Political Party/527

Progressive Democrats of America

Website:

https://pdamerica.org

Location:

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Tax Exempt Status:

527 Carey Committee

Formation:

2004

Type:

Left-of-center political action committee

Executive Director:

Alan Minsky

Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) is a left-wing political action committee that seeks to push the Democratic Party in a left-progressive direction through working both within and from without the party.

Founding and History

Progressive Democrats of America was founded in 2004 during the Democratic National Convention at a meeting held in the Boston neighborhood of Roxbury in the wake of the failed presidential campaigns of former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean and then-U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH). The group came together with the goal of pushing the Democratic Party in a left-wing direction and has partnered with numerous other left-wing groups to affect this change from within and without the party. [1]

Finances

During the 2019-2020 election cycle, Progressive Democrats of America raised $555,429, of which $334,603 was raised from individual donors with contributions of $200 or more. Of that amount, $532,693 was spent during the cycle. PDA ended the cycle with $26,579 cash on hand. [2]

PDA spent $131,509 on salaries and benefits, of which executive director Alan Minsky was the largest recipient, receiving $35,014. Other expenses included $39,378 for fundraising, and $32,924 for administrative expenses. [3]

Priority Issues

Health Care

Progressive Democrats of America criticizes the American health care system and blames private health insurance and pharmaceutical companies for what it deems as the system’s problems. PDA has worked with a variety of other progressive groups in this area, and has endorsed legislation introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in 2013 that would have recognized health care as a “human right” and created a new government-run single-payer health care system. [4]

Equal Rights Amendment

PDA campaigns for the adoption of the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution, which critics allege would codify a right to legal abortion among other left-progressive women’s-interest policies. [5] It explicitly states that it is working to overturn the ratification deadline in the original amendment and is pursuing a “three state strategy” that does not recognize those state legislatures that have acted to rescind their ratifications. [6]

End Corporate Rule

PDA calls for the Citizens United v. FEC Supreme Court decision to be overturned, and seeks to “protect” the Postal Service. PDA states that it considers most media in the U.S. to be “right-wing.” [7]

Stop Global Warming

PDA supports the imposition of a carbon tax, subsidies for solar and wind power generation, an end to fracking, and the cessation of nuclear power generation. [8]

Voter Access Protection and Election Integrity

PDA is opposed to electronic voting machines and advocates for the use of verifiable paper ballots that would be suitable for mandatory audits after every election. PDA also calls for publicly funded elections, campaign finance reform, and increased voter access. PDA is opposed to voter ID requirements. [9]

Economic and Social Justice

PDA campaigns for union-level wage mandates, student debt relief, and a financial transaction tax. [10]

End Wars and Occupations

PDA campaigns to reduce the military budget to 1998 levels, a withdrawal from Afghanistan and Syria, and the end of targeted killing operations. [11]

Support for Political Candidates

While Progressive Democrats of America did endorse Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) for the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, it did not contribute money to his campaign or to any other federal candidates. In the 2020 cycle the only candidate to receive contributions from PDA was the unsuccessful congressional campaign of Angelica Duenas (D-CA). [12] [13]

Leadership

Alan Minsky is the executive director of Progressive Democrats of America and is a long time left-wing activist. He has produced podcasts for The Nation and Jacobin. He was involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement and identifies as an anti-racist and feminist. [14]

References

  1. “ABOUT PDA – Progressive Democrats of America.” PDAmerica.org, February 21, 2021. https://pdamerica.org/about-pda/. ^
  2. Center for Responsive Politics. “Progressive Vote PAC Profile Spending.” Opensecrets.org, March 22, 2021. Accessed July 5, 2021. https://www.opensecrets.org/political-action-committees-pacs/progressive-vote/C00402800/summary/2020. ^
  3. Center for Responsive Politics. “Progressive Vote PAC Profile Expenditures.” Opensecrets.org, March 22, 2021. Accessed July 5, 2021. https://www.opensecrets.org/political-action-committees-pacs/progressive-vote/C00402800/expenditures/2020 ^
  4. “OUR ISSUES – Progressive Democrats of America.” PDAmerica.org. Accessed July 5, 2021. https://pdamerica.org/about-pda/our-issues/. ^
  5. Schlapp, Mercedes, and Mary Vought. “It’s Too Late to Ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, and It Would Be Harmful to Women.” USA Today. Gannett Satellite Information Network, March 15, 2021. https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2021/03/15/equal-rights-amendment-harm-women-too-late-to-ratify-column/4667124001/. ^
  6. “OUR ISSUES – Progressive Democrats of America.” PDAmerica.org. Accessed July 5, 2021. https://pdamerica.org/about-pda/our-issues/. ^
  7. “OUR ISSUES – Progressive Democrats of America.” PDAmerica.org. Accessed July 5, 2021. https://pdamerica.org/about-pda/our-issues/. ^
  8. “OUR ISSUES – Progressive Democrats of America.” PDAmerica.org. Accessed July 5, 2021. https://pdamerica.org/about-pda/our-issues/. ^
  9. “OUR ISSUES – Progressive Democrats of America.” PDAmerica.org. Accessed July 5, 2021. https://pdamerica.org/about-pda/our-issues/. ^
  10. “OUR ISSUES – Progressive Democrats of America.” PDAmerica.org. Accessed July 5, 2021. https://pdamerica.org/about-pda/our-issues/. ^
  11. “OUR ISSUES – Progressive Democrats of America.” PDAmerica.org. Accessed July 5, 2021. https://pdamerica.org/about-pda/our-issues/. ^
  12. Common Dreams. “Progressive Democrats of America Endorse Bernie Sanders for President,” March 13, 2019. Accessed July 5, 2021. https://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2019/03/13/progressive-democrats-america-endorse-bernie-sanders-president. ^
  13. Center for Responsive Politics. “Progressive Vote PAC Profile Candidate Recipients.” Opensecrets.org, March 22, 2021. Accessed July 5, 2021. https://www.opensecrets.org/political-action-committees-pacs/progressive-vote/C00402800/candidate-recipients/2020 ^
  14. “NATIONAL STAFF – Progressive Democrats of America.” PDAmerica.org, February 22, 2021. https://pdamerica.org/about-pda/national-staff/. ^
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