The Daily Change

PCCC on the #DemDebate: Huge Win for the Warren Wing

“The Warren Wing won tonight’s debate, hands down. For the 4th Democratic debate in a row, key Warren wing priorities of debt-free college, Wall Street accountability, and expanding Social Security benefits were discussed. We are seeing a race to the top on economic populism issues — a stark contrast to the extremism, intolerance, and race to the bottom in the Republican primary.”

— Adam Green, co-founder, Progressive Change Campaign Committee

Progressive Executive Actions President Obama Can Announce in 2016

Tuesday night is President Obama’s final State of the Union. We asked allies across the progressive movement what executive actions they would like to see in the president’s final year — in addition to any bigger fights he picks with Congress. From disclosing corporate political spending to increasing wages for federal workers, here are 10 concrete progressive actions President Obama could take on his own with a single signature.

We know these can work because the president’s own former communications director said so:

Like and share your favorite!

Debt-Free College:

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Money in Politics:

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Wall Street reform:

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Fight for $15/hour:

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Income Inequality and Tax Fairness:

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Black Lives Matter:

On Facebook | On Twitter

Family leave and benefits:

On Facebook | On Twitter

Abortion and women’s rights:

On Facebook | On Twitter

Immigrant rights:

On Facebook | On Twitter

Climate Change:

On Facebook | On Twitter

Top 10 Highlights of 2015

This New Year, let’s be proud of what we did together in 2015!

PCCC Top Ten of 2015

Bernie Sanders holds Big Ideas sign.

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.

Hillary Clinton debt-free college TV ad.

Historic first: TV ad for debt-free college

Students across the country took action to demand 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 …

2016 News: Lawmakers in 10 States Introduce Debt-Free College Legislation, As Presidential Candidates Lead On This Issue Nationally

24x36_DebtFreeCollegeNowLegislators in 10 states nationwide will be introducing debt-free college legislation, making debt-free college a central 2016 campaign issue from the top to bottom of the ticket.

This state-level action will give voters a unified Democratic message going into the 2016 election. All three Democratic presidential candidates have embraced debt-free college, and so have 100 members of Congress.

Progressive organizing has led to all three Democratic presidential candidates embracing debt-free college and 100 members of Congress have endorsing it.

“Progressives are unifying the Democratic Party around a bold Elizabeth Warren-style agenda that motivates people to get to the polls and that would be a game changer in millions of lives,” said PCCC debt-free college campaign director Kayla Wingbermuehle. “The progressive strategy now is to go deep, unifying the Democratic Party around debt-free college and ensuring that there’s an undeniable mandate in November of 2016.”

Lawmakers include those from the First in the Nation states with Rep. Marjorie Porter of New Hampshire, Rep. Chris Hall of Iowa, and Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter of South Carolina, from key battleground states with Rep. Stephanie Howse of Ohio and Rep. Katrina Shankland of Wisconsin, plus Rep. Paul Mark of Massachusetts, Rep. Will Guzzardi of Illinois, Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal of Missouri, Rep. Paula Hawks of South Dakota, and Rep. Kaniela Ing of Hawaii.

Join the call for debt-free college in your state — sign the petition at DebtFreeCollegeNOW.com and contact your state legislator to ask them to sign on!

Here’s what lawmakers have to say about the importance of debt-free college:

“Debt-free college will be a major voting issue in New Hampshire in 2016. Voters are counting on Democrats to make debt-free college a central campaign issue. My colleagues and I will be working hard at the state level to do …

SHARE: Top progressive quotes of the debate!

The Democratic presidential debate showed just how much the “Warren wing” has shifted the national conversation:

MSNBC: Democratic Debate: Progressives Win the Night

THE NATION: Who Won the Democratic Debate? Progressives, Hands Down

WASHINGTON POST: A Highly Progressive Economic Agenda Dominates the Democrats’ First Debate

Take a look below to see how much progressives have shifted the debate on issues like debt-free college, expand Social Security, and Wall Street accountability. Then share with your friends and family on Facebook and Twitter!

In the days ahead, we’ll address some important distinctions between the candidates. But for now, let’s celebrate that disagreement is not over the direction we should go — but rather, on how big to go and how we should get there.

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Warren wing urges Democratic candidates to #GoBold in #DemDebate

The PCCC, Democracy for America, and MoveOn.org are asking the Democratic candidates to be bold during the debate in addressing economic populism issues — such as debt-free college, expanding Social Security benefits, and Wall Street reform and accountability.

These issues motivate the base in primaries, and candidates need to go bold with an Elizabeth Warren-style agenda to inspire voters. Watch the video and read the letter sent to Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O’Malley below.

Letters to Democratic candidates to be bold on economic populism issues in the Oct. 13 #DemDebate

Take a look below to see how much progressives have shifted the debate on issues like debt-free college, expand Social Security, and Wall Street accountability. Then share with your friends and family on Facebook and Twitter!

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End school shootings — Call Congress, Demand Action

President Obama: “We spend over a trillion dollars, and pass countless laws, and devote entire agencies to preventing terrorist attacks on our soil…And yet, we have a Congress that explicitly blocks us from even collecting data on how we could potentially reduce gun deaths.”President Obama: “I’d ask the American people to think about how they can get our government to change these laws, and to save lives, and to let young people grow up.” Call your members of Congress right now.

It happened again. Another school shooting. Americans are sending thoughts and prayers to the people of Roseburg, Oregon.

The President delivered a powerful call to action. Here’s a small excerpt:

Our thoughts and prayers are not enough. It does not capture the heartache and grief and anger that we should feel. And it does nothing to prevent this carnage from being inflicted someplace else in America.

We’ve become numb to this.

And, of course, what’s also routine is that somebody, somewhere will comment and say, Obama politicized this issue. Well, this is something we should politicize. It is relevant to our common life together, to the body politic.

This is a political choice that we make to allow this to happen every few months in America. We collectively are answerable to those families who lose their loved ones because of our inaction.

I’d ask the American people to think about how they can get our government to change these laws, and to save lives, and to let young people grow up.

(Read the full remarks on the White House blog, h/t Lindsay Holst)

Please call Congress right now. Tell them America wants common-sense gun safety laws like background checks and an assault weapons ban.

Republicans in Congress need to hear about this …

Running on Elizabeth Warren’s agenda in the South

Nearly 200 graduates of the PCCC’s National Candidate Training will run on bold Elizabeth Warren-style ideas everywhere — including across the Deep South.

First off, let me say this: The PCCC National Candidate Training is hands down the best training I have ever been to.

Second, as a progressive running for State Representative in Georgia, I want to be clear: For too long, too many voters in the South haven’t been given a real progressive choice. But by preparing candidates to run on big bold Elizabeth Warren-style ideas, I believe we can win big in places we never have before.

Third, it’s thanks to grassroots donations from PCCC members that many candidates like me could attend this training. There is no way that I — and many others — could have afforded the training I received from some of the best campaign professionals in the nation.

Can you chip in $3 to train even more progressive candidates so they can run and win in 2016?

Right now, many progressive activists are deciding whether to run in 2016. This training can give them the confidence to take the plunge.

You might not hear about it on the news, but the progressive movement is alive in Georgia.

A few weeks ago, a 29-year-old progressive Democrat named Taylor Bennett shocked the establishment by beating an incumbent State Representative in a mid-summer special election — breaking the Republican supermajority in the Georgia House. The margin was 375 votes.

Some called it a fluke. Me? No way. I’m part of a new generation of leaders that is emerging in Georgia and all over the South, and we’re preparing to make big changes in 2016 and beyond.

The PCCC National Candidate Training has been crucial to my candidacy — preparing me to deal with press, showing me …

Debt-Free College Now a Centerpiece in 2016 Debate!

Monday was one of the high points in the PCCC’s organizational history.

FIRST THIS HAPPENED…

“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.” [Bloomberg, May 8, 2015]

… AND THEN MONDAY THIS HAPPENED ON CNN:

THESE HEADLINES WERE AMAZING:

MSNBC: Clinton’s sweeping new debt-free college plan

Wall Street Journal: Hillary Clinton Proposes Debt-Free Tuition at Public College

The Guardian: Clinton takes debt-free higher education from progressive dream to mainstream

(Help the PCCC’s effective activism continue. Make an impact with a $3 donation to our presidential organizing.)

(Also, please sign the petition for debt-free college as the PCCC works to get more members of Congress and candidates on board…and have Democratic unity.)

CLINTON CREDITED THE PCCC’S ACTIVISM! DEBT-FREE COLLEGE IS NOW A CENTRAL 2016 ISSUE FOR DEMOCRATS — SUCCESS ON THE PCCC’S GOAL!

Clinton yesterday: “I’ve been traveling the country for months, talking to students and families, educators, legislators, and experts of every stripe — including young progressive activists who’ve put the issue of debt-free college and affordability at the top of the national agenda.”

Real Clear Politics: “Affordable, debt-free college is now an economic policy plank for all the Democratic presidential candidates, who believe it resonates across political parties, across economic strata, and with young people as well as with their parents and grandparents.”

Wall Street Journal: “The Clinton campaign views this proposal as a centerpiece of its domestic agenda, akin in importance to health care in 2008, and it is her most expensive proposal so far.”

Washington Post: “Tackling the high cost of college has emerged as a central issue in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.”

This was just …

CHECKLIST FOR DEBT-FREE COLLEGE PROPOSALS

Debt-free college means all students in America should be able graduate without debt. This big idea would expand economic opportunity, expand America’s economy, and improve quality of life for millions of people. Debt-free college is a result that can be achieved through multiple means.

Below is a checklist that Demos and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee will use to judge any plan by presidential candidates or Congress.

A true debt-free college plan should affirmatively check all of these boxes:

Do all undergraduate students have access to debt-free college?
Does debt-free college apply to all undergraduate public institutions?
Does debt-free college apply to all college costs, not just tuition?
Does the “debt-free college” plan facilitate all students having equal access to high-quality public education — i.e. incentivizing investment in instruction and student support services.
Does the formula used to calculate “debt-free” avoid academic hardship for students and economic hardship for everyday families? (i.e. Low-income students are not forced to hurt their academic performance by working excessive hours while wealthier students study. Middle-class families are not assumed to have savings and disposable cash they do not truly have.)
Is aid distributed progressively — investing most in those who may not attend or complete college, or not maximize their participation in the economy after college, due to student debt?

The G.I. Bill resulted in a 7-to-1 return on investment for our economy. By unshackling students from crushing debt — freeing them to start the next Google, start a small business, or buy a first home — we will see similar economic expansion. Quality of life will also be improved for millions of Americans who will be more able to get married, enter the career they are passionate about, or even do something as simple as moving out of their parents’ home.

That’s why a national poll by the Progressive Change Institute in January 2015 showed this issue is popular …

VIDEO: Clinton talks debt-free college for first time!

Huge news. Monday in Iowa, Hillary Clinton talked about moving toward debt-free college for the first time. Take a look at the video.

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.”

The more public support presidential candidates see for big ideas, the more they will make them central to their campaigns.

Watch the video. Then, join 320,000 of us on the petition urging Clinton and other candidates to make debt-free college central in 2016.

Inside Higher Ed reports:

“After a concerted push over the past several months from liberals and progressive groups, Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign appears to be on the cusp of embracing a debt-free college plan.”

PCCC has partnered with Democracy for America, Daily Kos, Demos, the AFL-CIO, NEA, the Working Families Party, Credo Action, MoveOn, and Americans for Democratic Action.

Here is a summary of PCCC members’ activism together:

In January, debt-free college rose to the top of the Progressive Change Institute’s “Big Ideas Project.”
On the day of the State of the Union, PCI released polling data of 2016 likely general election voters that showed federal investment in debt-free college is 71% to 19% popular. It is the #1 issue that Democrats who didn’t vote in 2014 said would have motivated them to vote.
In February and March, PCCC lobbied Congress. And sent field organizers to Iowa and New Hampshire.
In April, 5,000 political leaders signed the Ready For Boldness statement to urge all Democratic presidential candidates to run on …

From Martin O’Malley: “Our ultimate goal should be simple: every student should be able to go to college debt-free.”

As the 2016 landscape gets formed, likely presidential candidate Martin O’Malley endorsed debt-free college last Friday in an op-ed and a national email to supporters, where he declared, “Our ultimate goal should be simple: every student should be able to go to college debt-free.” Check out his email below.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Martin O’Malley <info@martinomalley.com>
Date: Fri, Apr 24, 2015 at 9:35 AM
Subject: Debt free college

Martin O'Malley - O' PAC

 

Sounds like a pipe dream? It shouldn’t be.

When my dad returned home from flying a B-24 Liberator in WWII, the GI bill was what enabled him to go to school, open a law practice, and support a family.

Today, our kids aren’t getting the same bargain that my dad did.

The majority of students are graduating with significant debt. This is debt big enough for the down payment on a new house. And instead of buying a house or starting a business, recent graduates are struggling not to default on their student loans.

It’s outrageous that we can figure out a way to bail out big banks, but we can’t figure out a way to make college affordable.

In Maryland, we saw this trend, and we refused to give up. We froze tuition at public four-year institutions, invested in higher education and financial aid, and took steps to make sure our high school students were graduating with a degree that’s already worth something.

Now it’s time, as a country, that we do even more. Our ultimate goal should be simple: every student should be able to go to college debt-free.

Today, I’m offering some ideas to tackle this problem of student loan debt head-on.

Debt Free College - VIDEO

We can make college affordable, and we can start by making sure our students …

READY FOR BOLDNESS: Iowa & NH leaders speak out on 2016

After hearing from thousands of members across the nation, today the PCCC is kicking off a grassroots campaign to ensure every presidential candidate knows: Americans are ready for boldness.

It starts with a big announcement.

Over 200 leaders in the highly coveted first presidential primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire are joining the PCCC on a statement saying, “Presidential candidates must campaign on big, bold, economic populist ideas” like debt-free college, expanding Social Security benefits, reforming Wall Street, campaign finance reform, clean-energy jobs, and more pay for workers.

Signers include Iowa’s longtime U.S. Senator Tom Harkin, members of Congress, dozens of state legislators, union presidents, and other progressives.

Sign the statement and tell any Democrat running for president: America is ready for boldness on economic populism issues.

The New York Times, the Washington Post, MSNBC, Politico, NH Journal, the Des Moines Register, and the Sioux City Journal have already reported on today’s big news.

Hillary Clinton and others want support from key leaders, passionate activists, and voters — and they’ll take notice as our “Ready for Boldness” campaign gains momentum and shows them the way.

Big Elizabeth Warren-style ideas are popular, and making them central to the 2016 presidential election is key if Democrats want to win.

Our letter was signed by:

Tom Harkin, longtime U.S. Senator from Iowa
Carol Shea-Porter and Paul Hodes, recent New Hampshire members of Congress
Dave Loebsack, Iowa Congressman
Roxanne Conlin, Former Iowa Democratic Party Chair
Dozens of Iowa and New Hampshire state legislators
Iowa’s SEIU Local 199 and CWA Presidents, and New Hampshire’s NEA President
And many others

Tell the next Democratic nominee America is ready for boldness.

For the next couple weeks, we’ll take this “Ready for Boldness” campaign national — telling the media as we gain momentum.

Then, …

Big announcement: The People’s Budget

The Congressional Progressive Caucus introduced a budget that is focused on helping Americans, called The People’s Budget. CPC Co-Chair Rep. Keith Ellison sent this email to PCCC members:

Hi. This is Keith Ellison, Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Yesterday, House Republicans offered their same old budget that privatizes Medicare and hurts seniors, students, and working families.

Today, I’m proud to stand with my colleagues, unions, the PCCC, economists, and others in announcing The People’s Budget — the progressive budget alternative.

The People’s Budget endorses many of the “big ideas” that progressives like you and voters of all political stripes support: Investing in millions of good-paying jobs, making college debt-free, expanding Social Security benefits, reforming our broken campaign finance system, and investing in clean energy. It closes tax loopholes for corporations that ship jobs overseas and makes Wall Street, millionaires, and billionaires pay their fair share.

Our budget will get a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives.

Will you help show the wide public support for The People’s Budget by joining me as a citizen co-sponsor today?

There are 70 of us in the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Your signature will help us convince our colleagues to vote for these big, bold, economic populist ideas. I talk to colleagues on the House floor all the time, and telling them about grassroots momentum really makes a difference.

Support our budget here.

Here is some of what’s in The People’s Budget:

Investing over $1.9 trillion in America’s future.
Creating 8.4 million good-paying jobs by 2018.
Investing $820 billion in rebuilding our roads, schools, and bridges.
Making college debt-free through federal assistance to states for public colleges and universities.
Endorsing an expansion of Social Security benefits to keep up with seniors’ true costs.
Eliminating egregious tax loopholes, including for corporations that ship jobs overseas and executives who pay themselves in stock options instead …

Donna’s on Our Side

It’s official — Donna Edwards is in! Thousands of PCCC and Democracy for America members across the nation urged Donna to run for U.S. Senate in Maryland, and she heard us loud and clear!

Donna sent PCCC a note this morning: “Thank you to all the PCCC and DFA members who urged me to run. You showed me the type of grassroots support I can count on. I’m in! Together, we will make this a people-powered campaign about bold progressive issues.”

Chip in $3 to help bold progressive Donna Edwards start her campaign with momentum!

Donna Edwards has proven time and again that she’s a bold progressive. She’s not just an ally — she’s one of us.

Donna started as a community activist. Then, she was a founder of a progressive nonprofit. In Congress, she’s devoted her time to taking on powerful interests — even defeating an entrenched Wall Street Democrat to win her seat.

Donna was the first member of Congress to introduce an amendment to overturn Citizens United. She led the National Network to End Domestic Violence. And Donna agrees with Senator Elizabeth Warren that we should expand Social Security benefits — never cut them.

Donate $3 to fuel Donna’s campaign today!

Corporate “New Democrats” have been attacking the “Warren wing” in the press. They think the way to win is to cozy up to corporate interests and protect the status quo. The way bold progressives fight back is to elect more people like Donna Edwards.

Like Massachusetts, a state as blue as Maryland can give the nation the gift of a bold progressive leader.

Victory for Net Neutrality!

Sen. Brian Schatz Statement on Net Neutrality

Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Commerce subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet, spoke about Net Neutrality at the “Protecting the Internet and Consumers Through Legislative Action” hearing on Jan. 21, 2015.

Sen. Schatz said there are four key elements necessary for the FCC to protect an open Internet and Net Neutrality: 1) prohibit fast lanes, 2) do not block lawful content, 3) prohibit throttling, and 4) increase transparency.

The FCC will meet on Feb. 26 to decide how it will rule on Net Neutrality.

Read Sen. Schatz’s full remarks below:

Mr. Chairman. I am looking forward to working with you, Ranking Member Nelson, and my Subcommittee Chair, Senator Wicker. We all agree that an open Internet has become crucial for everyone to function in today’s society. That is why it is important for us to work together to consider the best path forward to protect Net Neutrality.

As we consider our options, we must aim to accomplish and balance three objectives:

–   provide maximum protection to consumers,
–   provide maximum flexibility to promote innovation and the Internet economy while also
–   enabling continued investment in a state of the art broadband infrastructure.

Most importantly, Net Neutrality protections must ensure that the FCC has the ongoing authority to protect consumers. To be effective, these rules must contain at least four essential elements:

–   they must prohibit fast lanes,
–   they must not block lawful content,
–   they must prohibit throttling while allowing for reasonable network management,
–   they must increase transparency.

So, I look forward to hearing from our witnesses on the Chairman’s draft legislation and on the FCC’s ongoing rulemaking and the best way to achieve each of these objectives.

Congress always has the prerogative to legislate, but we also must recognize the advantages of …

The Big Ideas Project: One Month Later

unnamedA month ago the Progressive Change Institute (PCCC’s C3 sister organization) launched the Big Ideas Project at ThinkBig.US — a crowd-sourced platform allowing the public to submit and vote on big ideas they believe progressives should champion in 2015 and 2016.

And in that month, the crowd definitely responded.

Over 800,000 votes have been cast on over 2,000 user-submitted ideas, including over 30 from policy experts from AFL-CIO, Demos, ROC United, Lawrence Lessig, former Senators Byron Dorgan and Ted Kaufman, plus many more.

The top 20 ideas that rise to the top will be seriously considered by over 30 members of Congress, including Senators Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, Elizabeth Warren, Jon Tester and Representatives Raul Grijalva, Keith Ellison, Alan Grayson, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Ruben Gallego, and more.

PCI will even be polling ideas pulled from the project in battleground states.

Some of the top ideas are:

Now is the time to expand Social Security — not cut it. Social Security benefits simply haven’t kept up with the rising costs that seniors face—for medicine, food, and housing. We’re facing a retirement crisis where seniors can’t rely on pensions and other parts of the social contract. We need to increase benefits to make sure they reflect the true costs seniors face. Expanding Social Security is the best way to ensure all Americans have the economic security they need to retire with dignity.

Corporations are paper, not people. People before profit. Enact laws which reverse Citizens United, McCutcheon, and Buckley v. Valeo. Without a fair field in which everyday people are heard and treated equally, when, as we’re now seeing, corporations and money carry more weight than the voices of our citizens, our entire system of …

PCCC’s Top Ten Highlights of 2014

PCCC Top Ten

PCCC Election Report 2014

1. Progressive Victories Everywhere:

The PCCC enter the new Congress with more partners than ever. Bold progressives won early primaries against corporate Democrats — electing Senator Brian Schatz in Hawaii, and Representatives Bonnie Watson Coleman in New Jersey, Ruben Gallego in Arizona, and Ted Lieu and Mike Honda in California.

These bright-blue districts will be represented by real progressives! And PCCC members helped elect great progressives to the Senate and House in November. (Read the full 2014 Elections Report.)

2. PCCC Members Called Out The Vote:

Thousands of national volunteers signed up to Call Out The Vote (COTV). Together, they made over 4 million phone calls to voters in key races.

The PCCC was the only national call program of this scale that worked directly with campaigns — so they could use the data the PCCC collected, making the work twice as effective.

These calls helped key progressive champions like Al Franken and Jeff Merkley win re-election to the Senate — and helped Rep. Rick Nolan in Minnesota win one of the tightest House elections.

P100 field trainees working on a project.

3. PCCC Infrastructure Worked:

The PCCC has been developing infrastructure to support thousands of progressives up and down the ballot, and it’s beginning to pay off.

This cycle, the PCCC trained over 600 candidates, campaign managers, field directors, finance directors, and communications directors, from Iowa to Florida to New Hampshire.

And the PCCC’s special technology for campaigns helped support over 150 candidates.

Considering a run for office in the next several years? Let the PCCC know here.

Zephyr Teachout speaking at PCCC event supporting Elizabeth Warren’s call to break up Citigroup, Dec 2014.

4. PCCC Loves Zephyr …

PCCC and Allies Amplify Elizabeth Warren’s Message, Chant “Break Big Banks” Outside Citi HQ

Zephyr Teachout, Bob Master, and TJ Helmstetter address a group of demonstrators outside Citigroup HQ. Photo by Nick Moe.

A demonstration of about 120 people gathered outside Citigroup’s headquarters in midtown Manhattan to amplify Elizabeth Warren’s message that it’s time to break up the big banks, including PCCC members, Working Families Party, former New York gubernatorial candidate and reformer Zephyr Teachout, New York Communities for Change, Citizen Action New York, American Family Voices, and other progressive allies.

On Tuesday, Dec. 16, Pres. Obama signedlaw written by Citigroup that repealed a major piece of Wall Street reform, resulting in risky derivatives bets now being insured by taxpayers. Elizabeth Warren shined a national spotlight on this issue from the Senate floor:

“There’s a lot of talk coming from Citigroup about how the Dodd-Frank Act isn’t perfect. So let me say this to anyone who is listening at Citi: I agree with you. Dodd-Frank isn’t perfect. It should have broken you into pieces.”
— Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)

About 120 demonstrators gathered to amplify Elizabeth Warren’s message to break up the Big Banks. Photo from WFP Twitter.

“We are here today because Elizabeth Warren is right. We need to break up the Big Banks — banks like Citigroup,” said PCCC spokesperson TJ Helmstetter at the event.

“Elizabeth Warren has stuck her finger into the socket of American populism, and the country is lit up,” said former New York gubernatorial candidate and reformer Zephyr Teachout. “Now the lights are on, and every candidate running for president, whether it’s Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush, has to answer the question: Do you think that Citigroup should be broken up, or do you think Wall Street should get to keep writing its own rules?”

“Citigroup has infiltrated so much of government that government is …

#StandWithWarren — Tell Congress Enough is Enough, It’s time to #BreakBigBanks

Last week, Elizabeth Warren gave what some are calling a historic speech against bank power, telling Citigroup, “[we] should have broken you into pieces.”

Thursday, right on Wall Street, the PCCC is holding a big media event to amplify to the need to break up Citigroup and the other too-big-to-fail banks. Are you in New York City? RSVP here.

Sign our petition calling on Congress to break up the “too big to fail” Wall Street banks.

This petition will be featured at the Wall Street event, and the PCCC will use the growing number of signers to convince other senators to support Warren’s agenda. Your signature will have an immediate impact.

The PCCC will also be working hard — through grassroots phone calls and in-person Capitol Hill meetings — to get more support for Elizabeth Warren’s big ideas on Wall Street reform.

After Senator Elizabeth Warren famously told Citigroup the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill “should have broken you into pieces,” she said this:

A century ago, Teddy Roosevelt was America’s trustbuster. He went after the giant trusts and monopolies in this country, and a lot of people talk about how those trusts deserved to be broken up because they had too much economic power. But Teddy Roosevelt said we should break them up because they had too much political power. Teddy Roosevelt said break them up because all that concentrated power threatened the very foundations of our democratic system.

And now we’re watching as Congress passes yet another provision that was written by lobbyists for the biggest recipient of bailout money in the history of the country. And it’s attached to a bill that needs to pass or else the entire federal government will grind to a halt.

Think about this kind of power. A financial institution has become …

Wall Street Denied DCCC Chairmanship

Since the election, the PCCC has been telling Democrats to run on Elizabeth Warren’s bold agenda of big, popular ideas like Wall Street reform.

When rumors swirled around Washington D.C. last week that Nancy Pelosi might nominate former Goldman Sachs executive Jim Himes to chair the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee — the PCCC got alarmed.

Like the PCCC, the DCCC recruits Democrats to run for Congress. Unlike the PCCC, they don’t always choose progressive candidates. Having the DCCC chaired by a banker who Businessweek called “Wall Street’s Favorite Democrat” would have been disastrous for progressives and hurt Democrats’ chances of winning back the majority in 2016.

That’s why PCCC members took immediate action to head off Jim Himes’ appointment — calling Nancy Pelosi’s office, sending her tweets and, in the process, making headlines in Time Magazine, The Hill, Politico, The Associated Press, and more.

PCCC members calls and tweets made a difference!

Here’s the statement PCCC co-founder Adam Green made when Pelosi announced that Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico will chair the DCCC:

We thank Leader Pelosi for not selecting Jim Himes to lead the DCCC — thereby rejecting the Wall Street wing of the Democratic Party. In order to win key House races, Democrats must run on big, bold, populist ideas like those championed by Elizabeth Warren. This means recruiting economic populist candidates — especially in red and purple states — and working with them to integrate a populist vision into their campaign messaging. The PCCC will be doing this, and we hope to partner with Rep. Ben Ray Luján and others to achieve success in 2016.

To see the difference this will make, read the statement Rep. Luján made when the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform bill was signed into …

How to Win Like Elizabeth Warren

The op-ed below appeared in The Nation on Nov. 19.

From the rubble of the 2014 election, a conversation has started about the future of the Democratic Party. Senator Elizabeth Warren is central to that conversation.

This week, we learned that Warren will be joining the Senate Democratic leadership as strategic policy adviser to the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee. In this role — created specifically for her — she will help craft the party’s policies and priorities as well as serve as a liaison to progressive groups.

While there is some skepticism about the idea of a “liaison” to base Democratic voters, there is largely agreement that it is a good thing for the Democratic Party to follow her political footsteps. After all, she’s adored by big swaths of the Democratic electorate and the public at large. On the campaign trail this fall, she was welcomed with open arms in Kentucky, West Virginia, Michigan, and other reddish-purple states, drawing overflow crowds cheering on her message of tougher Wall Street regulation and kinder policies for working people.

But what is it that works about her? What is her special sauce? Other Democratic and progressive candidates ask me all the time how they can capture the intangible “it,” that Warren magic. Below, I’ve dissected her tactics and her policies, which are one and the same, to help candidates better understand how to tread her path.

Take, for example, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB); the idea that students should be able to borrow money for school at the same interest rate as banks can borrow money from the federal government; and the idea of adding basic banking — check-cashing, bill-paying, and small loans — to post office locations.

These proposals have a number of things in common. What’s Warren’s …

Elizabeth Warren in Senate Leadership!

The Huffington Post reports:

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) gained a leadership position in the Senate Democratic caucus Thursday […] Warren’s role, which is a new position created specifically for her, will be in crafting the party’s messaging and policy.

This is a good reminder that when PCCC members invest early in progressive leaders, it’s not just about winning elections in the short term — it’s about building power over time.

As Elizabeth Warren advocates for big ideas like reforming Wall Street, making college affordable, and expanding Social Security benefits, her voice will now be even louder — because she’ll be at the Democratic leadership table.

Click here to sign a congratulations card to Elizabeth Warren (and add a personal note), which the PCCC will deliver to her.

The PCCC ran the “Draft Elizabeth Warren for Senate” campaign and was her #1 grassroots supporter in 2012 raising over $1.17 million through over 70,000 small-dollar donations for her campaign. The PCCC partnered with Warren on big legislative pushes in 2013 and 2014.

With this news, that partnership grows stronger — and all of Elizabeth Warren’s and the PCCC’s work together has more impact.

Progressives’ Route to Power Beyond 2014

PCCC_2014_report_image_v2Last Tuesday was not a repeat of 2012, when PCCC members helped elect 30 amazing candidates — including Elizabeth Warren. It looked more like 2010. It was tough. It was disappointing.

Candidates who ran great campaigns — and should have won — lost in the Republican wave. Bold progressives achieved some important victories Election Night, and some were too close for comfort.

But progressives need to remember that we don’t just work for one election, one candidate, or one party. The PCCC and its members work to build a movement, to build long-term progressive power.

The PCCC Post-Election Report outlines the huge investments made this election cycle that are now for the long term — in future leaders, new technology, new best practices, and more member empowerment. All in addition to congressional victories. Check it out here.

In the days ahead, there will be a national conversation about the future direction of the Democratic Party — and the progressive movement.

Frankly, Democrats did not have a united economic agenda in this election. There was a lack of big ideas. Some Democrats tried to sound like Republicans, and they lost.

Elizabeth Warren was the most popular Democrat on the campaign trail for a reason: Her message of taking on Wall Street, reducing student debt, and expanding Social Security benefits is popular everywhere — red, purple, and blue states.

Moving forward, something needs to change. America needs a bigger politics.

Progressives won’t win their own tidal wave elections unless they can build a movement around big ideas — free college, full employment, Medicare for All, more Social Security — and the candidates who campaign on those ideas. Elizabeth Warren is the best example. But there are thousands of others out there who believe in a more expansive vision of political …

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