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Live From Netroots Nation: Weak Democrats Vs. Strong Progressives

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee is at Netroots Nation, and our co-founder Adam Green is on a panel titled “Weak Democrats Vs. Strong Progressives: Lessons From The Social Security Fight” alongside A�Reps. Alan Grayson (D-FL) and Mark Takano (D-CA) and Credo Mobile’s Becky Bond talking about how progressives build political power. Blogger Heather “Digby” Parton will be hosting, and we will use the panel to discuss how progressives have been fighting President Obama’s proposed cuts to Social Security benefits and how progressives are fighting back and even proposing to expand these benefits instead. Hear behind-the-scenes stories on power, progressive organizing, and the Democratic Party.

Below you can watch a livestream of the panel, A�which will begin at 7:30 PM EST today, with a pre-game conversation starting at 7:15 PM EST.

Click here to share this live stream on Facebook.

Click here to share this live stream on Twitter.

Are you a Daily Kos member? Click here to rec a diary about this event.

Click here to chip in a few dollars to progressive heroes who’ve signed the Grayson-Takano letter promising to vote against any cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid benefits.

PCCC fellow Andrew Villeneuve will also be live blogging the panel as it happens.

Panel Liveblog

Hey everyone, it’s Andrew. Welcome to our live coverage of Weak Democrats vs. Strong Progressives: Lessons from the Social Security Fight. If you’re able to tune in to our livestream above, you’re welcome to follow along from home in addition to reading live updates here in this post. We’ll be getting started in just a few minutes!

4:30 PM: Here we go! Again, we are livestreaming this panel above. Feel free to tune in and watch from home. Heather Parton, who blogs as Digby, will moderate our discussion for the next hour and fifteen minutes.

4:43 PM: …

PASADENA SUN: Progressive group seeks out Chu’s support

Five Social Security recipients from Pasadena and surrounding communities brought a letter bearing 1,029 signatures to Chu’s office and asked her to add her own… The letter — known as the Grayson-Takano letter for its authors, Reps. Alan Grayson (D-Fl.) and Mark Takano (D-Calif.) — is addressed to President Obama and vows that its signees will not vote for any cuts to the programs, including raising the retirement age or reducing the amount of disbursements.

INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES: Sequester Cuts: Democratic House Members Tell Obama They Will Block Efforts To Cut Medicare, Social Security

Everything from public education to child care subsidies and aviation safety could be on the chopping block. But a group of more than 20 Democrats are petitioning Obama in the hopes of ensuring the nation’s most critical social-safety-net programs will not be subject to budget cuts.

“Democrats have built the most popular government programs in American history — including Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security — by working with Republicans whenever possible and by defeating Republican opposition whenever necessary. The torch has been passed to today’s elected officials, and we must carry it forward boldly,” states the letter, authored by Reps. Alan Grayson (Fla.) and Mark Takano (Calif.).

TPM: Progressive Lawmakers Warn Obama They Won’t Back Entitlement Cuts

In advance of any upcoming budget deal, progressive groups have begun pushing House Democrats to sign a letter to President Obama indicating that they will not back anything that cuts entitlement benefits. As of Wednesday, the letter, originally written by progressive Reps. Alan Grayson (D-FL) and Mark Takano (D-CA), had 10 additional signers.

The coalition pushing the letter, including the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, and Credo Action, announced it also added two unions, the National Nurses Union and the United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers of America, to the list.

The groups said 110,000 supporters had also signed the letter within 24 hours of it being put online and supporters have placed more than 4,000 calls to members of Congress.

HUFFINGTON POST: As Sequester Threatens Entitlement Programs, Progressive Coalition Warns Democrats Against Cuts

As Congress continues to debate a possible replacement to the $1.2 trillion in sequestration-related cuts set to kick in on March 1, a coalition of progressive organizations on Wednesday launched an effort urging Democratic lawmakers to reject to any deal that entails cuts to benefits from popular entitlement programs.

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Democracy For America, MoveOn, CREDO Action, Rebuild The Dream, the New York-based Working Families Party and Social Security Work are endorsing a letter to President Barack Obama, signed by Reps. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) and Mark Takano (D-Calif.), warning against cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security benefits.

Congressman-elect Mark Takano: I Continue To Oppose Any Cuts To Social Security Benefits

Congressman-elect Mark Takano (D-CA)

There are now multiple press reports that President Obama will agree to a fiscal deal that enacts a so-called a�?Chained CPIa�? to calculate Social Security and veteransa�� benefits.A�Under this plan, a�?a person age 75 in the future will get a yearly benefit thata��s $653 lower after ten years of chained CPI than that person would get under the current formula. An 85-year-old will have $1,139 less to live on.a�? This represents a huge cut to benefits.

Congressman-elect Mark Takano (D-CA) issued a statement this morning re-iterating his belief that he opposes any cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security benefits:

a�?As I’ve been preparing to come to Washington, I’ve kept a close eye on the a�?Fiscal Cliffa�� negotiations that are underway between President Obama and Speaker Boehner.

Recent reports have indicated that while Speaker Boehner has conceded that tax rates will increase for the wealthiest Americans, there is significant discussion about reforming key entitlement programs.

During my campaign, I told the voters that I would A�oppose any cuts or fundamental changes to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security and I continue to stand by that. A�We shouldn’t be using a budgetary crisis, created by Republican obstructionism, to undermine the promise wea��ve made to our seniors. We cannot balance the budget on the backs of the America’s most vulnerable citizens.a�?

We set up an ActBlue page to highlight and reward bold progressive members of Congress who are speaking out publicly today. Check them out and donate $3 to them here.

Click here to pledge to hold any Democrat who agrees to a deal that cuts Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits accountable.

Click here to call your Member of Congress and demand that they oppose this bad deal.

A Special Message From An Openly Gay Candidate For US House

Mark Pocan

Here’s a special message from Mark Pocan, a Wisconsin State Assembly member and openly-gay bold progressive candidate for Congress:

When Tammy Baldwin became the first openly-gay American elected to Congress as a non-incumbent,A�her victory was a historic breakthrough.

It allowed other openly-gay people to seek public office without fear — people like me.

In less than one week, we could make history againA�with Tammy Baldwin becoming the first openly-gay senator. And if myself and others like Mark Takano get elected, we could send the largest LGBT delegation to Congress in history.

Can you help us achieve history by donating $3 to Tammy Baldwin and Mark Takano’s campaign today? ]

YES! Great progressives in Congress vs. a cup of coffee. Easy choice!

No. But happy to volunteer from home. Show me the call shifts for them later today and this week.

Mark Takano is a friend and has already provided great value to his local California community as a teacher. I’m proud of him for making the decision to run for Congress — he calls himself “openly gay and openly progressive.”

All of us will oppose cuts to Social Security and Medicare benefits. We want strong government investment in jobs. And we support real accountability for Wall Street.

PCCC members have already made thousands of calls for our campaigns, and today will be a big day.

Please click here to sign up to make calls from home today and this week.A�And know that you have our thanks.

(Or, chip in a few dollars to Tammy and Mark’s campaigns.)

Thanks for being a bold progressive.