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Progressive Democrats of America

Caucus Packet

This packet includes

1. What is Progressive Democrats of America (PDA)?
2. Why the Party?
3. What is a caucus?
4. Why start a caucus?
5. How to get started?
6. What states already have caucuses?
7. What states are currently creating caucuses?
8. Swing states who are not working on a caucus…yet.
9. Contacts with other progressives in your state
10. Progressive Democrats of America/Caucus Relationship
11. PDA contacts
12. What is the Caucus Spokes Council?
13. Cooperating Organizations
1. What is Progressive Democrats of America?

.: vision :.
We are committed in word and action, both personally and politically, to justice and democracy at all levels,
and to the preservation and restoration of natural ecosystems in America and worldwide.
We are specifically committed to the realization of new models for achieving local, national and global security
that redirect the current wasteful and obscene levels of military spending toward the uncompromising and
effective funding of: health and education programs; an end to discrimination; the provision of full and
meaningful employment; and an end to poverty for all people.
We believe with Robert F. Kennedy, that the Gross National Product is a false measure of progress and must be
replaced by the quality of life as a standard for American achievement.
.: strategy :.
To achieve these goals, we dedicate ourselves to work within the general framework of the Democratic Party
and with sister organizations to create a new, democratic, grassroots-based, nationally federated organization.
Through this organization we shall endeavor, over a period of years, to build an unstoppable coalition of the
hundreds of millions of Americans who would benefit from a taking back of our democracy, our economy, and
our institutions from the "moneyed interests" warned of by Jefferson and the "military-industrial complex"
described by Eisenhower: those who would rob from Americans our precious rights of informed self-
governance.
Mindful of the continuing important differences between Republican and Democratic political values, yet fully
aware of how much better Democratic candidates and elected officials must be to save our people and our
planet from destruction, we dedicate ourselves to beginning the long, patriotic, nonviolent, and ultimately
unstoppable process of transforming the Democratic Party.
Toward this end, we will educate ourselves, our neighbors, and our fellow Americans to the demonstrable
validity of the progressive worldview, and mobilize our fellow Americans precinct by precinct, congressional
district by congressional district, state by state, first to take back the Democratic Party and then our great
country from the global corporate interests that currently dominate our lives.
.: plan :.
We will accomplish these goals through the dedicated and deliberate process of working with thousands of
individual and organizational allies to identify, within each local precinct or political district, supporters of civil
and labor rights, real environmental protection, women's rights, the rights of the poor, consumer rights, and the
right to live life in peace, free from racism, discrimination and institutional domination.
We will support the creation of state progressive caucuses across the nation. Through these caucuses, we will
encourage the creation of affiliate groups at the county, district and precinct levels. We will support these
grassroots affiliates with database support, publicity, educational materials, regional organizing, trainings, and
funding.
We will strategically target those many districts where progressives are a strong majority to ensure that our
demands are fully voiced by those we elect.
We will encourage all activists to work diligently to: fully educate themselves and their neighbors; to engage in
local political organizing both in progressive caucuses within the Democratic Party and outside of the Party,
and, perhaps most importantly; to create real and lasting connections to those of different political views and the
apolitical or cynical by organizing meaningful, tangible "good works" in their communities - from stream
cleanups, to mentor and after school programs, to local community development activities that create jobs.
Our spheres of concern, our volunteers, our staff, and our leadership will reflect a rainbow, as diverse and
beautiful as America herself, at whose feet our pot of gold will be found: a renewed nation, respectful of the
rule of law at home and abroad, fully integrated into and respectful of the world of nations and peoples, and re-
grounded on the universal values of human dignity, justice, and environmental sanity.

2. Why the party?

The reason we are organizing inside the Democratic Party is to ensure the election of Progressive Democrats
who will support electoral reforms. We have a two-party system, which has become contaminated by special
interests. Third parties have an impact on the political agenda; but will never gain any clout under our existing
system without electoral reforms that include Instant Runoff Voting, proportional division of electoral votes,
and campaign finance reforms. We simply must elect progressive Democrats who will champion the cause of
electoral reforms and open our democracy for full participation.

3. What is a caucus?

A group within a decision-making body seeking to represent a specific interest or influence a particular area of
policy. Caucuses and their forms vary from state to state. See the notes on how to start a caucus in your state to
see what type is in your state.

4. Why start a caucus?

As a group working within the Democratic Party you are a cohesive unit using the Party as a tool to create
change within the existing system.

5. How to get started?

Call your state Democratic Party to research the process involved in becoming an actively recognized caucus
within the State Party. Find a mentor within your State’s Democratic Party structure that will support the
development of your caucus. Find support among your elected officials. If you would like some help with this
research, Progressive Democrats of America’s Field Staff is available to provide guidance.

6. What states already have caucuses?

Alabama

Arizona:

Illinois:

Iowa:

Kansas:

Maine:

Minnesota:

Nevada:

North Carolina:
South Carolina:

Texas:

Utah:

7. What states are currently creating caucuses?

Arkansas Florida New Mexico
California Massachusetts New York
Colorado New Hampshire Oklahoma
Delaware New Jersey Washington State

8. Swing states that are not working on a caucus…yet. (If you know of a caucus in these states,
please let us know)

Louisiana Ohio Virginia
Michigan Oregon West Virginia
Missouri Pennsylvania Wisconsin

9. Contacts with other progressives in your state:

Once you have become an affiliate of Progressive Democrats of America, we can provide you with
the contact information of everyone who has signed up with Progressive Democrats of America in
your state.

10. Progressive Democrats of America/Caucus Relationship

As an affiliate of Progressive Democrats of America, a caucus agrees to the following terms:
• Affiliate will adhere to the rules of the IRS and the FEC regarding federal PAC status. If
there are state requirements that are in addition to the RIS/FEC requirements, the state
organization is responsible for being aware of them. PDA Operations staff will offer support
to caucuses in establishing themselves as a Federal and/or State PAC.
• Affiliate will provide a link to www.pdamerica.org on their website. If the Directors of
Progressive Democrats of America deem any material on the affiliate website inappropriate,
they will ask to remove the Progressive Democrats of America logo and link.
• Affiliate will submit materials with Progressive Democrats of America name or logo for
approval prior to release. Materials will be approved within 24 hours of receipt.

In return Progressive Democrats of America will provide the affiliate with the following services:

• PDA will provide a link on their web page to the affiliate caucus web site
• PDA will provide research on issues, candidates, logistics and political organizations. PDA
will research many aspects of progressive organizing and provide all results to affiliates.
• PDA Field Operations will facilitate interstate caucus networking. PDA will provide a venue
for caucuses to contact other state caucuses to discuss issues and support shared projects and
goals.
• PDA will provide affiliates with progressive literature, pamphlets, flyers, etc. when available
and relevant.
• Progressive Democrats of America will take affiliate caucus issues to national organizations
and politicians as one united voice. PDA will be a tool for the caucuses on a national level.
• Progressive Democrats of America will provide national support for local issues when
needed.
• PDA will work with other national political organizations that are currently working with
candidates, grassroots and politicians to increase the caucus’ influence in these areas.
• Progressive Democrats of America will lobby for the issues that the caucuses request at the
national level.

11. Contacts at PDA Field Operations: info@pdamerica.org 877 368 9221

• Kevin Spidel
Field Director
Progressive Democrats of America

12. What is the Caucus Spokes Council?

State Caucuses – Progressive Democratic caucuses will be formed in each state by the constituents
of that state with the support of PDA Field Operations.

• To empower the grassroots, each state caucus will be encouraged to form PDA
Chapters in each of their congressional districts. Some states may choose to organize
by county, region or other division.

• State caucus leadership will be encouraged to communicate regularly via intranet and
conference calling.

Regional Spokes Council -- Each State Caucus will choose one representative to be a member of
the Regional Spokes Council. Regional Spokes Councils will be organized according to the
following Regional designations:

West Regional Spokes Council: Alaska Arizona California Colorado Hawaii Idaho Montana
Nevada New Mexico Oregon Utah Washington Wyoming (13 members)

Midwest Regional Spokes Council: Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Michigan Minnesota
Missouri Nebraska North Dakota Ohio South Dakota Wisconsin (13 members)

East Regional Spokes Council: Connecticut Delaware District of Columbia Maine Massachusetts
Maryland New Hampshire New Jersey New York Pennsylvania Vermont Rhode Island (12
members)

South Regional Spokes Council: Alabama Arkansas Florida Georgia Louisiana Mississippi North
Carolina Oklahoma South Carolina Tennessee Texas Virginia West Virginia (13 members)

Each Regional Caucus Spokes Council will communicate regularly via intranet and monthly
conference calls with their Regional Caucus Coordinator and the Field Director.

Decisions that impact the caucuses will be made by the spokes council representatives.
National Spokes Council – Each Regional Caucus Spokes Council will choose one representative
to be a member of the National Caucus Spokes Council.

Decisions that impact the caucuses will be made by the spokes council representatives.

The National Caucus Spokes Council will communicate regularly via intranet and bi-weekly
conference calls with the Regional Caucus Coordinators and the Field Director. The National
Caucus Spokes Council will also communicate via a conference call once per month with the
Regional Caucus Coordinators, the Field Director, the Director of Operations, and the Political
Director.

National Caucus Spokes Council (1)
Made up of one representative from each Regional Caucus Spokes Council –
therefore, the number of people on the National Caucus Spokes Council will be 4
plus the Regional Caucus Coordinators.

Regional Spokes Councils (4)
Made up of one representative from each State Caucus – therefore, based on
regional designations on the attached statement, the West Region Spokes Council
will have 13 members, the Midwest – 13 members, the East – 12 members, and the
South – 13 members.

State Caucuses (51)
Formed in each state by the constituents of that state with the support of PDA Field
Operations. Some state caucuses may form PDA Chapters in each congressional
district… some may choose to organize by county, region or other division.

13. Cooperating Organizations

Backbone Campaign
Democracy for America
Do It Yourself Politics
Grassroots for America
Hands-On Democracy
Latinos for America
My Voice Is My Vote
Progressive Nexus
Punx for Democracy
Rapid Response Network
WeCount.org

PDA also has relationships with varying state organizations. When you register with PDA we will
send you these group’s contact information if they are in your state.