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Then-Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) addresses a rally with protesters calling for higher wages for federal contract workers in the rain on Capitol Hill November 10, 2015 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Progressives Call On Democrats to Endorse 21st Century Economic Bill of Rights

"Only progressive Democrats truly stand for the type of economy and society that the overwhelming majority of Americans support."

Jenna McGuire

The group Progressive Democrats of America on Thursday urged all progressive U.S. candidates and officeholders to embrace a "21st Century Economic Bill of Rights."

"In contrast to those who favor retreat or the status quo, we present a vision of and a call to action for positive democratic renewal and growth."

The call for a sweeping new progressive platform is motivated by former President Franklin D. Roosevelt's 1944 State of the Union address, which advocated for the necessity and popularity of an Economic Bill of Rights, in addition to the original Bill of Rights.

FDR declared: "We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. 'Necessitous men are not free men.' …[Therefore] we have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all regardless of station, race, or creed."

Watch:

Progressive Democrats of America's (PDA) proposed model for the 21st Century Economic Bill of Rights is drawn from the 2020 presidential campaign website of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), which outlines every citizen's right to a living wage, quality healthcare, a complete education, affordable housing, a clean environment, and a secure retirement.

PDA recognizes the need to expand the list—suggesting, for example, that along with a living wage, Americans should have the right to a job with guaranteed sick leave and at least two weeks of paid vacation, as well as union representation and collective bargaining.

"Embracing this new Bernie Sanders' 21st Century Economic Bill of Rights will make it all the more clear what distinguishes Progressive Democrats from both moderate Democrats and Republicans," the group said in a statement. "That only Progressive Democrats truly stand for the type of economy and society that the overwhelming majority of Americans support."

The group added that it is progressive Democrats who overwhelmingly support a platform of popular policies that best serves the interests of all Americans, including on labor rights, the climate crisis, education, and healthcare.

PDA is calling on all progressive lawmakers to adopt this new economic model and seek its implementation immediately.

"We reject the cynicism that says we can do little to remedy the endemic social ills that have caused so many to lose faith in our national project," said PDA. "And in contrast to those who favor retreat or the status quo, we present a vision of and a call to action for positive democratic renewal and growth."


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