The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Mike Hersh, PDA Communications Director,,Alan Minksy, PDA Executive Director:,

PDA Prepares to Add Value as New Adminstration Begins

Conference in DC on Jan. 17-18 Will Bring Together Grassroots, PDA Leaders on Next Steps


Progressive Democrats of America, recently named the country's Most Valuable Political Group of 2008,
will celebrate the inauguration of President Barack Obama by hosting
its Annual Grassroots Leadership Conference at the University of the
District of Columbia on Jan. 17 and 18.

The two-day conference
will feature seminars and discussions involving PDA's national
leadership, allied organizations and elected officials. Sessions will
focus on refining the group's goals and objectives for 2009 and giving
attendees organizing tools to use in working toward those goals in
their local areas.

"We're going to
build on efforts and themes developed during our Progressive Central
events at the Democratic Convention in Denver last August," said PDA
National Director Tim Carpenter, who will be moderating two panels, on
how to improve PDA in 2009 and on building the PDA community. Also
featured at the conference will be Congressional Black Caucus Chair
Rep. Barbara Lee, and Reps. Jim McGovern, Raul Grijalva and Eric Massa,
along with PDA leaders and allies such as PDA board member Steve Cobble
of the Institute for Policy Studies, Col. Anne Wright (ret.), Michael
Lighty of the California Nurses Association, Katie Robbins of
Healthcare NOW!, and many others.

Carpenter describes PDA's "inside/outside" strategy: "PDA works with
peace and justice movements and organizations in the grass roots and
with progressives in Congress to represent the Democratic Wing of the
Democratic Party. We're working for solutions most Democrats and most
Americans know we need, like ending the war and redirecting funding to
provide for human needs."

The Progressive Central events in Denver drew scores of activists and
delegates as well as speakers who included the Rev. Jesse Jackson along
with Reps. John Conyers, Barbara Lee, Lynn Woolsey, Raul Grijalva,
Dennis Kucinich, Robert Wexler, Jim McGovern, and Keith Ellison, plus
Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer. Also appearing were PDA board members
Jim Hightower, Tom Hayden, Jim Zogby, Medea Benjamin, Jodie Evans, and
Board Chair Mimi Kennedy.

PDA is gearing up for more growth and increased impact during 2009.
Reviving the progressive tradition of the Democratic Party, PDA is
working to advance peace, secure passage of single-payer healthcare for
all, ensure clean and transparent elections, enforce environmental
protection, and promote fair trade. A federal PAC, PDA plans to expand
its support for progressive House and Senate candidates into the 2010
midterm election cycle.

Progressive Democrats of America is one of the nation's fastest-growing
grassroots political organizations; it has active chapters in 45
states. More information and conference registration are available at:

Progressive Democrats of America was founded in 2004 to transform the Democratic Party and U.S. politics by working inside and outside of the party by working to elect empowered progressives and by building the progressive movement in solidarity with with peace, justice, civil rights, environmental, and other reform efforts. For more information about PDA, please see