Vote for progressives

It’s that simple. When Speaker of the California State Assembly, John Perez, exhorted the attendees of Netroots Nation, in San Jose, California, Thursday evening, to “vote for progressives,” he said we should do it “for the people of America.”

The successes of a progressive-run government in California, the state that was once governed by Ronald Reagan, he said, has shown, “We’ve been right since well before Roosevelt, and they’ve been wrong since well before Reagan.

And it’s not just California. “Change happens at the state level,” Amy Runyon Harms, the executive director of ProgressNow Colorado, told a group attending a session on state legislative battles. We make gains, she said, by “working together.”

Sen. Jeff Merkley speaks at Netroots
Sen. Jeff Merkley lectures the Netroots Nation 2013 crowd on progressive values, in a keynote address, Thursday, June 20. (PBG)

Together, we can buck the argument of the resigned, that states like California are too different from deep red states, particularly in the crimson south. Organizations like Battleground Texas and Better Georgia are ready to move their states forward. The demographics are turning our way. At this point, it’s a matter of moving past mere will and being in action.

One way to do that, suggested AFSCME’s Assistant Director of Political Action, Seth Johnson, is “better message discipline.”

“The Right tells people what they want to hear,” he observed, adding that the Left spends too much time challenging people’s established beliefs.

It won’t be easy, but there can be no letting up. “We won’t win every fight,” admitted the digital strategy director director for Planned Parenthood Action, Heather Holdridge. “But,” she added, “we build important relationships along the way.”

Relationships which are part of our national identity, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) reminded the Netroots crowd, in Thursday night’s keynote, and created by the first three words of the US Constitution, “We the People.”

“It’s time to stand up,” he said, “stand together and save the American dream.”


One thought on “Vote for progressives

  1. Yet as refreshing as it is to see the jobs-for-lawyers racket that is VRA preclearance being struck down, and to see the cynical deal to protect Republican districts and black officeholders that was the 2006 VRA renewal being chipped away, the VRA decision should leave conservatives as uneasy as the DOMA decision does. To be sure, Justice Roberts cites traditions and interpretations that suggest all states should be treated the same; but the whole point of the original VRA was to treat states differently based on their histories — and if 30 years was not enough to get the job done but 40 years is, shouldn’t that finely calibrated decision be made by Congress (which the Fifteenth Amendment explicitly gives the authority to enforce voting rights)?


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