Progressive Coalition Wants More From Elected Leaders

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010   Share on Facebook   Share on Twitter

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010
Brad Luna — 202/812.8140 (cell) or brad@lunamediagroup.com

Broad Coalition of Progressive Leaders Call on Congressional Democrats, President Obama to Act More Boldly on Core, Progressive Issues

Leaders and Advocates Available for Midterm Election Response, Interviews

WASHINGTON, DC – A broad coalition of progressive leaders and activists are calling on the Democratic Party to act more boldly on core progressive issues and believe that yesterday’s Democratic, electoral losses are largely due to elected leaders not fighting hard enough for popular, progressive change – leaving voters, particularly progressive constituencies, disappointed and disillusioned.

Below are on-the-record statements from each of the progressive leaders and activists. Additionally, there is contact information for each individual for those press interested in submitting a media request or an interview:

Courtney Hight, Executive Director of Energy Action Coalition:

“Will President Obama wake up and realize that young voters bucked the trends in 2008 because of bold leadership and aspirations, not modestly bowing to the corporate interests he vowed to take on? In the wake of these unpopular corporate dominated elections, political leadership has the opportunity to lead a bold progressive agenda behind a clean energy economy – will they seize it?”

Energy Action Coalition is a coalition of 50 youth-led environmental and social justice groups working together to build the youth clean energy and climate movement.

** Media Contact: Courtney Hight  (541) 554-9679 or courtney@energyactioncoalition.org**

John Aravosis, Founder and Editor of AMERICAblog.com:

“During the 2008 election, Barack Obama promised to be the gay community’s “fierce advocate.”  Since that time, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) still haven’t been repealed, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act can’t even get a hearing, and the Department of Justice continues to defend both DADT and DOMA in court. President Obama and the Democratic Congress had the best opportunity in a generation to help lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans secure our full civil rights.  Now that the House has gone Republican, the only way we’re going to secure our rights, and not go backwards, is for Democrats to show the bold leadership that was sorely missed the last two years.”

AMERICAblog is a leading progressive political blog based in Washington, DC.

**Media Contact: John Aravosis at americablog@starpower.net **

Adam Green, Co-Founder of Progressive Change Campaign Committee:

“Democrats lost because party leaders never truly fought for popular progressive reforms like the public option and breaking up the big banks, leaving voters uninspired to come to the polls and vote Democratic. What the average voter saw of Democrats was weak, watered-down change — and weak Democratic leaders who cut deals with the very Wall Street banks and insurance companies they are supposed to be fighting. Progressives will demand boldness, reward bold leaders, reject ‘leaders’ in name only, and hold Democratic politicians accountable when they don’t fight for popular, progressive change.”

Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) is a 400,000 member grassroots organization dedicated to electing progressives to Congress and fighting for progressive policy change.

** Media Contact: Adam Green at adam@BoldProgressives.org **

Jorge Mursuli, President of Democracia USA/Democracia Inc.:

“The Hispanic community has been disappointed with both political parties throughout the past decade for their lack of progress on immigration reform. Obviously the state of the economy and job losses have aggravated that disappointment during this election cycle and in some instances that translated into Hispanics wanting to disengage from the political process altogether.  That is not what we want or need and certainly if either party wants to come courting again-they will need to reenergize the community by showing bold leadership and tackling those issues that matter most to us in a way that delivers tangible results.”

Democracia USA (DUSA), is a national, multi-year, non-partisan Hispanic voter registration, civic engagement and leadership development organization that seeks to increase the prominence and participation of Latinos in the American democratic process.

** Media contact: Camila Gallardo at (305) 573-7329 **

Jessy Tolkan, Youth Movement Organizer, Former Executive Director of Energy Action Coalition:

“Young voters are the most progressive constituency in America, even amidst the Republican “tidal wave” young voters preferred democrats by nearly 15 points. The potential for youth turnout was huge, but Democratic leaders and our administration failed to seize key opportunities to deliver on the progressive agenda that would have undoubtedly inspired far higher turnout amongst their core base – YOUNG PEOPLE.  The lesson Democrats and President Obama should take away from last night’s outcome is not to run to the center, or back down from the fight, the lesson is to be bold and stand up for the progressive values this generation holds.”

Energy Action Coalition is a coalition of 50 youth-led environmental and social justice groups working together to build the youth clean energy and climate movement.

** Media Contact: Jessy Tolkan at (414) 520-5655 or jessytolkan@gmail.com**

Rob “Biko” Baker, Executive Director of League of Young Voters:

“Youth led organizations took this election very seriously. We worked hard and set rigorous goals.  We had to.  Going in we knew that the there would not be a big investment in our organizing efforts or the issues that we are the most passionate about. Although we wish we could have done more,  I am positive that the data will highlight the important efforts of young leaders to mobilize their peers.  Without bold leadership from both parties, young people will continue to question whether the civic process can help them build bright futures.  Elected officials can no longer play lip service to our issues and expect youth organizations to carry the burden of inspiring young voters. We will no longer be ignored. There is too much at stake.”

The League of Young Voters Education Fund mobilizes low income and youth of color to participate in the civic process.

**Media Contact: Misty Anderson at misty@cashmereagency.com **

Robin McGehee, Co-Founder and Director of GetEQUAL:

“Two years ago, we walked into the ballot booth with hope that bold, progressive leaders would take the mantle and move all Americans forward. Sadly, this Election Day, we walked into the voting booth uninspired and exhausted from the long road of broken promises.  We don’t have an “enthusiasm gap.” We have a disappointment canyon fueled by the transactional politics that the Democratic Party chose to wield. We simply want President Obama and Congressional leaders to show the same courage when casting votes as they show when cashing checks — and we’ll continue to take to the streets until Republicans and Democrats together place us on the road to full federal equality for LGBT Americans.”

GetEQUAL is a national, direct action lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization fighting

** Media Contact: For media interested in booking an interview or any further press request, please contact Brad Luna, Luna Media Group, at 202-812-8140 (cell) or via email at brad@lunamediagroup.com. **

Flavia de la Fuente, Editor of DREAMActivist.org and organizer with the Dream is Coming Project:

“We urge our political leadership to champion even more stridently immigration reform, like the DREAM Act, that is based on hard work, education, and service.  As we will not be standing idly by as dreams continue to be deferred, we ask for champions,  not fair-weather friends.”

DreamActivist.org is a multicultural, migrant youth-led, social media hub for the movement to pass the DREAM Act and pursue the enactment of other forms of legislation that aim to mend the broken immigration system.

** Media Contact: Flavia@dreamactivist.org**

Miriam Zoila Perez, Editor of Feministing.com:

“Last night is proof that pandering to the Blue Dogs is not a winning strategy for Democrats. Ineffective centrist policy making is not what brought young voters and first time voters to the polls. Instead, a progressive vision for the future and the promise of a set of policies that will get us there is what brought record numbers out for Change and Hope in 2008. We saw voters reject right wing ideology by defeating conservative ballot initiatives and winning progressive ones in Colorado, Washington, Massachusetts, Arizona and Montana. We will not let our leaders use this election as an excuse not to be bold. Now more than ever we need them to dig their boots and stand their ground. The future of this country (and their jobs) depend on it.”

Feministing.com is an online community for feminists and their allies.

** Media Contact: Miriam Zoila Perez at miriamzperez@gmail.com **

James Rucker, Executive Director of ColorOfChange.org:

“African Americans didn’t come out to vote and volunteer with the same energy as in 2008, in large part because the Democratic Party didn’t fight hard enough on issues that matter to black people. Democrats need to ramp up their commitment to addressing unemployment and the foreclosure crisis — both of which disproportionately affect our communities. Listening to the Republicans and Wall Street in the wake of this election is not going to bring about the changes we need, or help Democrats win in 2012. Fighting harder to deliver on the change they promised in ’08 is the only way to make clear to voters that Democrats represent a real alternative to the failed policies of the past.”

With more than 700,000 members, ColorOfChange is the largest advocacy community dedicated to amplifying Black America’s political voice.

**Media Contact: Brandon Hatler at (212) 691-2800 or hatler@sunshinesachs.com. **

May Boeve, US Campaign Director, 350.org:

“Big oil fought like hell in this election and Democrats failed to fight back. Democrats looking for a way forward on energy and climate should turn to California, where we beat back Big Oil’s attack on our climate laws not by giving in or compromising but by holding our ground.”

350.org is an international campaign that’s building a movement to unite the world around solutions to the climate crisis—the solutions that science and justice demand.

**Media Contact: May Boeve at (707) 815-0054 or may@350.org .  **

Roberto Lovato, Co-Founder, Presente.org:

“Presente and its members stand ready to do the necessary work to move the country towards the progressive majority that both led to President Obama’s historic election and swept the Democrats into power in 2008. The question is whether the Democrats will step up and listen to the message of that progressive majority that Presente members represent.  On numerous issues of concern to our community-financial reform, war, immigration, and many other issues-the President and the Democrats have not heeded the very voice that elected them, and, as a result, they find themselves in the very unenviable position defined for them by their own inaction: losing power. The future of the country is at great risk and the Democrats cannot and will not avoid this risk without listening to the progressive majority.”

With over 250,000 members, Presente.org is the largest online community dedicated to serving the Latino community in the United States.

** Media Contact: Brandon Hatler at (212) 691-2800 or hatler@sunshinesachs.com. **

Kierra Johnson, Executive Director Choice USA:

“What inspires voters is a vision for change and the determination to see it through. Holding the line and ensuring the status quo does not make for an enthusiastic base.  People keep asking what it is that Obama can do to achieve victory in the next 2 years. I believe he must inspire young people by staying true to the promises he made during his campaign and to encourage candidates and Congress to do the same. We need our leaders to be fearless. And in the next 2 years we will be looking to our leaders to be fearless in fighting for a progressive platform on Immigration, Reproductive Health, the Economy and the Environment. See you in 2012. Until then, we’ll be watching!”

Choice USA mobilizes and provides ongoing support to the diverse, upcoming generation of leaders who promote and protect reproductive choice both now and in the future.

**Media Contact: Kate Childs Graham at kchildsgraham@choiceusa.org or 202.709.7195 **

Joe Sudbay, Deputy Editor of AMERICAblog and AMERICAblog Gay:

“Last week, I told President Obama that “there is a certain amount of disillusionment and disappointment in our community right now.” The President told me that he didn’t think the disillusionment “is justified.” He may think our concerns aren’t justified, but he’s wrong. They’re real. And, if the White House doesn’t grasp that — and soon, the damage may be irreparable. The LGBT community wants to be equal. And, we’re not feeling any closer to that often promised goal.”

AMERICAblog is a leading progressive political blog based in Washington, DC.

** Media Contact: John Aravosis (202) 262-9302 **

Pablo Alvarado, National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON):

“What those in Arizona and the students advocating for the passage of the DREAM Act have shown is that bold action is not only possible but that it sparks a movement when taken. At a time when our communities are suffering, whether it be from job loss or families separated in immigration raids, we need leaders in Washington to be as brave as the undocumented youth, as bold as those defying the terror of Sheriff Arpaio, to guide us to a new day. Tuesday’s results do not call for a retreat from the reform agenda that so many are hungry for. It is a wake-up call for enlivened progressive leadership that could invigorate a movement. Together we could write a new chapter in the history of this country. The opportunity is there. If only our leaders would take it.”

NDLON improves the lives of day laborers in the United States and works to strengthens its member organizations to be more strategic and effective in their efforts to develop leadership, mobilize, and organize day laborers in order to protect their civil, labor and human rights.

**Media Contact: B. Loewe (773)-791-4668 or bloewe@onpointconsortium.org . **

Gaby Pacheco, Co-Founder of the Trail of Dreams:

“Our Latino community came out strong and made it possible for Democrats in Colorado, California, and Nevada to win their elections. I was able to witness first-hand how immigrant youth canvassed and drove out the vote.  Now is the time to show Democrats that if they want our vote and support in 2012, they must be bold and push for key legislation like the DREAM Act. Our immigrant community is not voiceless; as a matter of fact, it has a megaphone: our first, second, and third generation Latino voters. If anything, this election showed that we’re watching, and we know how to mobilize.”

Trail of Dreams is a student-activist organization advocating for the immediate passage of the Dream Act and a moratorium on the deportation of Dream Act eligible students.

** Media Contact: media@trail2010.org **

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