Defying Expectations, Young Sanders Activists Remain Engaged

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Mike Hersh, Communications Director: Mike@pdamerica.org

Donna Smith, Executive Director donna@pdamerica.org

Defying Expectations, Young Sanders Activists Remain Engaged

DENVER -

Progressive Democrats of America, (PDA), announces a new partnership with progressive college leaders called Young Progressives Demanding Action, (YPDA). Donna Smith, executive director of Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) says, "The Bernie Sanders-inspired Political Revolution astounded veteran political observers by mobilizing millions of Americans, including younger people."

 

Smith, a veteran organizer and progressive leader says, "The pundits predicted that young people would be disillusioned and disengage after the primaries. Defying these expectations, many young activists are launching Young Progressives Demanding Action (YPDA) and organizing chapters on college campuses throughout the country.

 

"PDA's work to engage students and younger voters takes a major step forward with the launch of YDPA chapters on college campuses in Hawaii, Ohio, California, Massachusetts, Vermont, Illinois, Alabama, and New York. Student leaders who supported Bernie Sanders agree with PDA that our political revolution has just begun. We're grateful that these leaders have decided to work with PDA. Together, we will reclaim our democracy."

 

Smith says, "We're welcoming Ian Schiffer, Elizabeth Lee, Morgan Johnson, and other student leaders to our PDA family. They've been active with College Students for Bernie and Young Democratic Socialists, (YDS) which is a part of Democratic Socialists of America, (DSA). PDA worked with lead-organizers National Nurses United (NNU), DSA, YDS, and dozens of other groups planning the People's Summit in June 2016 in Chicago, where more than 3,000 Bernie Sanders supporters gathered to plan and share ideas last June. The student leaders contacted PDA to suggest an alliance after the Summit."

 

Ian Schiffer, one of the YDPA student leaders, defines the new organization's mission as follows, "Young Progressives Demanding Action is building a permanent progressive movement on college campuses, fighting for justice at the local, state, and federal levels. We believe in 'Justice or Bust,' by which we mean racial justice, social justice, environmental justice, economic justice, criminal justice, and electoral justice. We're working to ensure that this movement is inclusive and intersectional in nature, and will welcome the participation of all progressives."

 

Schiffer adds, "We advocate for student-centered progressive policy initiatives to unite the young progressive movement. We are already organizing for the Congressional Progressive Caucus People’s Budget, the Black Lives Matter movement, and a Path to Citizenship, as well as eliminating debt and promoting equality in higher education. We seek to achieve progress through coalition building and community organizing around issues, rather than through parties, personalities, or candidates. YPDA is planning outreach on dozens of college campuses, and they already have commitments from other student leaders to launch new YPDA chapters."

 

Over its 12-year history, PDA has organized to achieve progress on important issues and has supported effective progressive candidates. In 2013, we launched the Run Bernie Run campaign to draft Bernie Sanders to run for president as a Democrat because of his leadership on the issues.  “In May 2014, we presented Sen. Sanders with 10,000s of signatures urging him to run, and when he did, we worked tirelessly organizing volunteers and holding events in nearly every primary and caucus state," Smith said.  PDA also celebrated having 226 of its members elected as Bernie Sanders delegates from throughout the country who traveled to Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention in July.

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Progressive Democrats of America is a grassroots PAC that works both inside the Democratic Party and outside in movements for peace and justice. Our goal: Elect a permanent, progressive majority in 2008. PDA's advisory board includes seven members of Congress and activist leaders such as Tom Hayden, Medea Benjamin, Thom Hartmann and Rev. Lennox Yearwood. More info:http://pdamerica.org

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