This New Year, let’s be proud of what we did together in 2015!
1. Big Ideas Project:
Democrats lost the 2014 election because they lacked big ideas that inspire voters. So the Progressive Change Institute launched the Big Ideas Project, calling for a bold new agenda. PCCC members submitted their own ideas and voted on others, casting over one million votes.
Polling showed that big progressive ideas are popular with Democrats, Independents, and Republicans alike. These results were shared with dozens of members of Congress and presidential campaigns — leading to many high-profile endorsements of the big ideas submitted by PCCC members.
Historic first: TV ad for debt-free college
We organized events on campuses.
2. Debt-Free College Campaign:
One of the most popular ideas from the Big Ideas Project was debt-free college — the idea that students should be able to graduate from any public college or university without debt.
Thanks to your phone calls, letters to the editor, and nearly half-a-million petition signatures, as well as a strong lobbying effort and coalition of allies like Demos and Democracy for America, we now have over 100 congressional co-sponsors on a resolution calling for debt-free college! Plus all 3 Democratic presidential candidates have called for debt-free college, legislators in 10 states are planning their own local efforts, and TV ads are hitting the airwaves. By next year, there will be a major mandate in this country for debt-free college… because of you.
As Bloomberg News reports, “The phrase ‘debt-free college’ was hardly present in the national political lexicon until the Progressive Change Campaign Committee launched a campaign in January to push Democrats to support the idea.”
3. Impact on the Presidential Debates:
We’ve been pushing these “big ideas” into the political mainstream, and the presidential debates are one great example of our success.
In all three Democratic debates, the candidates brought up issues like debt-free college, expanding Social Security, and Wall Street accountability! Meanwhile, our “Twitter army” helped spread bold progressive messages, sending thousands of tweets to 125 key reporters before and during the first debate — helping to shape the narrative for the presidential race.
Sneak preview: In 2016, get ready for Open Debates — where moderators ask questions directly submitted and voted on by the public.