The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

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

Grijalva: Opposition Must Intensify Against Escalation War Funding


Congressman Raul Grijalva, (D., Ariz.), Congressional Progressive
Caucus Co-Chair, speaks out strongly in an audio podcast posted online
today, calling for increased public pressure on congress members to
vote against another $33.5 billion to escalate the war in Afghanistan:

think the opposition to the supplemental has to intensify," Grijalva
said in an interview with Tim Carpenter, Director of Progressive
Democrats of America, "and the accountability to those members of
Congress that have pledged in the past not to support it has to be
intensified as well."

Grijalva urged opposition to the bill regardless of what good measures are packaged into it:

you're going to see some things attached to it, i.e. education and
other issues that we care very deeply about at progressives. We want to
see more attention to our schools. We want to see more opportunity
extended. But I think the bottom line has to be, regardless of the
wrapping, the content is the supplemental and the continuance of this
war with no exit strategy and no strategy in the horizon to get out of

"I think it's essential to split
this vote," Grijalva explained, advocating for a separate vote on the
war escalation funding alone. "You need to give those of us that feel,
both out of strategic conscience and for the protection of the tax
payer in this country that we can't continue these unfunded unpopular
wars, and we should be given an up and down vote so that at a very
minimum we can be held accountable by our own constituency for how we
voted in that instance."

Grijalva also
discussed the new state law in Arizona that, as he put it, codifies
racial profiling. Grijalva said he supports targeted economic sanctions
aimed at conventions in his own state, and supports lobbying the
President to address the matter. He did not propose any role for

Also speaking on this latest
podcast from Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) is Dan O'Neal, PDA
Arizona Coordinator, who discusses plans for a May 29th rally against
what he describes as "apartheid Arizona." While O'Neal supports a
boycott of Arizona, he urges everyone who can to come to Arizona on the
29th to join in the protest.

The full audio of this podcast is available online:

to today's communique to its members, PDA is in the process of
formalizing its position on humane immigration reform, which "gets to
the root of the problem." Carpenter again, "The national leadership
does not just make up PDA's position, like so many organizations do; we
welcome our members to join the discussion, develop principles and
create PDA's position." He added, "It takes time--all voices are heard,
and then we vote."

The full text of the communique is available online:

grassroots organization was founded in 2004 to transform the Democratic
Party and our country. We seek to build a party and government
controlled by citizens, not corporate elites--with policies that serve
the broad public interest, not just private interests. PDA is a
grassroots PAC operating inside the Democratic Party, and outside in
movements for peace and justice. Our inside/outside strategy is guided
by the belief that a lasting majority will require a revitalized
Democratic Party built on firm progressive principles.

over two decades, the party declined as its leadership listened more to
the voices of corporations than those of Americans. PDA strives to
rebuild the Democratic Party from the bottom up--from every
congressional district to statewide party structures to the corridors
of power in Washington, where we work arm in arm with the Congressional
Progressive Caucus. In just five years, PDA and its allies have shaken
up the political status quo--on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, Medicare
for all, voter rights, accountability, and economic and environmental

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