Since our launch on August 1, 2011, Progressives United's education and advocacy arm has become a major force for progressive change in America.
We're Holding Democratic Leaders Accountable
When we heard that Minority Leader Pelosi was signaling a willingness to capitulate to corporate interests and sign onto Bowles-Simpson – a plan which would slash Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security benefits – we leapt into action. Over 30,000 of our members responded and Pelosi was forced to address our organization directly during an appearance on This Week with George Stephanopolous. We shed light onto an issue that otherwise wouldn’t have received the national attention it deserved. As David Dayen of the blog FireDogLake remarked, while Progressives United “...may have made the DC establishment angry...it will have been their early whistleblowing that made a difference, putting space between the more liberal wing of the party and a disastrous set of policies.”
We Fought Citizens United by Supporting Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock's Challenge
The Supreme Court was considering whether to hear Montana’s challenge of Citizens United. Progressives United signed onto an Amicus Curiae to the Court supporting Montana. Russ also joined with Attorney General Steve Bullock and Democracy For America to pressure other state AGs to join the fight. And although the Court doubled down on its original, disastrous ruling, we helped create the national attention that the Court's inaction warranted.
We Fought for the Buffett Rule — and Helped Change the National Conversation
When President Obama proposed a rule inspired by billionaire Warren Buffett to make sure the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share in taxes, Progressives United worked hard to amplify it in our national dialog.
Ours was the first organization to develop a tool that allowed people to write directly to the super committee through our website. Supporters used this tool to submit over 130,000 comments, attract partners like Democracy for America and Social Security Works to joined our campaign, and help move the dominant political conversation from the deficit to income inequality.
At one point, out of 175,000 comments the super committee had received, 83,000 came through the Progressives United website.
We Fought to Make Sure Democrats on the Super Committee Didn't Cave to Right-Wing Demands — and They Didn't
Petition to Representative Nancy Pelosi and Senator Harry Reid
Progressives United launched a petition to Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. Nancy Pelosi urging them to use their appointments to the deficit reduction super committee to appoint progressive champions who would fight for us.
Over 40,000 progressives signed our petition:
We need Nancy Pelosi to appoint true progressive champions to the "Super Committee." Mitch McConnell and John Boehner have appointed members who will draw the line on no new revenues, and instead zero their aim on big cuts to Medicare and Social Security, using the deficit to change our fundamental values.
Democratic appointees must oppose all cuts to Social Security and Medicare and demand that corporations and the wealthy finally sacrifice like everyone else. No ifs, ands, or buts.
The final super committee composition included progressives like Rep. Xavier Becerra, Rep. James Clyburn, and Sen. Patty Murray.
Petition to Super Committee Members
Once members of the super committee were chosen, supporters of Progressives United petitioned Democratic members to stand on our progressive principles:
- Ensure millionaires, billionaires, and big corporations pay their fair share of debt reduction,
- No cuts to Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits,
- No giveaways to corporate interests,
- Or no deal.
Over 65,000 people signed this imporant petition — and in the end, Democrats walked away rather than making a bad deal.
We Fought to Make Sure State Attorneys General Didn't Let Wall Street Off the Hook — and They Heard Us
Thousands of Progressives United supporters contacted their state attorney general's office to urge them not to settle for a deal pushed by the Obama administration and Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller. The deal would have given immunity to the banks that started the foreclosure crisis for their potential crimes without a full investigation and forcing them to pay only a fraction of what they should.
Using our online phone tool, activists reached out to attorneys general across America. Thousands more Californians reached out to Attorney General Kamala Harris when she became the bank lobbyists' top target.
To date, several attorneys general are holding out against the proposed 50-state settlement that once seemed so close, pushing for a better deal for the public.
Work on the State Level
Progressives United has been a leader in pushing for legislation at the state level: While there is little chance for legislation to pass at the federal level, states provide a unique opportunity to fight corporate dominance. Progressives United has pushed for reform in New York, California, and Connecticut. States will continue to be at the forefront of this battle, and Progressives United will continue to lead. See more on our state work here.