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The Campaign Newsletter

A monthly newsletter to influential supporters is a great way to show momentum and keep folks invested in your campaign. Here are some things you may consider including:

Exciting new endorsements. Let’s say you’ve just been endorsed by a state senator, a local teachers’ union, and an environmental club. Highlight those endorsements, and describe what their resources will mean to your campaign.

Any big new hires. If you’ve just brought on board an experienced campaign manager or finance director, share the good news! Your supporters will be happy to hear that your team is growing.

Positive news stories. If you’ve received any kind of positive news attention — even a published op-ed in the local paper, or a pundit who says your race is a “race to watch” — make sure to send the links out. These help demonstrate that your campaign is serious and credible.

Fundraising. Raising money is important so you can fund the things you need for your campaign. But it’s also a great way to demonstrate that you are working hard…and have lots of support. Let your supporters know how much you’ve raised…or how many grassroots donors you now have.

Doors knocked. If you have lots of volunteers knocking doors and making phone calls, be sure to share the results! You should also let supporters know about upcoming events like office openings or pizza parties.

Don’t forget… Always make sure to send along links to your website, your Facebook and Twitter pages, and your fundraising pages. Make it as easy as possible for supporters to stay in the loop.

Who should receive this newsletter? Reporters, elected officials, organizational leaders, and other people who will be important to your campaign — and who will enjoy receiving an insider view of your progress.

You can use the Email tool in PIES, our campaign software, to manage …

PCCC: We Are All In for Zephyr Teachout

At 12:15pm ET today, after a weeks-long draft campaign by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and the Working Families Party, Zephyr Teachout announced she is running for Congress in NY’s 19th Congressional District.

Statement from PCCC Co-Founder Stephanie Taylor:

“Zephyr Teachout is the right person to win this district for Democrats. She’s a political outsider with a long history of fighting for working families against powerful interests. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee is all in, mobilizing local volunteers and a national grassroots army for Zephyr.”

The PCCC plans to formally endorse Zephyr Teachout, and rally enthusiasm, in an email to their nearly one million members tomorrow morning.

More on PCCC:

PCCC has nearly 1 million members nationwide, all pushing to elect progressive candidates and build a bolder progressive movement;

PCCC members raised more than $2 million for candidates in the 2014 cycle, and made more than 4 million phone calls;

PCCC ran a three week draft campaign urging Zephyr to run leading up to today, where hundreds of members donated and signed up to volunteer for Zephyr.

2,807 PCCC members donated $44,375 to Zephyr’s campaign for NY Governor.

More on Zephyr Teachout:

Zephyr has been a decades-long anti-corruption advocate, fighting on behalf of working people against corporate interests.

Zephyr was born and raised in a rural community just a few hours from her home in Dover Plains, NY in Dutchess County.

In Zephyr’s run for Governor, she shocked political insiders when she won 34% of the vote, including majorities in counties across NY-19.

Zephyr teaches at Fordham Law School.

# # #

NY-19: Zephyr Teachout to Run for Congress

Reformer Focused on Broken Political System

Zephyr Teachout announced today that she will run for New York’s 19th Congressional District. Teachout is a leading advocate against corruption in politics who ran for Governor as an independent Democrat in 2014. She said that she will have a campaign kickoff this spring, and is spending her time for the next couple months organizing her campaign team and traveling throughout the district to meet people and listening to their stories, ideas, and priorities.

“Throughout my career, I’ve never been afraid to stand up for ordinary citizens whose voices are drowned out by special interests, big corporations, and powerful insiders. I’m running for Congress to give people their voices back so together we can address the real concerns facing our communities,” said Teachout.

Teachout grew up in a rural Vermont county a few hours from her home in Dutchess County. She is currently a law professor. Throughout her career, Teachout has become known for fighting against corruption on behalf of ordinary citizens who have lost their voice to political insiders, her support of public education, and her advocacy for renewable energy technologies.

In her gubernatorial campaign, Teachout was proud to win majority support across the counties that represent NY’s 19th district.

With her announcement, Teachout launched a web “splash” page at www.zephyrteachoutforcongress.com.

The 19th congressional district consists of all of Ulster, Sullivan, Columbia, Schoharie, Otsego, Delaware and Greene counties and parts of Montgomery, Dutchess, Rensselaer and Broome counties. It is currently represented by U.S. Representative Chris Gibson, who is not seeking re-election.

CONTACT: Michael Murphy, michael@michaelmurphy.net, 646.275.2789

# # #

THE NATION: Countering ‘Citizens United’ With a Dose of Zephyr Teachout

A leader of MAYDAY.US, the national grassroots movement to fight corruption by electing reformers to federal, state, and local posts, Teachout is often compared to Warren—as an academic who has become an engaged and effective activist. …

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which played a critical role in convincing Warren to run for the Senate in 2012, has launched a “Draft Zephyr Teachout for Congress” campaign that hails Teachout as “a leader in the progressive movement with a long history of challenging power. She has opposed corporate mergers and is a tireless fighter for campaign finance reform.”

DAILY NONPAREIL: Obama’s education proposals reflected in Iowa, on campaign trail

Obama reiterated in his Omaha visit, “We should guarantee two years of community college at no cost for every responsible student.” All three Democratic presidential candidates have plans for debt-free public college, while several policy proposals have been made by Republican presidential hopefuls as well.

Last month, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee announced a push to make debt-free college a priority for Democrats in the upcoming election. A plan is in the discussion phases in the Iowa Legislature as well, according to state Rep. Chris Hall, D-Sioux City, who spoke on a conference call organized by the national campaign group.

LENNY: Donna Edwards is one of us

Edwards’s progressive base backs her out of a loyalty fixed in hope rather than party-line complacency, as Edwards’s political origin story informs her authenticity. Edwards is a single black mother who came to office from grassroots activism rather than as a D.C. political operative. When Edwards announced her bid for Senate in early 2015, national organizations like EMILY’s List and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee came out in unilateral support. Adam Green of the PCCC said in the organization’s endorsement: “Donna Edwards has proven time and again that she’s a bold progressive. She’s not just an ally — she’s one of us.”

Currently, there are no black women serving in the U.S. Senate. If Congresswoman Edwards wins, she’ll become the first to serve since 1998, becoming only the second in U.S. history. Edwards embraces the outsider role she represents among D.C. players, revels in it even, and she is prepared to use her engagement with grassroots groups to push the party toward real progressivism.

MASS LIVE: Elizabeth Warren impacting 2016 Democratic presidential race despite muted role in campaigns

While Elizabeth Warren has publicly kept her distance from the 2016 Democratic presidential race, some analysts suggest that the Massachusetts senator has played a major role in directing the political conversation. …

Political analysts, however, contend that Warren’s lack of an endorsement has led to her to have more indirect influence on the Democratic presidential contest, particularly its focus on issues she’s championed like Wall Street banking overhauls, than public support for a particular candidate ever would.

Adam Green, a founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee which helped with Warren’s 2012 U.S. Senate campaign, argued that the Democrat “is very good about picking smart fights and knowing when to engage.”

“So far, she has managed to use her non endorsement as leverage to get all candidates to move in her direction on issues like Wall Street, expanding Social Security and debt-free college,” he said in an interview. “She’s already had an amazing impact on the 2016 cycle.”

International Political Consultant Anthony Cignoli agreed, saying “Elizabeth Warren is either a kingmaker or a queenmaker.”

BLOOMBERG: How Elizabeth Warren Is Shaping 2016 Without Picking a Side

Early last year, the frenzy to enlist Elizabeth Warren in the 2016 presidential race grew so intense that a Ready for Warren group emerged to lead a draft effort. Reporters parsed the Democratic Massachusetts senator’s every utterance for clues to her plans. In the end, Warren opted to pass. But so far, she hasn’t chosen to throw her support behind any of the other candidates.

With President Obama unlikely to weigh in, Warren is the most important Democratic elected official who has yet to endorse. Her iconic status among the party’s liberal grass roots, and the national fundraising base she commands, would deliver a substantial boost to Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, or Martin O’Malley. …

Warren’s allies argue that she’s been able to shape the primary race by creating a “system of incentives” that has influenced candidate behavior. “There was almost no oxygen in the room for big, structural Wall Street reform after Dodd-Frank until Warren came on the scene,” says Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, a liberal group. “The fact that all three Democratic presidential candidates are competing with each other to have the boldest plan for Wall Street reform and accountability—including explicitly calling for jailing Wall Street bankers who broke the law—is testament to Warren’s looming presence and influence in the Democratic primary.”

VICE: What Can Be Done to Fix the Student Loan Crisis in 2016?

Though public universities are run by states, the federal government could provide funds for higher education, increase Pell Grants, and reduce additional expenses for students by pushing for more textbooks to be open-source and available online.

This notion has gotten so much momentum that “debt-free college” has been endorsed by 100 members of Congress, as well as legislators from Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Ohio, Wisconsin, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Illinois, Missouri, and South Dakota, according to Marissa Barrow of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC), a PAC that helped make the term part of the political lexicon this year.

Special Report by Lacey Connelly, Training Director

Earlier this year, the PCCC announced a vital new piece of progressive infrastructure — a National Candidate Training that offered four days of cutting-edge training and networking opportunities.

From July 30 – August 2, two hundred candidates — local, state, and federal — converged in Washington, DC. You can see Time Magazine’s coverage of the event here.

Senator Elizabeth Warren kicked off the training with a keynote, and we heard from Congressional Progressive Caucus members and movement leaders. Attendees from across the country attended sessions to improve their finance game and media appearances, increase their local and national media exposure, hire top-notch (and progressive) talent, win key endorsements, motivate volunteers, find affordable polling, and more.

Our trainers included practitioners who lead their field — including Joel Silberman, the official media trainer for the Congressional Progressive Caucus. We also heard from senior members of Elizabeth Warren and Al Franken’s winning Senate campaigns.

The training will help progressives win more — and help gain attention for the rising stars of the progressive movement.

The training is already proving successful, with a few of our graduates running (and winning!) in 2015 elections, including:

Mark Levine; VA House of Delegates, 45th District
Pat Davis; Albuquerque (NM) City Council, 6th District
David Doucette; Marlborough (MA) City Council, Ward 2
Joy Maloney; Loudoun County (VA) School Board, Broad Run District

 

For future training opportunities, we want to know about progressive superstars in your area. Use this form to nominate great candidates for the training program.

PCCC Elections Tip: Use your holiday card list

Here are a few tips for making the most of your holiday cards!

When writing your holiday cards, consider a quick note about why you are running for office. Add the URL of your campaign website, and encourage friends and family to sign up for updates from your mailing list.
Holiday cards are a great reason to reconnect with acquaintances. Expand your list by using the “Everyone I Know” app in PIES. This will help you brainstorm your contacts, like school friends, business contacts, fellow congregants, teammates from intramural sports teams, and your wedding guest list. A holiday card from you will jog their memory — priming them for a phone call later asking for their support.
Once updated, add your holiday card list to the “Contact Database” app in PIES. If you keep your list in a spreadsheet, you can upload in minutes. That way your holiday card list becomes a list of potential supporters.
You can use the magnifying glass button in the “Contact Database” to start researching past giving and identify potential donors. Figure out whether the people on your holiday card list have given to other candidates or political action committees that share your values. For those who aren’t likely donors, you can ask them for other kinds of support, like knocking on doors, staffing your events, or providing a public endorsement statement on your behalf.

 

Holiday cards are often time-consuming, but these steps will help make your campaign more productive in the New Year. Two birds with one stone!

Don’t have a PIES account yet, or not sure how to access it? Bringing PIES to your campaign begins by completing our candidate questionnaires here — or just email us at help@campaignpies.com with any questions.

 

TIME: Ghost of Hillary Clinton Haunts Liberal Convention

Despite her absence, Clinton’s ghost defined much of the proceedings here. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts progressive who is beloved among the Netroots crowd, said in a speech on Friday that all the presidential candidates should move to stop the revolving door between Wall Street and the Cabinet, an applause line that was largely seen as aimed at Clinton. Many of the activists spoke about “moving Hillary to the left,” a common refrain among Democrats.

For Clinton, who is establishing her progressive credentials but has not yet managed to capture the imagination of the Netroots demographic, the key will be driving them out in heavy numbers to vote for in a general election. Sanders may know how to rile up the base. But if Netroots is a barometric reading of devotion, then Clinton may have some work to do.

“It’s a degree-of-enthusiasm question,” said Stephanie Taylor, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. “Democratic activists here will probably go out and vote for her. But will they go out to canvass for her, mobilize for her and make calls for her? It really depends on her.”

WASHINGTON POST: Warren inspires Netroots Nation — even those wearing Sanders T-shirts

In a fiery speech at Netroots Nation, the country’s largest gathering of progressive activists, the senator from Massachusetts railed against Wall Street “banksters” who deserve to be in jail. She decried an economic system “rigged for the rich and powerful.” And she vowed to fight an “insider Washington” that doesn’t realize how progressive the country really is. …

“Progressives are looking for a candidate speaking Elizabeth Warren’s rhetoric and embracing her policies,” said Stephanie Taylor, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, a Washington-based group whose agenda overlaps with Warren’s on issues such as debt-free college, expansion of Social Security benefits and Wall Street reform.

Taylor said that Warren’s “role right now is agenda-setting, policy-setting. When she picks a fight, it’s a signal it will be a major one, not only for her but for the party.”

In recent months, Clinton — the Democratic front-runner — has borrowed some Warren catchphrases, including her declaration that the economic system is “rigged” against working families.

But Adam Green, the other co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, said it remains to be seen whether Clinton will move beyond slogans to champion bold policies.

TIME: Elizabeth Warren Sends Hillary Clinton a Message

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren drew a red line on Friday for 2016 presidential candidates, calling for them to commit to end the so-called “revolving door” between Wall Street and the Cabinet. …

“Elizabeth Warren offered a framework for how Democratic presidential candidates can reduce Wall Street influence in key appointments,” said Stephanie Taylor, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee after Warren’s speech.

Unhappy with President Obama’s less aggressive approach to Wall Street, the Democratic left has searched for a liberal champion who can address issues like income inequality and campaign finance reforms and found some of its voice in Warren, a former Harvard law professor and consumer protection advocate.

THE NEW REPUBLIC: Elizabeth Warren Challenges Hillary Clinton to Stop the Revolving Door

This is the first time Warren has decided to engage in the presidential election, which activists tried for months to get her to enter. Instead of asking candidates to endorse one of her particular policies on bank reform or student loans, Warren is focusing on the personnel who will implement those policies. It’s a notable choice that dovetails with Warren’s interest in ensuring that executive branch appointments will not tip the scales in favor of Wall Street or private industry, seen most directly in the fight to block Antonio Weiss from the No. 3 position in the Treasury Department. …

Adam Green of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee responded to Warren’s remarks by saying they “offered a framework for how Democratic presidential candidates can promise to reduce Wall Street influence in key appointments.” The PCCC added that they would “ask all Democratic presidential candidates to make specific commitments—and to make down payments on that promise by ensuring progressive economic thinkers are on their campaign policy teams.”

POLITICO: Elizabeth Warren lays down a marker for Hillary Clinton

With Bernie Sanders drawing huge crowds with his fiery socialist-y speeches, Hillary Clinton leaning further left than any Democratic frontrunner in decades, and Martin O’Malley pitching himself as the wonk of the people, it’s been an all-out contest in the Democratic Party to claim the mantle of progressive hero.

But on Friday, Elizabeth Warren wanted to make one thing clear: I was the original. …

Even if many other Democrats here are not yet sold on Clinton, it’s clear the former secretary of state’s recent leftward lurch has been appreciated. …

“I think we’ve seen progress,” said Stephanie Taylor, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. “I do think that she’s made some stabs toward economic populism.”

THE NATION: Elizabeth Warren Just Issued a Major Challenge to All Presidential Contenders

The various Draft Warren campaigns, in concert with the Massachusetts senator’s rapid rise in the party, leave her in a unique position to influence the direction of the presidential primary debate. Warren cashed in some of those chips during her speech Friday, issuing a direct challenge to presidential candidates (read: Hillary Clinton) to support specific legislation that would curb some of the financial sector’s influence at federal regulatory agencies. …

Activists are ready to take up Warren’s charge, however—the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Democracy for America, and Americans for Financial Reform began circulating a petition demanding that a specific list of financial regulatory positions, along with presidential campaign staffing, be staffed by people “a strong commitment toward holding Wall Street accountable.”

POLITICO: Morning Education

Demos, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and the American Federation of Teachers will announce today a six-point “Debt-Free College Checklist” designed “to assess any debt-free college proposal” put forth by 2016 presidential candidates and members of Congress. Strictly speaking, “Debt-free college means all students in America should be able to graduate without debt.” Such a policy plan, the groups say, should: apply to all undergraduate students at public colleges and account for all college costs, ensure that aid is directed toward the least privileged students, and avoid economic hardship for families and academic hardship for students.

WASHINGTON POST: Happy Hour Roundup

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Demos, and the American Federation of Teachers is releasing a new “checklist for debt-free college,” listing a series of policies that the groups will use to judge the Dem presidential candidates’ commitments to expanding the availability of higher education, a key progressive cause that’s gaining momentum.

WASHINGTON POST: Happy Hour Roundup

Progressive groups such as Democracy For America and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee are ramping up the pressure on Hillary Clinton to support reinstating Glass-Steagall, another sign the left is remaining vigilant for any signs of a weak commitment to Wall Street reform.

CNN: Hillary Clinton’s economic pitch: Americans ‘need a raise’

The Democratic front-runner lambasted a marketplace she said is too obsessed with second-to-second stock trading and quarterly earnings reports, at the expense of long-term growth and stability in a speech that was heavy on politics and light on policy specifics.

Clinton even took a veiled shot at President Barack Obama’s administration for failing to prosecute individuals for banking crimes in the wake of the 2008 economic downturn.

She accused hedge funds and high-frequency traders of “criminal behavior,” and promised to “prosecute individuals as well as firms” when they break the law — which liberals have long clamored for, but the Obama administration largely didn’t do. She also said she’d seek to expand on the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial regulatory law designed to prevent future economic crises.

“‘Too big to fail’ is still too big a problem,” Clinton said.

The assault on Wall Street pleased liberal groups that have often criticized Clinton. “There were notable overtures to the Elizabeth Warren wing of American politics, and nothing major for the dwindling DLC corporate crowd — which shows that Clinton sees a rising economic populist tide in our politics and wants to be part of it,” said Adam Green, a co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee who has at times been a thorn in Clinton’s side.

MSNBC: Clinton lays out economic vision, calls out Republican opponents

Regarding Wall Street, Clinton said that the financial sector has an important role to play in the economy, but added that she would not tolerate the kind of “criminal behavior” that sometimes occurs and lamented when executives are let off the hook.

“We have to go beyond Dodd-Frank,” she said of Obama’s Wall Street reform law. “Too many of our major financial institutions are still too complex and too risky.” …

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee praised Clinton “for the first time … acknowledging that corporate criminals often escape accountability while pocketing ill-gotten gains,” as the group’s co-founder, Adam Green, said in a statement.

BUZZFEED: O’Malley’s Latest Attempt At Gaining The Progressive Advantage: A College Debt Proposal

“Martin O’Malley’s belief that debt-free college must be accessible to all students, and must apply to all public colleges and universities, is spot on and we look forward to seeing the plans of others,” Adam Green, co-founder of PCCC — which is expected to announce its own debt-free college plan at the annual Netroots Nation progressive confab next week — told BuzzFeed News in an email.

Green said he hoped O’Malley’s rivals will unveil plans that rival the former Maryland governor’s. For now, the debt-free plan puts O’Malley in the progressive spotlight, even against Sanders.

“To her credit, Hillary Clinton has mentioned debt-free college multiple times on the campaign trail, and Americans await a bold policy speech on debt-free college in the near future,” Green said. “We hope Bernie Sanders and others endorse this game changing goal of debt-free college as well.”

NEW YORK TIMES: Martin O’Malley Offers Plan for Debt-Free College in Appeal to Liberals

Mr. O’Malley’s plan — to make college free of debt for all, as well as enhancing public education systems — won praise from the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which is closely aligned with Senator Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts Democrat and a champion of the left. The committee had stirred up interest in the issue of debt-free college over many months …

“Martin O’Malley’s belief that debt-free college must be accessible to all students, and must apply to all public colleges and universities, is spot on — and we look forward to seeing the plans of others,” said Adam Green, who co-founded the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, and described debt-free college as crucial to “what our economy needs to grow.”

While Mr. Green noted that Mrs. Clinton had also discussed the issue on the campaign trail, she had said she would lay out her policy proposals in the coming weeks.

AL JAZEERA AMERICA: O’Malley unveils plan for reducing student debt

O’Malley’s plan sets a goal “that all students have access to a high-quality, debt-free college education within five years, attainable at any in-state college or university,” according to a white paper on the candidate’s website.

Liberal groups such as the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) have spent months calling on Democratic candidates to work on reducing student debt. The group, in a Wednesday statement, hailed O’Malley’s proposal as “the most progressive plan to tackle crippling student debt offered so far on the presidential campaign trail.”

“To her credit, Hillary Clinton has mentioned debt-free college multiple times on the campaign trail, and Americans await a bold policy speech on debt-free college in the near future,” said PCCC co-founder Adam Green. “We hope Bernie Sanders and others endorse this game changing goal of debt-free college as well.”

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