved this year for the first time don’t drop out of the process.”

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Lose the battle, win the war? Sanders' progressive allies stay optimistic after 2020 exit

The Miami Herald

But nonetheless, they say they’re encouraged. Even if Sanders’s ideas didn’t win, liberals argue, his unapologetically leftist vision for the country was adopted more swiftly and uniformly than any of them expected — including from Biden himself.

“Joe Biden’s going to be one of the most progressive nominees for president in history, and that’s because the entire Democratic Party has been moved forward on these issues,” said Charles Chamberlain, the executive director of Democracy for America, a grassroots liberal advocacy group.

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Bernie Sanders, acknowledging 'narrow path' to nomination, continues to push agenda amid pandemic

ABC News

Charles Chamberlain, chairman of progressive political action committee Democracy for America told ABC News that the response of the Democratic party establishment to Joe Biden's win in South Carolina, the subsequent coalescence of the field behind Biden, and the media coverage that came with it stalled Sanders' momentum toward the nomination, but argued it is capable of shifting again.

"I think you can say that the Sanders campaign was maybe a little flat footed by the Democratic elite response to the victory in South Carolina, but I would definitely say that, you know, he's run a very strong campaign," said Chamberlain, "But like we've seen a couple times in the campaign already, momentum can shift overnight sometimes and that's what happened with South Carolina, and that's what I think when we're looking at the race we have right now."

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Trump's Mass Negligent Homicide Doesn't Let Democratic Leaders Off the Hook

Common Dreams

Looking ahead, the postponements of primaries in some states may give enough time to implement widespread voting by mail. As Charles Chamberlain, the chair of Democracy for America, wrote over the weekend, “The public health risks from gathering in large numbers are real and volunteer poll workers, who are typically in the highest risk age group for getting the virus, should not be expected to spend hours on end helping neighbors vote. We must move immediately to establish automatic vote-by-mail procedures nationwide so elections can go forward safely with minimal risk to the general public.”

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What Do Progressives Do Now?

The Atlantic

New emergency-aid legislation dramatically expands paid sick and family leave for millions of workers and suspends work requirements for food assistance, two agenda items progressives have long supported. And the $2 trillion stimulus package that the president just signed into lawwould provide a $1,200 direct payment to most American adults—similar to the Freedom Dividend championed by former presidential candidate Andrew Yang—and another $250 billion in unemployment-insurance benefits. “There’s going to be an amazing shift where we recognize the impact government can have on our lives for the better,” says Charles Chamberlain, the executive director at Democracy for America, a progressive political-action committee.

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Democrats sound the alarm on Joe Biden's young voter problem

NBC News

“I'm deeply concerned about the impact that a lack of enthusiasm from young voters could have in a general election,” said Neil Sroka, a spokesman for Democracy for America, a progressive advocacy group that backs Sanders. “The consistent concern has been that nominating Vice President Biden would be essentially a repeat of the 2016 election.”

Failing to excite young voters in the primary has been a “significant red flag” for Democrats in recent decades, Sroka said: Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, who were backed by young people, went on to win the election, while Hillary Clinton, John Kerry and Al Gore lacked that enthusiasm and ended up losing.

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‘Extraordinary change’: How coronavirus is rewiring the Republican and Democratic parties

Politico

Progressive Democrats, anticipating a recession and high rates of unemployment, are preparing to use the coronavirus pandemic to draw their party to the left on economic policy, attempting to broaden support for a Green New Deal as a way to spur employment while decarbonizing the economy. And they are watching party leaders closely in negotiations for the rescue package — and demanding constraints on corporations that receive federal aid, as well as guarantees for the working class.

Charles Chamberlain, chairman of the liberal political action committee Democracy for America, said “We’re in a moment right now where obviously one of the long-term impacts of the coronavirus is likely to be a complete restructure of our economy.

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Liberal group backs challenger to Hoyer

The Hill

The progressive group Democracy for America is endorsing Mckayla Wilkes (D) in Maryland’s 5th District race as she seeks to oust House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D), who is serving his 20th term in Congress.

“Born to a single mother still grieving her father’s unexpected death and raised with the help of welfare benefits and a close extended family, the struggles low-income families in Maryland’s 5th District face aren’t an abstraction for McKayla Wilkes, they’re part of her life story,” said Yvette Simpson, the CEO of Democracy for America. “That’s why Democracy for America is so excited to endorse her race for Congress.”

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Dan Lipinski defeated in Illinois House primary

The Hill

“Marie Newman’s primary win tonight is a tremendous victory for progressives and everyone who believes the Democratic party should be unequivocal in its support for abortion rights, LGBTQ equality, and the fight for economic justice," added Yvette Simpson, the CEO of Democracy For America.

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Longtime anti-abortion rights Democratic Rep. Lipinski defeated in Chicago-area primary

NBC News

"Marie Newman's primary win tonight is a tremendous victory for progressives and everyone who believes the Democratic Party should be unequivocal in its support for abortion rights, LGBTQ equality and the fight for economic justice," Yvette Simpson, CEO of the liberal group Democracy for America, said. "We can't wait to fight alongside her for "Medicare for All," a Green New Deal, and robust criminal justice reform through November and beyond

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Don’t Expect Bernie To Drop Out Just Yet

Vanity Fair

But some in Sanders’ camp have urged him to stay in the race because they still see a potential avenue to victory.

“I don’t think anyone can predict for sure what’s going to happen between now and the end of this primary contest,” Charles Chamberlain, chairman of the Democracy for America political action committee, told Politico, suggesting Sanders could nab the nomination at a brokered convention should neither candidate reach the delegate threshold outright. “There’s plenty of time, plenty of delegates left, and this game can change at any minute.”

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With two U.S. Senate seats in play, all bets are on in Georgia for political groups

The Miami Herald

With that in mind, national political groups on the left and the right have made early endorsements, started or committed to spending, and began campaigning on behalf of candidates competing for the two Senate seats in Georgia.

“Everybody says we’re early. I feel like we’re a little late,” Democracy for America CEO Yvette Simpson said of the group’s February endorsements in the two Senate races.

DFA is one of several left-aligned activist groups that told McClatchy it was looking at directing resources to help Senate candidates in Georgia. A spokesman said DFA had not endorsed any candidate in a Georgia Senate election prior to this one. Spokespeople for Daily Kos and Priorities USA said Georgia is on their watch lists. If a woman who is pro-abortion rights and a Democrat and can make it through their endorsement process, EMILY’s List also indicated interest.

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'All You Need to Know': Biden Reportedly Weighing Billionaires Michael Bloomberg and Jamie Dimon for Cabinet Posts

Common Dreams

Progressive advocacy group Democracy for America, which endorsed Sanders for president last week, echoed Mound.

"The fact that Joe Biden's advisers, when musing about cabinet picks, are debating between Elizabeth Warren, Jamie Dimon, and a Bank of America exec for treasury secretary pretty much tells you all you need to know about Joe's non-existent commitment to a progressive agenda," the group said.

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Why Progressives Chose Bernie Sanders Over Elizabeth Warren

NPR

"Our members really wanted to see her run in that race," explained Charles Chamberlain, chair of Democracy for America, one of the organizations that had helped spearhead the "Run, Warren, Run" movement in 2015. "We believed that she would have been a better candidate than Hillary Clinton."

Last week, Democracy for America endorsed Sanders over Warren.

Chamberlain said the major change in the interim years was Sanders' presidential bid in 2016.

"Bernie Sanders ran — in 2016 — an incredible campaign that won 23 contests, changed the narrative in this country about what is possible for progressives, and even moved the entire Democratic Party to the left," he said.

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Elizabeth Warren tries to ride momentum of last week’s debate as the next one approaches

The Boston Globe

“At the end of the day, the numbers you get in these contests are the numbers you get in these contests,” said Neil Sroka, a spokesperson for the progressive group Democracy for America. “We’re rapidly approaching the date when close to a third of Democratic delegates will be selected by.”

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Elizabeth Warren Teaches Democrats How to Talk About Public Education

The Nation

on exchange following the conclusion of an erratic and often unfocused debate that Democracy for America chair Charles Chamberlain characterized as “a moderator-driven train-wreck.” Chamberlain predicted that the debate “won’t do much to change the current trajectory” of a contest where Sanders is emerging as a front-runner, Bloomberg is spending even more freely, and former vice president Joe Biden may get a boost if he wins South Carolina.

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Senate Democrats avoid calling Sanders front-runner

The Hill

Charles Chamberlain, the chairman of Democracy for America, a grassroots-driven group dedicated to fighting for “inclusive populism” and “progressive political action,” said anyone who fails to recognize Sanders’s front-runner status isn’t seeing the race clearly.

“Any Senate Democrat, any person in D.C., any person across this country who doesn’t think Bernie Sanders is a front-runner is delusional,” he said. 

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Democracy for America endorses Bernie Sanders

Politico

On Monday, the progressive political action committee Democracy for America — a group that wanted Elizabeth Warren to run for president even before she did — announced that it is endorsing Bernie Sanders.

“Bernie Sanders has built a powerful multi-racial, multi-generational movement and we’re excited to join the campaign at this critical moment in the Democratic race,” Charles Chamberlain, the group’s chairman, said in a prepared statement. “From Super Tuesday to the Democratic Convention in Milwaukee, we’ll be working every day to make sure Bernie wins the most votes, the most delegates, and the most states.”

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Democracy for America Endorses Sanders in 'Wake-Up Call to Broken, Visionless, Corporate Democratic Establishment'

Common Dreams

Progressive advocacy group Democracy for America endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders for president on Monday after the Vermont senator received nearly 80% support in a membership vote.

DFA said in a statement that more than 38,000 of its members participated in the vote, which took place over a period of 11 days beginning Feb. 20.

Sanders won the support of 79.3% of participants, followed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) at 13.2%, former Vice President Joe Biden at 2.5%, Pete Buttigieg at 1.7%, and billionaire businessman Michael Bloomberg at 1.2%.

Charles Chamberlain, chair of DFA, said the "overwhelming support" for Sanders among the organization's members "should be a wake-up call to the broken, visionless, corporate Democratic establishment."

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Democracy For America Members Overwhelmingly Voted To Endorse Bernie Sanders

BuzzFeed News

Democracy for America, one of the final major progressive organizations to offer an endorsement to a presidential candidate, has voted to endorse Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign.

“With today’s endorsement, DFA members are joining Bernie’s ‘political revolution’ and working to take it both to the White House and up-and-down the ballot, in races coast to coast,” DFA’s executive director Charles Chamberlain said in a statement.

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Progressive Group That Urged Warren To Run In 2016 Endorses Sanders In 2020

HuffPost

Democracy for America, the progressive political action committee behind the “Run Warren Run” campaign to get Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) to jump into the 2016 presidential race, announced Monday that it’s endorsing Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for the party’s 2020 nomination.

Founded in 2004 by former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, DFA eventually backed Sanders’s presidential bid in 2016 after Warren declined to run. Though Warren is running in this election cycle, DFA announced in a statement Monday that its members had overwhelmingly voted to support Sanders again.

“Bernie Sanders has built a powerful multi-racial, multi-generational movement and we’re excited to join the campaign at this critical moment in the Democratic race,” DFA Chair Charles Chamberlain said in a statement.

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Top liberal group endorses Sanders for president

The Hill

The progressive group Democracy for America (DFA) endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders for president on Monday, giving the Vermont senator a key ally in the fight for the Democratic presidential nomination.

DFA had been on the sidelines, saying it was supportive of both Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), the two candidates in the Democratic primary most closely associated with the progressive left.

But DFA surveyed its members during an 11-day voting period in February and found that nearly 80 percent of its members support Sanders, easily surpassing the 67 percent threshold the group uses to determine whether it will endorse. Warren received 13 percent of the vote.

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Elizabeth Warren tries to ride momentum of last week’s debate as the next one approaches

The Boston Globe

“At the end of the day, the numbers you get in these contests are the numbers you get in these contests,” said Neil Sroka, a spokesperson for the progressive group Democracy for America. “We’re rapidly approaching the date when close to a third of Democratic delegates will be selected by.”

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Bloomberg tried to consolidate the anti-Sanders vote but ended up fracturing it

NBC News

Warren, meanwhile, who had studiously avoided drawing contrasts with other Democratic candidates, finally found a target she was willing to hit in the real-life billionaire standing onstage next to her.

"Warren ripped Mike Bloomberg's face off on national television," said Charles Chamberlain, chair of Democracy for America, a progressive group that has not yet endorsed anyone.

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Will Warren's Dominant Debate Performance Boost Her Chances in Nevada and Beyond?

The New York Times

Charles Chamberlain, chair for progressive group Democracy for America, said the collective victory for progressives against Bloomberg in the debate was larger than any individual candidate. “Tonight, Elizabeth Warren ripped Mike Bloomberg’s face off on national television, exposing his ugly record on women and racial justice,” Chamberlain said in a statement. “Together, these progressives came in tonight to fight against the billionaires and the candidates billionaires are backing — and won.”

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Progressive group backs Senate candidates in Georgia, Iowa

The Hill

A top progressive group endorsed three Democrats running to unseat GOP senators in Iowa and Georgia. 

Democracy for America (DFA) Wednesday announced its support for businesswoman Theresa Greenfield in her bid to challenge Sen. Joni Ernst(R) in Iowa. Greenfield is facing off against four other Democrats in the party's primary.

DFA also made two endorsements in Georgia, which will host two Senate races this year.

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Elizabeth Warren Vows To Stay In The Race Despite Weak New Hampshire Result

HuffPost

Even some of the left-wing groups that have stayed neutral in a contest that includes both Warren and Sanders, began sounding more favorable to Sanders on Tuesday night. Democracy for America dubbed Sanders the race’s “clear frontrunner.” Justice Democrats called Sanders’s win a “major victory for the progressive movement,” predicting that he is “likely” to be the Democratic nominee. Neither unaligned group mentioned Warren.

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Trump to send Betsy DeVos, Rick Perry and scores of others to Iowa on caucus day

The Guardian

Neil Sroka, a spokesman for the progressive political action committee Democracy for America, said: “When you have an absolutely amoral, unrepentantly bigoted president, you’re going to need to turn out the religious sell-outs to try to hold together the Republican coalition.”

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