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The Daily Change

Adam Green To Ed Schultz: Itai??i??s Time to Reject Keystone XL and Focus on a Clean Jobs Agenda

UPDATE:Ai??Ed Schultz has joined the PCCC in opposing the Keystone XL Pipeline!Ai??Watch him say “I was wrong” and come out against the pipeline.

PCCC Co-Founder Adam Green was recently asked by Ed Schultz for his thoughts on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

Click here to listenAi??to Adam discussing the issue:

ai???We see whatai??i??s happening in West Virginia right now when polluters have their way and entire rivers and water lines get polluted. There are these explosions, you can Google and see, pipelines erupting and causing huge fireballs in communities and we know thatai??i??s part of the risk. As Michael Brune [Executive Director of the Sierra Club] was saying, we donai??i??t have to choose between two bad options. The obvious path forward is to find clean energy sources and not kind of checkmate ourselves into, do we transport this toxic stuff to our communities by rail or by pipeline? We need a third

Adam also noted how disagreements over Keystone has the potential to create fractures within the Democratic coalition which plays into the hand of Republicans:

“I just donai??i??t like a ai???process of elimination’ argument; I donai??i??t like feeling boxed in to making a horrible choice. If there is a legitimate reason, Iai??i??m interested in hearing that, but the net effect ai??i?? looking at this in a big picture perspective ai??i?? is I see a Republican advantage to dividing labor vs. the environmentalists. Thereai??i??s so many bad things that we need to be united against that I just see this as a huge wedge issue and I think the default should be taking it [Keystone XL] off the table, not approving

Rather than focus on the pipeline, Adam urged the Democratic Party to champion an aggressive clean-energy jobs agenda:

ai???Imagine a situation where the president said, ‘We are going to …

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Wisconsin Congressional Candidate Kelly Westlund Urges National Action On Unemployment


Wisconsin congressional candidate Kelly Westlund’s family has been on unemployment benefits. Today, she stepped up on this issue and sent an email to the Progressive Change Campaign Committee’sAi??nearly one million members — telling her story, saying that Republicans who oppose extending unemployment benefits are out of touch, and asking people to contact their senators in every state.

Westlund is running in one of the House seats Democrats need to take back the majority, Wisconsin’s Seventh Congressional District. She announced for Congress last month on a theme of economic populism. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) proudlyAi??endorsed her on Day One of her campaign.

Read Kelly Westlund’s email to PCCC members here:

My name’s Kelly Westlund, and my family’s relied on unemployment benefits before.

My husband is a carpenter.Ai??When Wall Street banks tanked our economy and crashed the housing market, there just wasn’t a lot of demand for the homes my husband specialized in building.

We needed unemployment benefits for several months to make ends meet.

Today, I’m on my local City Council and I’m running for Congress in Wisconsin. The issue of unemployment benefits is personal for me.

The U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote today on whether to extend unemployment benefits.

I’ll be calling both of my senators today. Can you call yours and tellAi??them to vote “yes” today?

Republicans in Congress may block unemployment benefits.

My Tea Party Congressman, Sean Duffy,Ai??says he “struggles” to get by on $174,000 a year. That’s how out of touch they are.

I know that when that check comes in, families immediately use it toAi??buy groceries and pay utility bills and put gas in the car. Theyai??i??re reinvesting those dollars in our communities.

Protecting these earned benefits (and, I’d add, increasing the minimum wage) would create real economic growth that just doesnai??i??t happen when rich …

Top Ten Bold Progressive Highlights Of 2013

Check out the Top Ten Highlights of 2013 from the Progressive Change Campaign Committee!

It’s been a great year. Thanks to all of our bold progressive members for being part of it!

PCCC members say: Expand Social Security!

1. “Expand Social Security”

In July, we announced a big strategic shift: Instead of playing defense, we would rally around bills to EXPAND Social Security benefits.

Along with our allies, PCCC members deliveredAi??petitionsAi??to congressional offices around the nation. We releasedAi??pollsAi??showing this idea was popular by 2 to 1 in Kentucky and 3 to 1 in Texas!

After the Washington Post op-ed pageAi??attackedAi??”bold progressives” for leading the way on this issue, Elizabeth Warren made national news that day by endorsing Social Security expansion on the Senate floor (and in an email to PCCC members).

Nobel economist Paul Krugman writes, “a funny thing has happened in the past year or so. Suddenly, weai??i??re hearing open discussion of the idea that Social Security should be expanded, not

2. PCCC membersAi??heartAi??Elizabeth Warren

When Elizabeth Warren called for students to get the same low interest rates as big banks, over 1000 professors (who are also PCCC members) endorsed the idea.

When Elizabeth Warren demanded bank regulators crack down on Wall Street crimes, PCCC members pressured the SEC to listen!

When Elizabeth Warren was attacked, PCCC members attacked back!

Warren’s hometown Boston GlobeAi??profiledAi??us recently. They wrote, “A group called Progressive Change Campaign Committee is waging the most visible of these pro-Warren crusades.”

The NationAi??writes, “Warrenai??i??s voice is amplified by groups like the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which have identified her as their ‘north star’ in the fight to renew the Democratic Party. That scares corporate interests.”

Boston Globe profile: For Warren, Progressive Change Campaign Committee leading the charge

On Monday, the Boston Globe’s front page featured a wide ranging profile of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and all of the amazing work PCCC members have done to push the Democratic Party to embrace Elizabeth Warren’s agenda and fight for progressive change.

Can you help us continue to fight for Elizabeth Warren’s agenda in 2014? Click here.

The Boston Globe: Progressive wing waves Elizabeth Warren banner

Adam Green and Stephanie Taylor are cofounders of Progressive Change Campaign Committee. The group has been promoting the political profile of Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts in presidential primary states.

WASHINGTON ai??i?? Elizabeth Warren has pledged she will not seek the White House in 2016, but that has not stopped diehard Warren boosters from promoting her political profile in presidential primary states, saying she is best positioned to push the Democratic Party to the left.

A group called Progressive Change Campaign Committee is waging the most visible of these pro-Warren crusades, training volunteers, meeting with labor leaders in New Hampshire, and handing out stickers with Warrenai??i??s name.

But there are costs to party unity, as the Massachusetts senator becomes a central figure in an intensifying battle for the Democratic Partyai??i??s soul.

The movement behind Warren is not as intense as the conservative Tea Party version for Republican candidates, but pushing against the partyai??i??s center is the goal for both.

ai???Weai??i??re going to make sure that every Democrat who runs for president is forced to say whether they agree with Elizabeth Warren on key issues, like expanding Social Security benefits and more Wall Street reform,ai??? said Adam Green, the 37-year-old cofounder of the group.

Warrenai??i??s impassioned stance on expanding Social Security is in defiance of President Obamaai??i??s proposal to trim the growth of benefit payments in future years. On …

Fight back: Corporate-funded think tank Third Way attacks Elizabeth Warren & Social Security

Last week, corporate-funded think tank Third Way attacked Elizabeth Warren in Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal — saying her bold economic populism is “dangerous for Democratic Party.” Wrong!

Polls show Warren’s ideas are popular in red, purple, and blue states. That’s why Wall Street fears her.

The PCCC is leading the fight against Third Way’s corporatist strategy and calling them out for refusing to make their Wall Street ties public.

Over 100,000 people have joined our petition calling on Third Way to disclose their Wall Street donors. Click here to sign on.

The petition and actions by PCCC members have already been covered by the New York Times, Washington Post, ABC News, Wall Street Journal, and more!

The New York Times reported:

In a sign of the leftai??i??s new aggressiveness, a coalition of liberals is trying to marginalize a centrist Democratic policy group that was responsible for a Wall Street Journal op-ed article this week that said economic populism was ai???disastrousai??? for the party.

The coalition, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, and three other liberal advocacy organizations have urged their members to contact a group of congressional Democrats who are honorary leaders of the centrist group, Third Way. It published the op-ed article on Monday contending that the liberalism of Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio of New York City and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts would lead Democrats ai???over the populist

The article ai??i?? written by Jon Cowan, president of Third Way, and Jim Kessler, its senior vice president for policy ai??i?? criticizes progressives like Ms. Warren and Mr. de Blasio for opposing measures to cut ai??i?? Social Security and Medicare.

The liberal groupsai??i?? campaign has already gotten results, the latest indication that the liberal wing of the Democratic Party is ascendant.

Help us continue to put pressure on Wall Street-backed …

Momentum Building for Expanding Social Security Benefits

It’s time to reshape the debate around Social Security. For too long Democrats have been playing defense, working to protect Social Security benefits from cuts when really we need to EXPAND Social Security benefits. Now a growing number of voices are calling for Social Security expansion — and they’re beginning to turn the conversation.

In June, the PCCC put together a coalition of over 30 national groups representing over 20 million Americans leading the movement to expand Social Security benefits including the PCCC, AFL-CIO, National Organization for Women, Social Security Works, Latinos for a Secure Retirement, MoveOn, Democracy For America, and CREDO Action.

In July, the PCCC launched the campaign on MSNBC’s Ed Show. On the show,Ai??Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) discussed their bills in the Senate that would expand benefits by $452 for retirees at age 75 and $807 at age 85. By ai???scrapping the capai??? on what the wealthy pay into Social Security, the Harkin-Begich plan will pay for these benefit increases and leave trillions left over to extend Social Securityai??i??s solvency beyond its current $2.7 trillion surplus.Ai??Alan Grayson (D-FL), Mike Honda (D-CA), and over 40 members of Congress have co-sponsored House versions of the Harkin-Begich plan.

Over 649,000 progressives have signed on toAi??petitionsAi??calling on Congress to expand Social Security benefits.

In August, local PCCC members held events around the nation pressuring their representatives in Congress to support expanding Social Security benefits and generated media coverage in Kentucky, California, Iowa, New Jersey, Colorado, Hawaii, and Texas. The PCCC released polls showing expanding Social Security benefits is popular in red, purple, and blue states.Ai??RecentAi??pollsAi??from states as diverse as Kentucky, Iowa, and California show that expanding Social Security benefits is popular by over 2 to 1. In Texas, Colorado, and Hawaii, it’s 3 to 1.

Last week, …

Field Report from Kentucky Labor Convention

Karissa Gerhke here, Director of Member Engagement with the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. Last week, I joined labor unions and organizational partners at the Kentucky Labor Federationai??i??s Biennial Convention. We discussed work weai??i??ve accomplished, as well as upcoming plans to build progressive power in 2014.

The energy at the convention was invigorating. I was able to reconnect with AFGE members we worked with during the government shutdown ai??i??Ai??census workers like Jeremy Lannan who is thrilled to be back to work but ready to organize against those that caused the shutdown.

I met folks like Will Emmons and Tyler Simonds, two young activists working to organize a workersai??i?? collective in Lexington, and Clifton Gardner ai??i??Ai??a retired UMWA miner who wasAi??happy about the UMWAai??i??s recent win against Peabody CoalAi??but is tired of Democratic candidates who donai??i??t stand up for working class folks.

The air in the convention hall was electric with buzz about the 2014 election.Ai??For the first time in years, it looks like Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell could lose his seat in 2014, and Kentucky labor is eager to seize this opportunity.

The McConnell election is only half the story though. Kentucky is the last southern state where Democrats hold the majority at the state level ai??i?? and they retain it by a slim margin. Union members are afraid (for good reason) of a Republican majority in the State House. It would likely lead to destructive policies like right to work legislation and restrictive voter ID laws. If Kentucky is going to retain their Democratic majority, it will be crucial to recruit bold, exciting candidates that actually represent working families of Kentucky.

One recurring theme throughout the convention was that there arenai??i??t enough people running for office who represent the interests of everyday working families. As Clifton put it, ai???itai??i??s hard …

Join Sen. Sherrod Brown on National Call to Discuss Growing Momentum for Social Security Expansion

Today at noon Eastern, Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) will join PCCC members from across the nation on a national conference call to discuss growing momentum behind the push to expand Social Security benefits. Click here to listen to the call online.Ai??

Yesterday, Sen. Brown announced toAi??the PCCC’s national membership base of nearly 1 million membersAi??that he will be cosponsoring Senator Tom Harkin’s (D-IA) Social Security expansion bill in the Senate and joining forces with the PCCC to go on offense on Social Security.

In a message to PCCC members, Ai??Sen. Brown said:

“There are plenty of ways to improve the Social Security that nearly 2 million people in Ohio rely on — like lifting the income cap, or calculating benefits in a way that better accounts for the expenses seniors face.Ai??And neither of those involves cutting benefits.Ai??That’s why today I’m announcing that I’m teaming up with Tom Harkin and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) to grow a progressive grassroots movement devoted to expanding Social Security.”

Progressives are rallying around two bills in the Senate sponsored by Sen. Harkin and Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) that would expand benefits by $452 for retirees at age 75 and $807 at age 85. By “scrapping the cap” on what the wealthy pay into Social Security, the Harkin-Begich plan will pay for these benefit increases and leave trillions left over to extend Social Security’s solvency beyond its current $2.7 trillion surplus.Ai??Alan Grayson (D-FL), Mike Honda (D-CA), and over 40 members of Congress have co-sponsored House versions of the Harkin-Begich plan.

Over 30 national groups representing over 20 million Americans are leading the movement to expand Social Security benefits including the PCCC, AFL-CIO, National Organization for Women, Latinos for a Secure Retirement, MoveOn, Democracy For America, and CREDO Action.

Over 635,000 progressives …

Report from North Carolina

This is Stephanie Taylor, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, and I’m excited to report that I spent last weekend in North Carolina, where a new progressive movement is in full force! For those who haven’t been following the situation, the state legislature has been taken over by Tea Party extremists who have rammed through an agenda that includes rolling back voting rights, rejecting Medicaid expansion, and slashing funding to education. But folks are fighting back, effectively and persuasively. So I headed down to see how we could help.

First stop was Raleigh, where we held a trainingAi??on SaturdayAi??andAi??SundayAi??for activists from all over the state on how to run a field program for electoral candidates from soup to nuts. We taught folks how to calculate a win number, manage volunteers, create a budget, and more. The training was led by the awesome Kim Rogers, deputy political director of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) — thank you, Kim! Our class included local leaders like Mary Perkins Williams, a longtime activist from eastern North Carolina, Wanda Cole, an organizer with the national fast food workers campaign, Nancy Davis, who has worked as a clinic escort for Planned Parenthood, and Tom High, an activist with the Move to Amend effort on campaign finance reform. Here is our class picture:

Thank you to the North Carolina Democratic Party for letting us use their lovely headquarters for the training. We had a wonderful time, and were all sad to say goodbye. Ai??If you want to apply for an upcoming training in your area, you can do soAi??here. These trainings are appropriate for anyone, regardless of skill level or experience. They are part of our larger effort to give activists the skills they need to elect …

LIVESTREAM: PCCC on Capitol Hill Making the Case for Expanding Social Security Benefits

TodayAi??on Capitol Hill, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) Ai??will join experts and members of Congress to brief congressional staff on the political and policy case for expanding Social Security benefits.

The PCCC will present state polling (including Iowa and New Hampshire) that makes the political case for expanding Social Security benefits and will explain why it’s good politically for Democrats that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) took off the table a Grand Bargain that cuts Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits.

Tune in to the livesteam below at 12:30 ETAi??to see PCCC co-founder Adam Green on a panel of experts on Capitol Hill making the political case for expansion, precededAi??atAi??11:15 am ET by a panel outlying the policy case.Ai??Then, sign our petition calling on Congress to expand Social Security benefits! Click here.

The panels will lead into statements by members of Congress who oppose cuts to benefits and support expansion:Ai??Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), Sen. Brian Shatz (D-HI),Ai??Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL),Ai??Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA),Ai??Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA), Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), and Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI).

Congress Ends Government Shutdown following Pressure from Constituents

Last night, Congress voted to end the government shutdown following two weeks of protests held around the country byAi??PCCC members and local activists to hold their Republican representatives responsible for the shutdown.

Our events took place in front of Sen. Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) Louisville office, Rep. Sean Duffy’s (R-WI) Hudson office, Rep. Andy Barr’s (R-KY) Lexington office, Rep. Pat Meehan’s (R-PA) Springfield office, Rep. Lee Terry’s (R-NE) Omaha office, Rep. Jackie Walorski’s (R-IN) Mishawaka office, Rep. Daniel Webster’s (R-FL) Winter Garden office, and Rep. Mike Coffman’s (R-CO) Aurora office.

5 of these 8 Republicans changed their vote and supported yesterday’s deal to end the shutdown.

Senate and House Democratic leaders united their colleagues and stood firm against the Tea Party during the shutdown. Click here to thank your representative for standing firm!

Check out some of the media coverage and photos from our events pressuring Republicans below.

The events were coordinated with the help of our allies at Democracy for America, AFGE, AFL-CIO, Kentucky Jobs with Justice, Louisville Young Democrats, Progressives United,, CREDO Action, USAction, and Center for Community Change.

Pressuring Rep. Pat Meehan (PA-7)Ai??”Protesters stood in the pouring rain outside Rep. Pat Meehan’s Springfield officeAi??Friday…Their message to the Republican congressman from Delaware County: You’re vulnerable, and don’t forget it.Ai??Only 28 percent of voters in Meehan’s moderate district think he’s doing a good job.” —

Photo: Big local rally holds Republican accountable

Pressuring Rep. Daniel Webster (FL-10)Ai??”Angry constituents gathered outside Rep. Daniel Websterai??i??s (R-FL) Winter Garden officeAi??on Friday, to demand that he votes to end the government shutdown” — West OrlandoAi??News

Photo: Big local rally holds Republican accountable

Rep. Sean Duffy (WI-07)Ai??”30 constituents protested outside Duffy’s Hudson officeThursdayAi??to demand that he vote to end the government shutdown…The event …

Voters Hold Republicans Accountable For Government Shutdown

Today, PCCC members and local activists are holding media events across the country to hold their Republican representative responsible for the government shutdown.

In front of closed Republican district offices in Pennsylvania, Nebraska, Indiana, Colorado, Florida, and Kentucky, local activists, veterans and furloughed workers will share their stories of how the shutdown is hurting their community and the economy.

Tune in to the Livestream below atAi??12pm ESTAi??to watch our event happening today in Louisville, Kentucky holding Sen. Mitch McConnell accountable.Ai??Then, chip in $3 here to help sponsor a district event next week!

We’re coordinating on today’s events and more next week with our allies at Democracy for America, AFGE, AFL-CIO, Kentucky Jobs with Justice, Louisville Young Democrats, Progressives United,, CREDO Action, USAction and Center for Community Change.

Democrats must stand strong on #ShutDown, Republicans must cave

SHUTDOWN: Boehner gets paid. Families go hungry.This morning at 12:01am, Congressional Republicans forced a government shutdown. This has real-world consequences for millions of Americans: disabled veterans could be hurt, some Social Security services will be disrupted, and many working families will struggle to put food on the table.

This shutdown will end in one of two ways:

1) Democrats will cave and cut vital programs like Social Security
2) Republicans will cave to immense public pressure

Thousands of us are pressuring Congress together with phone calls to make sure Republicans cave. We’re also running online ads targeting Republican Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to make sure they feel extra pressure back home.

So here’s what you can do:

Make a call to your Congressperson — click here for the script and number to call.

Donate $3 to help us continue to run the targeted online ads and keep pressure on Boehner and McConnell.

Watch Elizabeth Warren say what’s at stake

Carl Sciortino: A bold progressive for Massachusetts!

PCCCai??i??s first endorsement for the election cycle, Carl Sciortino, is gaining a lot of momentum this week!Ai??

Carl is the clear progressive choice to represent Massachusettsai??i?? 5th Congressional District: he supports prosecuting Wall Street bankers, Elizabeth Warren’s Glass-Steagall bill, increasing Social Security benefits, Medicare For All, and reversing Citizens United. A self-proclaimed ai???Massachusetts liberal,ai??? heai??i??s got the support of other progressive leaders like Reps. Alan Grayson, Mark Takano, Keith Ellison, and Raul Grijalva.

Carl put out a heartwarmingly awesome ad this week and garnered a ton of media coverage — MSNBCai??i??s Chris Hayes said ai???This ad’s basically a Carl has gotten coverage in Politico, Boston Globe, Washington Post, the Daily Beast, the New York Times blog, and more. Heai??i??s appeared on MSNBC and CNN, and will be on again this weekend!

Hereai??i??s the ad:Ai??

Click here to donate to keep it on air and show Massachusetts voters the progressive choice for Congress!

But candidates donai??i??t just win on their own — even though Carlai??i??s got incredible progressive values and a strong campaign team, he needs volunteers to Call Out The Vote and let voters know Carl’s the bold progressive choice.

Our Call Out The Vote system is super easy to use — you can do it right from your home, we give you the script, and youai??i??re only connected to live people (no busy signals, no voicemail, no disconnected numbers). In the 2012 election, PCCC members made over 2.2 million calls that changed the election, and over 574,000 calls for Elizabeth Warren alone.

Click here to sign up for call shifts, AND to watch Carlai??i??s awesome ad featuring his Tea Party dad.

My family is from Massachusetts, so I’ll say it: Call Out The Vote is wicked easy, and wicked satisfying.

Do you want to get progressives elected in 2014?

I do! Which is why earlier this year, I applied to be a member of the PCCC’s inaugural P100 class. I was lucky enough to be accepted and my progressive finance training began.

My name is Lacey Connelly and I’m a new fellow here at the PCCC. We’re working to train 100s of up-and-coming activists to work on progressive campaigns this cycle and I couldn’t be more happy to pay my experience forward!

I attended the first P100 training in Chevy Chase, MD back in March. I learned so much about prepping and staffing call time, planning fundraising events, and putting together a fundraising media plan that I was confident enough to go to Kentucky and kick-start a fundraising operation for a new candidate for Congress. Now I’m working for the PCCC to recruit the next class of progressive campaign workers!

Our next training will be in Madison, WI on September 28th-29th and will focus on developing finance staff to work on competitive races in 2014.

You really should click here and apply!

We’ll review all applications and the most qualified applicants will be contacted for a follow up interview. The 25 finalists will be notified three weeks prior to the training. Apply as soon as possible — the final deadline is September 2nd. After the training, the PCCC will work to place you on a progressive campaign so you can put your skills to use getting good peopleAi?? elected!

If you can’t make the training in WI but want to hear more about future trainings, go ahead and apply; just click “Interested in Future Trainings.”

Progressives go on offense with new *Expand Social Security* ad against Mitch McConnell

Retired Kentuckian autoworker Kirk Gillenwaters of Louisville is counting on Social Security being there for him when he retires. He’s been working since age eighteen and will soon need the benefits he’s earned.

Kirk’s senator, Republican Senator Mitch McConnell (who calls himself the “proud guardian of gridlock”) wants to cut Social Security.

We’ve teamed up with Kirk to make a hard-hitting TV ad that shames McConnell for hurting the families he’s supposed to represent. Take 30 seconds to watch the add — and donate $3 to air it on Kentucky TV.

read more…

Happy 78th birthday, Social Security!

Today, Social Security celebrates its seventy-eighth birthday, having come into being with the signing of the Social Security Act by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on August 14th, 1935.

Originally conceived as a public service that would allow elderly Americans to retire with dignity, Social Security has been expanded over the years to also cover people with disabilities, children who have lost parents, and surviving spouses.

For nearly eight decades, Social Security has paid out benefits to tens of millions of Americans. In 2008, the year that the house of cards built by Wall Street banks came tumbling down, Social Security paid $615 million in benefits to over fifty million Americans. Even in times of economic hardship, Americans have always been able to depend on Social Security.

Thatai??i??s why itai??i??s crucial that we give Social Security a raise.

Senators Tom Harkin, Mark Begich, Brian Schatz believe that Congress should expand, not cut, Social Security. Theyai??i??re introducing legislation to expand benefits and scrap the cap to ensure that wealthy families pay the same rates as the rest of us.

Over 400,000 people have signed on in support of their plan. Have you? Click here to sign the petition and add your voice to the hundreds of thousands calling on Congress to expand Social Security.

New Era of ai???Open Debatesai??? To Kick Off in Massachusetts Congressional Race

Open Debate QuestionsToday, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee is proud to announce that we will host a first-of-its-kind Open Debate in the special election for Congress in Massachusetts.

All 5 Democrats running in the primary to replace now-Senator Ed Markey in the House of Representatives have agreed to participate in our Open Debate, where the public submits and votes on the questions. This is also Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s home congressional district.

Open Debates will be a game changer in our political process — ensuring that questions get asked that the public actually cares about. What starts in Massachusetts will hopefully become the norm for local, state, congressional, and even presidential debates in the future.

The debate will be held Saturday, August 10, at 11am Eastern and will be broadcast live online at At this site, the public can submit questions, vote, learn about the candidates, and sign up for a reminder to watch the debate.

While this debate is a first, the idea of Open Debates is not new. During the 2008 presidential campaign, I was happy to work with Internet guru (now Harvard Professor) Lawrence Lessig to lead an amazing alliance of progressives, conservatives, and techies who came together around the Open Debate Coalition. This coalition includedAi??MoveOn, DailyKos, Arianna Huffington, Grover Norquist, Newt Gingrich’s American Solutions, RedState, Craig from Craiglist, Jimmy Wales from Wikipedia, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Personal Democracy Forum, Aaron Swartz, and many others.

Our coalition had two core Open Debate principles:

1.Ai??Debates are for the benefit of the public. Therefore, the right to speak about the debates ought to be ai???ownedai??? by the public, not controlled by the media. [M]edia companies [should] release rights to presidential debate video to ensure that …

A very successful first week for #ExpandSocialSecurity

This past week, following the July 23rd national launch of our campaign to expand Social Security with Senators Tom Harkin and Mark Begich, we held four successful events – in Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Texas – to talk about the senators’ plan to expand Social Security, and discuss new polling that shows voters overwhelmingly support expanding Social Security, not cutting it.

In Texas, Dr. Andrew Achenbaum of the University of Houston succinctly described Social Security as “the basic compact we all share against risks” and encouraged Texas Senator John Cornyn to consider supporting the Harkin/Begich plan.

Expand Social Security event in Trenton, New JerseyIn New Jersey, PCCC co-founder Adam Green challenged the frontrunner for Frank Lautenberg’s Senate seat, Cory Booker, to take a stand for Social Security outside of the statehouse in Trenton. (Booker responded later that day on Twitter, saying he opposes cutting Social Security and considers raising the retirement age to be a cut).

In Massachusetts, progressive elected leaders from the City of Cambridge and the Massachusetts General Assembly joined with activists to recognize that millions of Americans depend on Social Security today and millions more are expecting to be able to receive the benefits they’ve earned in the years to come.

And in Kentucky, PCCC’s Karissa Gerhke discussed new polling that shows voters in the Bluegrass State want Social Security protected and strengthened, not weakened.

Together with Democracy for America, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee asked five hundred and eighty five voters in Kentucky for their reaction to the Harkin/Begich plan. 51% of respondents said they supported increasing Social Security benefits, while only 24% were opposed.

Question: A proposal in Congress …

NJ Senate frontrunner Cory Booker says he opposes cuts to Social Security – including raising the retirement age

Newark Mayor Cory Booker, widely considered to be the frontrunner in the race to fill Frank Lautenberg’s Senate seat in New Jersey, said today that he is opposed to cutting Social Security benefits, including raising the retirement age.

At a midday Expand Social Security press conference conference in Trenton, at the New Jersey statehouse, PCCC co-founder Adam Green called on Booker to declare his support for expanding Social Security. PolitickerNJ reports:

ai???Social Security is more important than ever,ai??? said Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee.

ai???Even in the red state of Kentucky, voters support the expansion of Social Security,ai??? he said. ai???There is no excuse for Democrats right here in the blue state of New Jersey not

Green called out Newark Mayor Cory Booker by name, arguing itai??i??s especially important for the raceai??i??s frontrunner to ai???declare his supportai??? on the issue given Bookerai??i??s ties to Wall Street.

Following the press conference, Booker responded to a tweet from Jason Comstock, who asked, “Do you support cuts or other changes to Social Security or Medicare?” Booker replied, “No. None & if anything expand Social Security.”

read more…

Senate #FAIL on student loans: What you need to know

The U.S. Senate is on the verge of failing students – again.

Weeks after allowing student loans to double, senators from both parties are introducing legislation that would send future students’ borrowing costs even higher.Ai?? Their proposal is worse than doing nothing – undergraduates could pay up to 8.25% interest rates and graduate students would pay even more. Current students would only be offered a teaser rate – and then their rates would go up too.

Thankfully, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts is fighting back and standing up for students. Here’s what she had to say about this raw deal yesterday on the floor of the U.S. Senate:

“We should not go along with any plan that demands that our students continue to produce huge profits for the government… This is wrong.”

ai??i?? Senator Elizabeth Warren, July 18th, 2013

Senator Warren is doing her part to defeat this bad deal, but she needs our help.

IfAi??SenateAi??Democrats hear from voters today that they oppose this deal, we can stop it.

Can you make a call to your U.S. Senators and ask them to oppose the bad student loans deal? It’s easy and we’ll give you the right number to call, plus a few key points you can make.

An outpouring of public opposition will show Congress that students deserve better than to be used as profit centers, and embolden Democrats to side with students.

Montana wants Brian: Supporters urge Schweitzer to reconsider Senate bid

After former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer announced he had decided against running for Senate in 2014, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee reached out to members across Montana to ask how they felt about Brianai??i??s decision. Folks responded to a survey asking if they agreed with the sentiments voiced at, which hosts an open letter to Schweitzer penned by several thoughtful supporters urging him to reconsider.

The results are in, and here’s what we found:

Should Brian reconsider running for Senate?

YES: 76%
NO: 22%

By more than a three to one margin, Draft Brian Schweitzer supporters believe Brian should reconsider running for the U.S. Senate in 2014. Here’s what just a few of them are saying:

“I think Brian would be a terrific Senator, especially at a time when Democrats need to hold the Senate. Our country needs someone of Brian’s character. I completely understand his not wanting to leave Montana, but sometimes duty calls.”
ai??i?? Ilene Standen, Poplar, MT

“I think we need a strong Democratic candidate and Brian is the one. He has appeal that crosses party lines and he understands the concerns of the majority of Montanans.”
ai??i?? Robin Jordan, Butte, MT

“I’m sad. We need to urge him to reconsider. His voice is exactly what the Senate needs ai??i?? no holds barred!”
ai??i?? Lyle Gillette, Deer Lodge, MT

“None of the other candidates bring a breath of fresh air as does Brian. ai??i?? Linda Ramirez, Clancy, MT

“My husband and I both believe we need Brian Schweitzer more than ever. He will stand up and fight. That is what we need in Washington.” ai??i?? Linda Woolsey, Hobson, MT

“It has become painfully obvious that our ‘elected representatives’ no longer represent the people. Brian did. We need him. The entire nation needs Brian Schweitzer.” ai??i?? Robin Maynard, Helena, MT

To show Brian the support there would be there if he …

America needs a Right to Vote amendment: Sign the petition!

Last month, the United States Supreme Court struck down the heart of the Voting Rights Act ai??i?? the law that gave the federal government the power to stop discrimination before it starts in states that have a history of voter discrimination. The VRA was a landmark achievement of the Civil Rights movement and one of the most successful pieces of legislation ever.

First page of the Voting Rights ActPBS has already reported that five Southern states ai???are already moving ahead with voter ID

Texas is planning to enact the very voter identification law that was struck down last year because it would “hurt turnout among minority voters” (TPM).

Representatives Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Mark Pocan (D-WI) are thinking bold. Theyai??i??ve introduced a Constitutional amendment that would reverse the Roberts Courtai??i??s decision ai??i?? and invalidate these bad state laws ai??i?? by guaranteeing every citizen the right to vote.

PCCC co-founder Adam Green is appearing on MSNBC’s The Cycle today at 3 PM Eastern/12 PM Pacific to talk about the amendment and protecting our right to vote with co-host Ari Melber, who wrote a post on the topic for Reuters today titled, “Renewing voting rights – with Roberts in mind.”

Past amendments to the U.S. Constitution have expanded suffrage to more Americans, but the Constitution currently lacks a provision guaranteeing all American citizens the right to vote in all elections held by their state and local governments.

Will you join the Progressive Change Campaign Committee in support of the effort to create a Right to Vote amendment?

Watch a short video Keith Ellison taped for PCCC members, read the text of the amendment, and become a citizen co-sponsor of the amendment here.

More than 1,000 professors call on Congress to pass Senator Warren’s bill to let students borrow at banks’ low interest rate

A stopgap bill that would have temporarily prevented the rate on Stafford student loans from doubling failed to advance yesterday in the U.S. Senate, despite enjoying the support of a majority of senators.

Fifty-two Democrats were ready to support a motion to proceed on S. 1238 (the Keep Student Loans Affordable Act of 2013) but the motion failed due to a Republican-led filibuster, leaving the bill in limbo.

Republicans are blaming Democrats for this failure, and the media is going along with it. If Congress doesn’t act, students will face thousands of dollars more in loans — dollars they can’t afford.

As Senator Elizabeth Warren said on Monday, “The Republican solution to higher interest rates is to make students pay even more…. We [Congress] shouldnai??i??t treat our students like a profit center.”

That’s why the PCCC has joined with over 1,000 professors across the country in sending a letter telling Congress: pass Senator Warrenai??i??s bill to let students borrow at the same low interest rates as the banks.

Our ad for the Chronicle. Note: Final version subject to change.

Our ad for the Chronicle. Note: Final version subject to change.

We will thrust professorsai??i?? voices into this debate at a key moment by publishing the letter in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

The Chronicle is the top education publication in the country, and senators and their staffers will see the ad.

We’re also informing the media in their home states of how many local professors have signed on.

Click here to see the professors’ letter and chip in $3 to help cover the cost of the ad.