PA 4th CD Chapter, Progressive Democrats of America
While the media speculates on President-Elect Obama’s cabinet picks, much of the electorate that put him in office is anticipating decisive action from the government to address the nation’s woes. Progressive Democrats need to focus on how to help bring about the change that the Obama campaign promised. Progressive Democrats of America should adopt a program of concrete steps needed in the first hundred days of the Obama administration to lay the basis for an economic recovery.
Now is the time for mass petitions for single payer healthcare, employee free choice, a peaceful foreign policy, rebuilding the infrastructure, and full funding for college education. It’s important to correlate the tactics of mass action to the stance of the ruling political coalition. It is now time, not to call for mass protest, but mass petition of our newly elected government. Not criticism, but appeals.
500,000 people in Washington DC this coming spring break petitioning Congress for single payer healthcare, employee free choice, full funding for college education, and rebuilding, for example, the crumbling locks and dams on the Ohio River will get the nation moving in the right direction.
By Bruce Dixon Black Agenda Report Managing Editor
November 22, 2008 – No presidential administration keeps its promises without relentless pressure from below. It’s never happened before, and there’s no reason to expect any different. The popular demand for jobs, peace and justice are the concrete “change” Democratic voters believe in, and what swept Obama and his party to power. The self-made crisis of the US auto industry is the perfect opportunity to make good on two of those promises. It’s not just the first test of whether an Obama administration intends to serve its voters or its wealthy corporate campaign contributors. It’s the first test of whether Obama’s popular base can or will hold the new president and his party accountable for producing the “change” they promised. Continue reading Bailout America with Medicare for All→
Health Care is
Better and Cheaper
This coming year, our 4th C.D. Chapter of PDA plans to participate in the national Win-Win campaign sponsored by Healthcare NOW, the national coalition backing HR676.
Join us in this new campaign to win endorsements of HR 676 – Medicare for All by local governments – counties, boroughs, townships, and school boards. In a time of fiscal crisis for local governments, saving over 50% of healthcare outlays and getting more healthcare in return is a win-win outcome for taxpayers, employees, and employers.
The employer payroll tax for health coverage under HR676 is considerably less than current local government outlays for health insurance. This is due to the $30 billion savings from eliminating private insurance companies from healthcare. HR 676 means big savings for taxpayers. Also, private and public employees will see an end to co-pays, premiums, and deductibles. And it means expanded healthcare coverage for everyone. See the Charts below: Continue reading 4th CD Task: Get Congressman Altmire to Cosponsor HR 676→
Rivers of Green:
The new administration must
fix locks and dams
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Pittsburgh owes its existence to its rivers, which first served as roads through the wilderness. To this day, the city’s economic fortunes are still linked to river traffic — this is the second-largest inland port in the United States.
Those barges plying our three rivers require an efficient, reliable system of locks and dams, which, in the region’s best interest, should be kept in good repair. As it happens, this is also in the nation’s interest. As he sets his national agenda, it is vital that President-elect Barack Obama keep this in mind because the system is under severe strain.
Allegheny Lock and
Dam #6 on the Verge
of Catastrophic Failure
By Randy Shannon Progressive Democrats of America
The Ohio River and its tributaries, the Allegheny River and the Monongahela River are the artery of commerce to the Port of Pittsburgh, the second largest inland port of the United States. Due to years of negligence and underfunding of our infrastructure this navigation system is on the verge of catastrophic failure. The Army Corps of Engineers press release linked here
states in the calmest language possible that we face a potential social, economic, and ecological disaster due to the critical disrepair of the locks and dams that make the rivers navigable. A dam failure would flood thousands of acres, starve water and sanitation facilities, and halt navigation. Most economic activity in the region will shut down, including the Pittsburgh International Airport and steel and cement production. The region would experience shortages of gasoline and basic foodstuff. Twelve coal fired electric power plants would face shutdown due to the halt of coal shipments on the rivers. Continue reading Pittsburgh Infrastructure Emergency→
About twenty of us are gathering early Saturday morning at the IBEW Hall, ‘Labor Central,’ in Vanport, Beaver County, Western PA. Today it’s a team of electrical workers, steelworkers, SEIU service workers and a few activists with the 4th CD PDA, Progressive Democrats of America.
We’re walking streets, lanes and backwoods roads to hit every union household in the area. The goal today? Voter ID. Make sure every list is correct, find every registered union family voter, find out where they stand, and then, Voter ED, give them our pitch and materials on why Obama-Biden is their best shot to defend their interests in 2008-‘Green Jobs,’ ending the war, defending health care.
The press calls our turf a critical battleground for the hearts, mind and votes of ‘the white worker,’ which it is, with McCain-Palin sliding down, but still at 51 percent today. But you wouldn’t know Obama had a problem by looking at our team today. They’re a hard-muscled crew, ball caps and blue jeans, but ‘Vote Obama 2008’ emblazoned on T-shirts, hats and buttons galore. The rightwing’s bigotry is reaching a fever pitch, but these workers are making it very clear where they stand.
___________________________________________________________________ Continue reading ‘Time To Give the Black Guy a Chance’→
Nearly 100 blue-collar union workers rose early this Saturday morning, Oct. 4, 2008 and headed for the IBEW hall in Vanport, Beaver County. Their union jackets and T-Shirts told the story: they were steelworkers, electrical workers, hospital workers and other trades, and their buttons, signs and bumper stickers on their pickups all had a common message: Vote for Barack Obama, Defeat John McCain.
This was organized labor moving into action, and it was impressive. As soon as you walked in the door, a half-dozen teams were working assembling hundreds of yard signs for Obama-Biden. The young Obama campaigners, stressed with doing last-minute voter registration, had been out of them for weeks. Now the problem was solved.
Don Siegel, International Vice President of the IBEW took the floor and addressed these union activists from the AFL-CIO and CTW locals in Beaver County who had gathered at Local 712 for the ‘Saturday Labor Walk.’
His message was clear and educational. We heard that union members have to approach this election in a determined, no-nonsense manner, just like organizing on the job or fighting for a union contract. This is about our livelihood, wages, and healthcare benefits. We can’t make progress at the bargaining table if we don’t work to elect politicians that support us. This year’s election is more important than ever because of the economy and Labor is backing the Democratic Party candidates, starting with the Obama-Biden ticket. Continue reading Defeating McCain is Just ‘Step One’→
1. Health Care for All: Insurance companies make money not providing health care. As the co-author of HR 676 , a universal, single-payer, not-for-profit health care system, Medicare for All, I understand millions of Americans want health care that is accessible and affordable.
Medicare for All will help businesses large and small, create jobs as well as save the jobs of thousands of people including those of doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers who are currently leaving medicine because it is run by the insurance companies. $1 in every 3 dollars of the $2.4 trillion spent annually in America for health care goes to the insurance companies. If we take that money ($800 billion in unproductive wasteful spending) and put it directly into care, we will have enough money to cover everyone. We are already paying for Medicare for all, but not receiving it. HR 676 changes that!
___________________________________________________________________ Continue reading Kucinich’s 16 Points to a Progressive Way Out→
Photo: Obama talks with USWA workers at former closed mill in Bucks County now making wind turbines
Steel Workers, Allies
For ‘Green Jobs’
By Press Associates
Sept. 12, 2008-Pittsburgh – Add “green jobs” to all the other campaigns traversing the country this fall, thanks to the Steel Workers, plus environmental groups.
The campaign, in six states – Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Ohio, New York, Missouri, Tennessee, and Minnesota – is based on a Sept. 9 report showing $100 billion invested in green technology has the potential to create 2 million new jobs in the next two years, advocates said. That’s four times as many jobs as the same dollars would create in the oil industry, it adds.
Green Recovery: A Program to Create Good Jobs and Start Building a Low-Carbon Economy, by the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts, says that of the new jobs, 800,000 would be in construction and the rest would be in the to-be-built factories turning out “green” goods, such as hybrid auto motors, wind turbines and solar paneling that converts sunlight into electricity.
___________________________________________________________________ Continue reading OBama: Use Old Mills for 21st Century Energy→