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|Formation||July 26-29, 2004|
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PDA was founded during the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Massachusetts by Tim Carpenter, Steve Cobble, Kevin Spidel, Mimi Kennedy, Laura Bonham, Joe Libertelli, Bruce Taub, and about two dozen other former staffers and supporters of the Dennis Kucinich for President Campaign--as well as Joel Segal, and other progressive activists who helped organize delegates and activists concerned with the centrist and right leaning trends in the Democratic Party. Currently PDA consists of "a large group of progressive grassroots activists from across the country who want to support progressive grassroots activities both locally and nationally."
Appearing at the first PDA meeting in Roxbury, Massachusetts were leaders, activists, and politicians including Dean and Kucinich, U.S. representatives John Conyers, Jesse Jackson, Jr. and Barbara Lee, Rev. Jesse Jackson, James Zogby, Tom Hayden, Medea Benjamin, John Lauritsen, and the late PDA Executive Director Tim Carpenter.
PDA's mission is to strengthen the voice of progressive ideas inside and outside the Democratic Party by using "inside/outside" and "grassroots fusion" models of working both in the Democratic Party as well as working with other progressive organizations both inside and outside the Party.
The Progressive Democrats of America opposes wars and occupations.
PDA launched the Healthcare Not Warfare campaign to emphasize these policy positions. Donna Smith currently serves as the chair of the campaign. PDA supports the following legislation: H.R. 198 to Repeal of the Authorization for Use of Military Force, H.R. 200 the Responsible End to Afghanistan War Act, H.R. 783 the Prevent Iran from Acquiring Nuclear Weapons and Stop War Through Diplomacy Act, and H.R. 2494 the Protecting Americans from the Proliferation of Weapons to Terrorists in Syria Act.
PDA supports establishing an expanded, improved Medicare for All National Healthcare Program, moving toward a single-payer health care system. PDA advocates passage of H.R. 676 the United States National Health Care Act, which would provide enhanced Medicare for all by establishing a streamlined, nonprofit national health program under which care would be publicly financed and privately delivered. PDA also supports H.R. 1200 the American Health Security Act which would enable states to establish their own health care programs to move toward publicly financed systems.
PDA supports fair trade, which it asserts would protect consumers' and workers' rights as well as the environment while opposing free trade agreements that it believes tend to let multinational corporations exploit labor worldwide. PDA is opposing renewal of fast track authority that allows the White House to enact trade deals without Congressional amendment or full oversight. This especially as regards the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a sweeping agreement which PDA believes would "save substantial negative impact on millions of people in the 12 nations holding talks, including the United States."
PDA has endorsed and worked to gain support for the following legislation: H.R. 12 / S. 123 the Voter Empowerment Act, H.R. 280 the Same Day Registration Act, H.R. 281 the Voter Access Protection Act, H.R. 1537 the End Prison Gerrymandering Act (for census purposes, the place of residence is last address prior to incarceration), and H.J. Res. 44 to establish voting as a Constitutional Right.
PDA supports the following legislation: S. 1135 the FRAC Act aka Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act "To amend the Safe Drinking Water Act to repeal a certain exemption for hydraulic fracturing, and for other purposes",H.R. 1175 the FRESHER Act aka Focused Reduction of Effluence and Stormwater runoff through Hydrofracking Environmental Regulation Act "To amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act and direct the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a study with respect to stormwater runoff from oil and gas operations",H.R. 1154 the BREATHE Act aka Bringing Reductions to Energy's Airborne Toxic Health Effects Act "To amend the Clean Air Act to eliminate the exemption for aggregation of emissions from oil and gas sources", and H.R. 2825 the CLEANER Act aka Closing Loopholes and Ending Arbitrary and Needless Evasion of Regulations Act "To require regulation of wastes associated with the exploration, development, or production of crude oil, natural gas, or geothermal energy under the Solid Waste Disposal Act."
PDA seeks to reduce America's dependence on oil and fossil fuels by raising auto fuel economy and imposing taxation on carbon dioxide while investing in public transportation, energy conservation technologies, and alternative energy development.
PDA supports legislation including constitutional amendments to protect voting rights, and opposes court decisions, legislation and other efforts to roll back the Voting Rights Act.
The End Mass Criminalization Issue Team works on the following related issues, including: Mass Incarceration, Prison Industrial Complex/Privatization of Prisons, School to Prison Pipeline, Restoration of Voting Rights, Voter Suppression by Incarceration, Stop and Frisk, Harm Reduction, Criminalization of Poverty, Mandatory Minimum Sentences, Criminal Justice System, War on Drugs, Solitary Confinement.