The Daily Change

Supreme Court doubles down on Citizens United; Time to Fight Back!

Roberts_McCutcheonEarlier today, in a 5-to-4 ruling, the Roberts Supreme Court struck some of the last remaining limits on how much wealthy people can donate to electoral campaigns. With those limits gone, it will be even harder for everyday people to have their voices heard in Washington.

In response, PCCC is launching ads in Washington to make clear that not only should Congress pass a Constitutional Amendment to counteract the power of money in politics — it needs to pass the Government by the People Act, which would fit within recent Supreme Court rulings and would match small-dollar donations with public funds.

We need campaign finance reform to give us a better chance at winning against big corporate donors on issues like reforming Wall Street, making college more affordable, and fighting corporate polluters.

Click here to sign-on as a citizen cosponsor of the Government by the People Act to give voice to everyday people and reduce the influence of big money in our democracy!

PCCC Endorses Senator Brian Schatz For Re-Election


BrianSchatz_Endorsement_3
Today, we are proud to announce our endorsement of U.S. Senator Brian Schatz for re-election in Hawaii.

Social Security is a defining issue in this race.

Brian Schatz was one of the first senators to endorse expanding Social Security benefits. His primary opponent refuses to rule out cuts.

When we asked our 4,285 Hawaii members who they support, the answer was overwhelming: By 4 to 1 they support bold progressive Brian Schatz.

PCCC member Gerald, in Honolulu, recently told us, “Brian is the real deal progressive… He’s the clear choice to endorse!”  We agree.

In addition to being a Social Security hero, Brian Schatz is one of the Senate’s top leaders on the climate crisis. He recently led an all-night Senate debate that made big news and thrust progressive solutions into the national conversation.

Like Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Schatz is a true partner to progressives. He recently came to our PCCC candidate training to mentor new candidates. And tonight, he will welcome our PCCC team into his campaign headquarters as we start immediately organizing volunteers on his behalf.

Will you donate $3 to Sen. Schatz to help keep this bold progressive in the Senate?

 

Shenna Bellows Could Topple Susan Collins, Say National News Profiles

Shenna Bellows

First, progressive Senate candidate Shenna Bellows out-fundraised Republican Susan Collins.

Now, Shenna is profiled by US News & World Report and The Hill!

Check out below. Then please donate $3 to help win this huge Senate race.

US NEWS & WORLD REPORT: 

Democrat Shenna Bellows, a former American Civil Liberties Union leader who grew up without electricity or running water until the fifth grade, is attempting to cobble together a unique coalition of liberals and libertarians to try and upset Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins.

But while she’s been dubbed “the Elizabeth Warren of Civil Liberties” by the liberal Progressive Change Campaign Committee, she also finds herself seeing eye to eye with Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., on issues of national security and foreign policy…

Bellows is campaigning on repeal of the U.S. Patriot Act and wants to severely curb the National Security Agency’s bulk data collection program – two issues that resonate with the left wing of the Democratic Party as well as libertarian-minded voters who propped up Ron Paul’s strong showing in the 2012 presidential caucuses there.

“What I think we need is targeting based on individualized suspicion, reasonable suspicion that people are engaged in criminal or terrorist activity,” she says in response to a question about what she thinks the NSA should be able to monitor.

Bellows’ candidacy was being largely ignored by national media until she revealed earlier this month she had raised more money than Collins during the last quarter. Now, she’s trying to capitalize on that news with a press blitz highlighting a grassroots campaign focused largely on local organizing in Maine’s 500 towns.

Help Shenna Bellows continue the momentum! Click here to donate $3 and help Shenna defeat Susan Collins. 

Then, share this great article on Facebook

Adam Green To Ed Schultz: It’s Time to Reject Keystone XL and Focus on a Clean Jobs Agenda

UPDATE: Ed Schultz has joined the PCCC in opposing the Keystone XL Pipeline! Watch him say “I was wrong” and come out against the pipeline.

PCCC Co-Founder Adam Green was recently asked by Ed Schultz for his thoughts on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

Click here to listen to Adam discussing the issue:

“We see what’s happening in West Virginia right now when polluters have their way and entire rivers and water lines get polluted. There are these explosions, you can Google and see, pipelines erupting and causing huge fireballs in communities and we know that’s part of the risk. As Michael Brune [Executive Director of the Sierra Club] was saying, we don’t have to choose between two bad options. The obvious path forward is to find clean energy sources and not kind of checkmate ourselves into, do we transport this toxic stuff to our communities by rail or by pipeline? We need a third choice.”

Adam also noted how disagreements over Keystone has the potential to create fractures within the Democratic coalition which plays into the hand of Republicans:

“I just don’t like a ‘process of elimination’ argument; I don’t like feeling boxed in to making a horrible choice. If there is a legitimate reason, I’m interested in hearing that, but the net effect – looking at this in a big picture perspective – is I see a Republican advantage to dividing labor vs. the environmentalists. There’s so many bad things that we need to be united against that I just see this as a huge wedge issue and I think the default should be taking it [Keystone XL] off the table, not approving it.”

Rather than focus on the pipeline, Adam urged the Democratic Party to champion an aggressive clean-energy jobs agenda:

“Imagine a situation where the president said, ‘We are going to …

Join the Fight to Increase the Federal Minimum Wage

Tell Congress it’s time to act on a minimum wage increase.
Click here to sign our petition then share this image on Facebook.

 

Federal Minimum Wage Graphic

Wisconsin Congressional Candidate Kelly Westlund Urges National Action On Unemployment

 

Wisconsin congressional candidate Kelly Westlund’s family has been on unemployment benefits. Today, she stepped up on this issue and sent an email to the Progressive Change Campaign Committee’s nearly one million members — telling her story, saying that Republicans who oppose extending unemployment benefits are out of touch, and asking people to contact their senators in every state.

Westlund is running in one of the House seats Democrats need to take back the majority, Wisconsin’s Seventh Congressional District. She announced for Congress last month on a theme of economic populism. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) proudly endorsed her on Day One of her campaign.

Read Kelly Westlund’s email to PCCC members here:


My name’s Kelly Westlund, and my family’s relied on unemployment benefits before.

My husband is a carpenter. When Wall Street banks tanked our economy and crashed the housing market, there just wasn’t a lot of demand for the homes my husband specialized in building.

We needed unemployment benefits for several months to make ends meet.

Today, I’m on my local City Council and I’m running for Congress in Wisconsin. The issue of unemployment benefits is personal for me.

The U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote today on whether to extend unemployment benefits.

I’ll be calling both of my senators today. Can you call yours and tell them to vote “yes” today?

Republicans in Congress may block unemployment benefits.

My Tea Party Congressman, Sean Duffy, says he “struggles” to get by on $174,000 a year. That’s how out of touch they are.

I know that when that check comes in, families immediately use it to buy groceries and pay utility bills and put gas in the car. They’re reinvesting those dollars in our communities.

Protecting these earned benefits (and, I’d add, increasing the minimum wage) would create real economic growth that just doesn’t happen when rich …

Top Ten Bold Progressive Highlights Of 2013

Check out the Top Ten Highlights of 2013 from the Progressive Change Campaign Committee!

It’s been a great year. Thanks to all of our bold progressive members for being part of it!

PCCC members say: Expand Social Security!

1. “Expand Social Security”

In July, we announced a big strategic shift: Instead of playing defense, we would rally around bills to EXPAND Social Security benefits.

Along with our allies, PCCC members delivered petitions to congressional offices around the nation. We released polls showing this idea was popular by 2 to 1 in Kentucky and 3 to 1 in Texas!

After the Washington Post op-ed page attacked ”bold progressives” for leading the way on this issue, Elizabeth Warren made national news that day by endorsing Social Security expansion on the Senate floor (and in an email to PCCC members).

Nobel economist Paul Krugman writes, “a funny thing has happened in the past year or so. Suddenly, we’re hearing open discussion of the idea that Social Security should be expanded, not cut.”

2. PCCC members heart Elizabeth Warren

When Elizabeth Warren called for students to get the same low interest rates as big banks, over 1000 professors (who are also PCCC members) endorsed the idea.

When Elizabeth Warren demanded bank regulators crack down on Wall Street crimes, PCCC members pressured the SEC to listen!

When Elizabeth Warren was attacked, PCCC members attacked back!

Warren’s hometown Boston Globe profiled us recently. They wrote, “A group called Progressive Change Campaign Committee is waging the most visible of these pro-Warren crusades.”

The Nation writes, “Warren’s voice is amplified by groups like the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which have identified her as their ‘north star’ in the fight to renew the Democratic Party. That scares corporate interests.”

Boston Globe profile: For Warren, Progressive Change Campaign Committee leading the charge

On Monday, the Boston Globe’s front page featured a wide ranging profile of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and all of the amazing work PCCC members have done to push the Democratic Party to embrace Elizabeth Warren’s agenda and fight for progressive change.

Can you help us continue to fight for Elizabeth Warren’s agenda in 2014? Click here.

The Boston Globe: Progressive wing waves Elizabeth Warren banner

Adam Green and Stephanie Taylor are cofounders of Progressive Change Campaign Committee. The group has been promoting the political profile of Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts in presidential primary states.

WASHINGTON — Elizabeth Warren has pledged she will not seek the White House in 2016, but that has not stopped diehard Warren boosters from promoting her political profile in presidential primary states, saying she is best positioned to push the Democratic Party to the left.

A group called Progressive Change Campaign Committee is waging the most visible of these pro-Warren crusades, training volunteers, meeting with labor leaders in New Hampshire, and handing out stickers with Warren’s name.

But there are costs to party unity, as the Massachusetts senator becomes a central figure in an intensifying battle for the Democratic Party’s soul.

The movement behind Warren is not as intense as the conservative Tea Party version for Republican candidates, but pushing against the party’s center is the goal for both.

“We’re going to make sure that every Democrat who runs for president is forced to say whether they agree with Elizabeth Warren on key issues, like expanding Social Security benefits and more Wall Street reform,” said Adam Green, the 37-year-old cofounder of the group.

Warren’s impassioned stance on expanding Social Security is in defiance of President Obama’s proposal to trim the growth of benefit payments in future years. On …

Fight back: Corporate-funded think tank Third Way attacks Elizabeth Warren & Social Security

Last week, corporate-funded think tank Third Way attacked Elizabeth Warren in Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal — saying her bold economic populism is “dangerous for Democratic Party.” Wrong!

Polls show Warren’s ideas are popular in red, purple, and blue states. That’s why Wall Street fears her.

The PCCC is leading the fight against Third Way’s corporatist strategy and calling them out for refusing to make their Wall Street ties public.

Over 100,000 people have joined our petition calling on Third Way to disclose their Wall Street donors. Click here to sign on.

The petition and actions by PCCC members have already been covered by the New York Times, Washington Post, ABC News, Wall Street Journal, and more!

The New York Times reported:

In a sign of the left’s new aggressiveness, a coalition of liberals is trying to marginalize a centrist Democratic policy group that was responsible for a Wall Street Journal op-ed article this week that said economic populism was “disastrous” for the party.

The coalition, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, and three other liberal advocacy organizations have urged their members to contact a group of congressional Democrats who are honorary leaders of the centrist group, Third Way. It published the op-ed article on Monday contending that the liberalism of Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio of New York City and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts would lead Democrats “over the populist cliff.”

The article — written by Jon Cowan, president of Third Way, and Jim Kessler, its senior vice president for policy — criticizes progressives like Ms. Warren and Mr. de Blasio for opposing measures to cut … Social Security and Medicare.

The liberal groups’ campaign has already gotten results, the latest indication that the liberal wing of the Democratic Party is ascendant.

Help us continue to put pressure on Wall Street-backed …

Momentum Building for Expanding Social Security Benefits

It’s time to reshape the debate around Social Security. For too long Democrats have been playing defense, working to protect Social Security benefits from cuts when really we need to EXPAND Social Security benefits. Now a growing number of voices are calling for Social Security expansion — and they’re beginning to turn the conversation.

In June, the PCCC put together a coalition of over 30 national groups representing over 20 million Americans leading the movement to expand Social Security benefits including the PCCC, AFL-CIO, National Organization for Women, Social Security Works, Latinos for a Secure Retirement, MoveOn, Democracy For America, and CREDO Action.

In July, the PCCC launched the campaign on MSNBC’s Ed Show. On the show, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) discussed their bills in the Senate that would expand benefits by $452 for retirees at age 75 and $807 at age 85. By “scrapping the cap” on what the wealthy pay into Social Security, the Harkin-Begich plan will pay for these benefit increases and leave trillions left over to extend Social Security’s solvency beyond its current $2.7 trillion surplus. Alan Grayson (D-FL), Mike Honda (D-CA), and over 40 members of Congress have co-sponsored House versions of the Harkin-Begich plan.

Over 649,000 progressives have signed on to petitions calling on Congress to expand Social Security benefits.

In August, local PCCC members held events around the nation pressuring their representatives in Congress to support expanding Social Security benefits and generated media coverage in Kentucky, California, Iowa, New Jersey, Colorado, Hawaii, and Texas. The PCCC released polls showing expanding Social Security benefits is popular in red, purple, and blue states. Recent polls from states as diverse as Kentucky, Iowa, and California show that expanding Social Security benefits is popular by over 2 to 1. In Texas, Colorado, and Hawaii, it’s 3 to 1.

Last week, …

Field Report from Kentucky Labor Convention

Karissa Gerhke here, Director of Member Engagement with the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. Last week, I joined labor unions and organizational partners at the Kentucky Labor Federation’s Biennial Convention. We discussed work we’ve accomplished, as well as upcoming plans to build progressive power in 2014.

The energy at the convention was invigorating. I was able to reconnect with AFGE members we worked with during the government shutdown – census workers like Jeremy Lannan who is thrilled to be back to work but ready to organize against those that caused the shutdown.

I met folks like Will Emmons and Tyler Simonds, two young activists working to organize a workers’ collective in Lexington, and Clifton Gardner – a retired UMWA miner who was happy about the UMWA’s recent win against Peabody Coal but is tired of Democratic candidates who don’t stand up for working class folks.

The air in the convention hall was electric with buzz about the 2014 election. For the first time in years, it looks like Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell could lose his seat in 2014, and Kentucky labor is eager to seize this opportunity.

The McConnell election is only half the story though. Kentucky is the last southern state where Democrats hold the majority at the state level – and they retain it by a slim margin. Union members are afraid (for good reason) of a Republican majority in the State House. It would likely lead to destructive policies like right to work legislation and restrictive voter ID laws. If Kentucky is going to retain their Democratic majority, it will be crucial to recruit bold, exciting candidates that actually represent working families of Kentucky.

One recurring theme throughout the convention was that there aren’t enough people running for office who represent the interests of everyday working families. As Clifton put it, “it’s hard …

Join Sen. Sherrod Brown on National Call to Discuss Growing Momentum for Social Security Expansion

Today at noon Eastern, Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) will join PCCC members from across the nation on a national conference call to discuss growing momentum behind the push to expand Social Security benefits. Click here to listen to the call online. 

Yesterday, Sen. Brown announced to the PCCC’s national membership base of nearly 1 million members that he will be cosponsoring Senator Tom Harkin’s (D-IA) Social Security expansion bill in the Senate and joining forces with the PCCC to go on offense on Social Security.

In a message to PCCC members,  Sen. Brown said:

“There are plenty of ways to improve the Social Security that nearly 2 million people in Ohio rely on — like lifting the income cap, or calculating benefits in a way that better accounts for the expenses seniors face. And neither of those involves cutting benefits. That’s why today I’m announcing that I’m teaming up with Tom Harkin and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) to grow a progressive grassroots movement devoted to expanding Social Security.”

Progressives are rallying around two bills in the Senate sponsored by Sen. Harkin and Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) that would expand benefits by $452 for retirees at age 75 and $807 at age 85. By “scrapping the cap” on what the wealthy pay into Social Security, the Harkin-Begich plan will pay for these benefit increases and leave trillions left over to extend Social Security’s solvency beyond its current $2.7 trillion surplus. Alan Grayson (D-FL), Mike Honda (D-CA), and over 40 members of Congress have co-sponsored House versions of the Harkin-Begich plan.

Over 30 national groups representing over 20 million Americans are leading the movement to expand Social Security benefits including the PCCC, AFL-CIO, National Organization for Women, Latinos for a Secure Retirement, MoveOn, Democracy For America, and CREDO Action.

Over 635,000 progressives …

Report from North Carolina

This is Stephanie Taylor, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, and I’m excited to report that I spent last weekend in North Carolina, where a new progressive movement is in full force! For those who haven’t been following the situation, the state legislature has been taken over by Tea Party extremists who have rammed through an agenda that includes rolling back voting rights, rejecting Medicaid expansion, and slashing funding to education. But folks are fighting back, effectively and persuasively. So I headed down to see how we could help.

First stop was Raleigh, where we held a training on Saturday and Sunday for activists from all over the state on how to run a field program for electoral candidates from soup to nuts. We taught folks how to calculate a win number, manage volunteers, create a budget, and more. The training was led by the awesome Kim Rogers, deputy political director of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) — thank you, Kim! Our class included local leaders like Mary Perkins Williams, a longtime activist from eastern North Carolina, Wanda Cole, an organizer with the national fast food workers campaign, Nancy Davis, who has worked as a clinic escort for Planned Parenthood, and Tom High, an activist with the Move to Amend effort on campaign finance reform. Here is our class picture:

Thank you to the North Carolina Democratic Party for letting us use their lovely headquarters for the training. We had a wonderful time, and were all sad to say goodbye.  If you want to apply for an upcoming training in your area, you can do so here. These trainings are appropriate for anyone, regardless of skill level or experience. They are part of our larger effort to give activists the skills they need to elect …

LIVESTREAM: PCCC on Capitol Hill Making the Case for Expanding Social Security Benefits

Today on Capitol Hill, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC)  will join experts and members of Congress to brief congressional staff on the political and policy case for expanding Social Security benefits.

The PCCC will present state polling (including Iowa and New Hampshire) that makes the political case for expanding Social Security benefits and will explain why it’s good politically for Democrats that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) took off the table a Grand Bargain that cuts Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits.

Tune in to the livesteam below at 12:30 ET to see PCCC co-founder Adam Green on a panel of experts on Capitol Hill making the political case for expansion, preceded at 11:15 am ET by a panel outlying the policy case. Then, sign our petition calling on Congress to expand Social Security benefits! Click here.

The panels will lead into statements by members of Congress who oppose cuts to benefits and support expansion: Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), Sen. Brian Shatz (D-HI), Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL), Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA), Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA), Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), and Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI).

Congress Ends Government Shutdown following Pressure from Constituents

Last night, Congress voted to end the government shutdown following two weeks of protests held around the country by PCCC members and local activists to hold their Republican representatives responsible for the shutdown.

Our events took place in front of Sen. Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) Louisville office, Rep. Sean Duffy’s (R-WI) Hudson office, Rep. Andy Barr’s (R-KY) Lexington office, Rep. Pat Meehan’s (R-PA) Springfield office, Rep. Lee Terry’s (R-NE) Omaha office, Rep. Jackie Walorski’s (R-IN) Mishawaka office, Rep. Daniel Webster’s (R-FL) Winter Garden office, and Rep. Mike Coffman’s (R-CO) Aurora office.

5 of these 8 Republicans changed their vote and supported yesterday’s deal to end the shutdown.

Senate and House Democratic leaders united their colleagues and stood firm against the Tea Party during the shutdown. Click here to thank your representative for standing firm!

Check out some of the media coverage and photos from our events pressuring Republicans below.

The events were coordinated with the help of our allies at Democracy for America, AFGE, AFL-CIO, Kentucky Jobs with Justice, Louisville Young Democrats, Progressives United, MoveOn.org, CREDO Action, USAction, and Center for Community Change.

Pressuring Rep. Pat Meehan (PA-7) ”Protesters stood in the pouring rain outside Rep. Pat Meehan’s Springfield office Friday…Their message to the Republican congressman from Delaware County: You’re vulnerable, and don’t forget it. Only 28 percent of voters in Meehan’s moderate district think he’s doing a good job.” — Philly.com

Photo: Big local rally holds Republican accountable

Pressuring Rep. Daniel Webster (FL-10) ”Angry constituents gathered outside Rep. Daniel Webster’s (R-FL) Winter Garden office on Friday, to demand that he votes to end the government shutdown” — West Orlando News

Photo: Big local rally holds Republican accountable

Rep. Sean Duffy (WI-07) ”30 constituents protested outside Duffy’s Hudson officeThursday to demand that he vote to end the government shutdown…The event …

Voters Hold Republicans Accountable For Government Shutdown

Today, PCCC members and local activists are holding media events across the country to hold their Republican representative responsible for the government shutdown.

In front of closed Republican district offices in Pennsylvania, Nebraska, Indiana, Colorado, Florida, and Kentucky, local activists, veterans and furloughed workers will share their stories of how the shutdown is hurting their community and the economy.

Tune in to the Livestream below at 12pm EST to watch our event happening today in Louisville, Kentucky holding Sen. Mitch McConnell accountable. Then, chip in $3 here to help sponsor a district event next week!

We’re coordinating on today’s events and more next week with our allies at Democracy for America, AFGE, AFL-CIO, Kentucky Jobs with Justice, Louisville Young Democrats, Progressives United, MoveOn.org, CREDO Action, USAction and Center for Community Change.

Democrats must stand strong on #ShutDown, Republicans must cave

SHUTDOWN: Boehner gets paid. Families go hungry.This morning at 12:01am, Congressional Republicans forced a government shutdown. This has real-world consequences for millions of Americans: disabled veterans could be hurt, some Social Security services will be disrupted, and many working families will struggle to put food on the table.

This shutdown will end in one of two ways:

1) Democrats will cave and cut vital programs like Social Security
2) Republicans will cave to immense public pressure

Thousands of us are pressuring Congress together with phone calls to make sure Republicans cave. We’re also running online ads targeting Republican Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to make sure they feel extra pressure back home.

So here’s what you can do:

Make a call to your Congressperson — click here for the script and number to call.

Donate $3 to help us continue to run the targeted online ads and keep pressure on Boehner and McConnell.

Watch Elizabeth Warren say what’s at stake

Carl Sciortino: A bold progressive for Massachusetts!

PCCC’s first endorsement for the election cycle, Carl Sciortino, is gaining a lot of momentum this week! 

Carl is the clear progressive choice to represent Massachusetts’ 5th Congressional District: he supports prosecuting Wall Street bankers, Elizabeth Warren’s Glass-Steagall bill, increasing Social Security benefits, Medicare For All, and reversing Citizens United. A self-proclaimed “Massachusetts liberal,” he’s got the support of other progressive leaders like Reps. Alan Grayson, Mark Takano, Keith Ellison, and Raul Grijalva.

Carl put out a heartwarmingly awesome ad this week and garnered a ton of media coverage — MSNBC’s Chris Hayes said “This ad’s basically a masterpiece.” Carl has gotten coverage in Politico, Boston Globe, Washington Post, the Daily Beast, the New York Times blog, and more. He’s appeared on MSNBC and CNN, and will be on again this weekend!

Here’s the ad: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3S1zcbWkoM

Click here to donate to keep it on air and show Massachusetts voters the progressive choice for Congress!

But candidates don’t just win on their own — even though Carl’s got incredible progressive values and a strong campaign team, he needs volunteers to Call Out The Vote and let voters know Carl’s the bold progressive choice.

Our Call Out The Vote system is super easy to use — you can do it right from your home, we give you the script, and you’re only connected to live people (no busy signals, no voicemail, no disconnected numbers). In the 2012 election, PCCC members made over 2.2 million calls that changed the election, and over 574,000 calls for Elizabeth Warren alone.

Click here to sign up for call shifts, AND to watch Carl’s awesome ad featuring his Tea Party dad.

My family is from Massachusetts, so I’ll say it: Call Out The Vote is wicked easy, and wicked satisfying.

Do you want to get progressives elected in 2014?

I do! Which is why earlier this year, I applied to be a member of the PCCC’s inaugural P100 class. I was lucky enough to be accepted and my progressive finance training began.

My name is Lacey Connelly and I’m a new fellow here at the PCCC. We’re working to train 100s of up-and-coming activists to work on progressive campaigns this cycle and I couldn’t be more happy to pay my experience forward!

I attended the first P100 training in Chevy Chase, MD back in March. I learned so much about prepping and staffing call time, planning fundraising events, and putting together a fundraising media plan that I was confident enough to go to Kentucky and kick-start a fundraising operation for a new candidate for Congress. Now I’m working for the PCCC to recruit the next class of progressive campaign workers!

Our next training will be in Madison, WI on September 28th-29th and will focus on developing finance staff to work on competitive races in 2014.

You really should click here and apply!

We’ll review all applications and the most qualified applicants will be contacted for a follow up interview. The 25 finalists will be notified three weeks prior to the training. Apply as soon as possible — the final deadline is September 2nd. After the training, the PCCC will work to place you on a progressive campaign so you can put your skills to use getting good people  elected!

If you can’t make the training in WI but want to hear more about future trainings, go ahead and apply; just click “Interested in Future Trainings.”

Progressives go on offense with new *Expand Social Security* ad against Mitch McConnell

Retired Kentuckian autoworker Kirk Gillenwaters of Louisville is counting on Social Security being there for him when he retires. He’s been working since age eighteen and will soon need the benefits he’s earned.

Kirk’s senator, Republican Senator Mitch McConnell (who calls himself the “proud guardian of gridlock”) wants to cut Social Security.

We’ve teamed up with Kirk to make a hard-hitting TV ad that shames McConnell for hurting the families he’s supposed to represent. Take 30 seconds to watch the add — and donate $3 to air it on Kentucky TV.

read more…

Happy 78th birthday, Social Security!

Today, Social Security celebrates its seventy-eighth birthday, having come into being with the signing of the Social Security Act by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on August 14th, 1935.

Originally conceived as a public service that would allow elderly Americans to retire with dignity, Social Security has been expanded over the years to also cover people with disabilities, children who have lost parents, and surviving spouses.

For nearly eight decades, Social Security has paid out benefits to tens of millions of Americans. In 2008, the year that the house of cards built by Wall Street banks came tumbling down, Social Security paid $615 million in benefits to over fifty million Americans. Even in times of economic hardship, Americans have always been able to depend on Social Security.

That’s why it’s crucial that we give Social Security a raise.

Senators Tom Harkin, Mark Begich, Brian Schatz believe that Congress should expand, not cut, Social Security. They’re introducing legislation to expand benefits and scrap the cap to ensure that wealthy families pay the same rates as the rest of us.

Over 400,000 people have signed on in support of their plan. Have you? Click here to sign the petition and add your voice to the hundreds of thousands calling on Congress to expand Social Security.

New Era of “Open Debates” To Kick Off in Massachusetts Congressional Race

Open Debate QuestionsToday, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee is proud to announce that we will host a first-of-its-kind Open Debate in the special election for Congress in Massachusetts.

All 5 Democrats running in the primary to replace now-Senator Ed Markey in the House of Representatives have agreed to participate in our Open Debate, where the public submits and votes on the questions. This is also Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s home congressional district.

Open Debates will be a game changer in our political process — ensuring that questions get asked that the public actually cares about. What starts in Massachusetts will hopefully become the norm for local, state, congressional, and even presidential debates in the future.

The debate will be held Saturday, August 10, at 11am Eastern and will be broadcast live online at OpenDebateQuestions.com. At this site, the public can submit questions, vote, learn about the candidates, and sign up for a reminder to watch the debate.

While this debate is a first, the idea of Open Debates is not new. During the 2008 presidential campaign, I was happy to work with Internet guru (now Harvard Professor) Lawrence Lessig to lead an amazing alliance of progressives, conservatives, and techies who came together around the Open Debate Coalition. This coalition included MoveOn, DailyKos, Arianna Huffington, Grover Norquist, Newt Gingrich’s American Solutions, RedState, Craig from Craiglist, Jimmy Wales from Wikipedia, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Personal Democracy Forum, Aaron Swartz, and many others.

Our coalition had two core Open Debate principles:

1. Debates are for the benefit of the public. Therefore, the right to speak about the debates ought to be “owned” by the public, not controlled by the media. [M]edia companies [should] release rights to presidential debate video to ensure that …

A very successful first week for #ExpandSocialSecurity

This past week, following the July 23rd national launch of our campaign to expand Social Security with Senators Tom Harkin and Mark Begich, we held four successful events – in Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Texas – to talk about the senators’ plan to expand Social Security, and discuss new polling that shows voters overwhelmingly support expanding Social Security, not cutting it.

In Texas, Dr. Andrew Achenbaum of the University of Houston succinctly described Social Security as “the basic compact we all share against risks” and encouraged Texas Senator John Cornyn to consider supporting the Harkin/Begich plan.

Expand Social Security event in Trenton, New JerseyIn New Jersey, PCCC co-founder Adam Green challenged the frontrunner for Frank Lautenberg’s Senate seat, Cory Booker, to take a stand for Social Security outside of the statehouse in Trenton. (Booker responded later that day on Twitter, saying he opposes cutting Social Security and considers raising the retirement age to be a cut).

In Massachusetts, progressive elected leaders from the City of Cambridge and the Massachusetts General Assembly joined with activists to recognize that millions of Americans depend on Social Security today and millions more are expecting to be able to receive the benefits they’ve earned in the years to come.

And in Kentucky, PCCC’s Karissa Gerhke discussed new polling that shows voters in the Bluegrass State want Social Security protected and strengthened, not weakened.

Together with Democracy for America, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee asked five hundred and eighty five voters in Kentucky for their reaction to the Harkin/Begich plan. 51% of respondents said they supported increasing Social Security benefits, while only 24% were opposed.

Question: A proposal in Congress …

NJ Senate frontrunner Cory Booker says he opposes cuts to Social Security – including raising the retirement age

Newark Mayor Cory Booker, widely considered to be the frontrunner in the race to fill Frank Lautenberg’s Senate seat in New Jersey, said today that he is opposed to cutting Social Security benefits, including raising the retirement age.

At a midday Expand Social Security press conference conference in Trenton, at the New Jersey statehouse, PCCC co-founder Adam Green called on Booker to declare his support for expanding Social Security. PolitickerNJ reports:

“Social Security is more important than ever,” said Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee.

“Even in the red state of Kentucky, voters support the expansion of Social Security,” he said. “There is no excuse for Democrats right here in the blue state of New Jersey not to.”

Green called out Newark Mayor Cory Booker by name, arguing it’s especially important for the race’s frontrunner to “declare his support” on the issue given Booker’s ties to Wall Street.

Following the press conference, Booker responded to a tweet from Jason Comstock, who asked, “Do you support cuts or other changes to Social Security or Medicare?” Booker replied, “No. None & if anything expand Social Security.”

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Senate #FAIL on student loans: What you need to know

The U.S. Senate is on the verge of failing students – again.

Weeks after allowing student loans to double, senators from both parties are introducing legislation that would send future students’ borrowing costs even higher.  Their proposal is worse than doing nothing – undergraduates could pay up to 8.25% interest rates and graduate students would pay even more. Current students would only be offered a teaser rate – and then their rates would go up too.

Thankfully, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts is fighting back and standing up for students. Here’s what she had to say about this raw deal yesterday on the floor of the U.S. Senate:

“We should not go along with any plan that demands that our students continue to produce huge profits for the government… This is wrong.”

— Senator Elizabeth Warren, July 18th, 2013

Senator Warren is doing her part to defeat this bad deal, but she needs our help.

If Senate Democrats hear from voters today that they oppose this deal, we can stop it.

Can you make a call to your U.S. Senators and ask them to oppose the bad student loans deal? It’s easy and we’ll give you the right number to call, plus a few key points you can make.

An outpouring of public opposition will show Congress that students deserve better than to be used as profit centers, and embolden Democrats to side with students.

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