Progressive Caucus - News

Majority of DA Delegates mobilize to support M4A + Call to Action!

Majority of DA Delegates mobilize to support M4A + Call to Action!

The majority of Democrats Abroad (DA) delegates to the Democratic National Convention have joined over 750 others from around the United States in a move to put Medicare for All squarely on the party’s agenda.

Fifteen members of the Dems Abroad Delegation of 23 have signed a pledge to vote NO on the 2020 DNC Platform unless it includes a commitment to a universal, single-payer healthcare plan.  This compassionate initiative has gained support from Biden delegates as well.  These delegates are participating in the Democratic process and exercising their right to vote on convention business. Voting NO on the proposed platform exerts influence for Medicare for All, towards bringing the Democratic Party in line with the majority of Democratic voters.  It is voicing the sentiments of those who elected them.  High-quality, equitable, and freely available healthcare for all Americans is one of the main policy priorities of the Democrats Abroad Progressive Caucus and supported by a majority of DA members, as well as included in our own DA Platform.

John Baumlin, DA Sanders Delegate and DA Japan Chair, helped compile positions of all state party platforms and reports that ". . . the state platform data and our own platform in DA, does not support the current proposed DNC platform."

In solidarity with other state party delegates, the fifteen DA Biden and Sanders delegates have pledged to vote NO on the platform as a bloc on Tuesday, August 11, 2020.

Non-Delegates can sign 👉 an Action Network M4A pledge to reaffirm their support and call upon the Democratic Party to include  M4A in the 2020 Democratic Party Platform!

The draft 2020 DNC platform is a product of negotiations between a team of Biden delegates and Sanders delegates.  It progresses beyond past platforms in some areas, like climate and infrastructure policy.  However, it is a major disappointment to the 70~80% of Democratic voters who, polls show, consistently support Medicare for All. The draft platform was approved to be sent to the full convention by the Platform Committee by a vote of 173-0.  Currently, it is being voted on remotely up or down in a single vote by all delegates.

The draft is expected to be approved.  Nonetheless, a number of Sanders delegates led by Nevada Delegation Chair Judith Whitmer, are taking a strong stand for a position clearly supported by the majority of Democratic voters and state party platforms.  Whitmer sent other delegates an email saying, "During a public health crisis in which millions of Americans have lost their health insurance and families have to choose between paying rent or healthcare, the Democratic Party just refused to call for a universal, single-payer “Medicare For All” healthcare system in our National Platform. Even with irrefutable proof that our private insurance system has completely failed us as a nation, our Party leaders have chosen to mold our platform to a candidate’s position.

Instead, our National Platform should reflect the values and principles of the people. The majority of all Americans support Medicare For All and it’s time for the Democratic Party to stand with the people. The DNC has affirmed that healthcare is a human right; therefore, it is the responsibility of our government to protect and uphold that right by untying healthcare from employment and profit margins and by guaranteeing healthcare for all."

DA Sanders Delegate Ty Cofield, of DA Poland, explained, "The 2020 Call for the Convention states: "All delegates to the National Convention pledged to a presidential candidate shall in all good conscience reflect the sentiments of those who elected them." If our delegation and state party electors voted support for Medicare for All as a human right, we're obliged to support them by voting NO on the party platform. The current platform simply isn't the best we can do. We can and should do better." Ty Cofield as M4M-Pledge Deputy Delegate Whip has been working with 2020 DNC NV Delegation Chair Judith Whitmer to whip votes across State Party Delegations.

Lissette Wright, DA Sanders PLEO Delegate and DA Canada+Global Treasurer, reached out to other DA delegates to support the pledge, sharing her view that "Our Democratic Party Platform is our roadmap and it should be bold enough to improve the life of every single American! The lack of commitment to Medicare For All in our Party Platform is appalling and inhumane!"

ProDA Co-Chair Sue Alksnis, who championed Medicare for All within the Dems Abroad platform process, commented, “Voting NO on a platform that ignores Medicare for All shows Dems in Congress and the Senate that we will keep fighting and pushing, phoning and texting, voting and organizing until there is guaranteed, quality single-payer health care for every person in the country.”

Medical Student, DA Sanders Delegate Anya Leonhard, of DA Germany, remarked, "While I'm happy to go on and on about the positives of the German healthcare system versus the United States, the private option creates a two-tiered system of healthcare that disproportionately disadvantages BIPoC, those with chronic illnesses, and those with lower incomes. The base level of care is higher than in the United States, but there is still inherent inequality in the system. The fact of the matter is that, when competing public and private options remain in a system meant to uphold a fundamental human right, the human right in question is monetized and relativized. Why would we need private healthcare if our public option provides sufficient coverage for everyone?"

The DA delegates who have publicly pledged to support Medicare for All by voting no on the platform on August 11 are:

DA Delegation M4A-Pledge Signers

  1. Onélica Andrade, Belgium (Joe Biden)
  2. Maria Allgaier, UK (Joe Biden, Alternate)
  3. John Baumlin, Japan (Bernie Sanders)
  4. Farid Ben Amor, Switzerland (Bernie Sanders)
  5. Tyler Cofield, Germany (Bernie Sanders)
  6. Anne Dlugosz, France (Bernie Sanders)
  7. Tim Ellis, Canada (Bernie Sanders)
  8. Anya Leonhard, Germany (Bernie Sanders)
  9. Helen Li, China (Bernie Sanders)
  10. Diego Rivas, Germany (Bernie Sanders)
  11. Ken Sherman, Americas (DA DNC Member)
  12. Orlando Vidal, Global (DA DNC Member)
  13. Lissette Wright, Canada (Bernie Sanders)
  14. Claire Lops, Germany (Bernie Sanders, Credentials Committee)
  15. David Wenk, UK (Bernie Sanders, Alternate)

PS: Read ProDA article on how to find and support progressive candidates | Volunteer for the National Nurses United M4A campaign!

PPS: Here is the Delegate Pledge👇

Delegate Pledge Supporting Medicare for All

Whereas, this Country is currently in the throes of a catastrophic public health crisis; and

Whereas, this emergency has led to massive job losses due to the Country’s response to that crisis; and

Whereas, millions of Americans have lost their healthcare insurance because of those job losses at a time when healthcare is needed most; and

Whereas, this crisis has highlighted the need to separate healthcare from employment; and

Whereas, we believe that healthcare is a basic human right, not a luxury; and

Whereas, our current, for-profit health care system is inherently racist and discriminatory; and

Whereas, the majority of Americans now believe that a universal, single-payer, Medicare-For-All system is the best way to achieve equitable, affordable and accessible healthcare for all Americans; and

Whereas, the Democratic Party and their Platform Committee process has failed, to date, to incorporate a clear and progressive platform plank for Medicare-For-All for adoption by the 2020 National Convention; therefore

Be it resolved that we, the undersigned delegates to the Democratic National Convention, pledge to vote against any 2020 Platform that does not include a universal, single-payer, Medicare-For-All platform plank.

~M4A Pledge spearheaded by Judith Whitmer JWpeace-m4a.jpgDNC 2020 Nevada Delegation Chair.

N.B. Democrats Abroad is not responsible for any use of your personal data by the third party service that created this petition. You should verify the petition site's privacy rules.

PPPS: Former U.S. Ambassador Bruce A. Heyman tweeted on August 9, 2020 a TWP article about 👉 "The health care scare: I sold Americans a lie about Canadian medicine. Now we’re paying the price." 👈

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***

#DrawTheLine • 8/11 • #M4AllNow

Today, August 11, 2020, the majority of Democrat Abroad Delegates voted NO on the 2020 Democratic Party Platform as it does not include a universal, single-payer, Medicare-For-All platform plank.

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Progressive Caucus Global Book Club Starting July 27, 2020

We’re starting a proDA Book Club on July 27, 2020. Led by Betsy Ettorre and John Esteban Rodriguez. See information on the July 27th book club meeting and RSVP.

Click here for more information about the Book Club, including Book Club guidelines.  


Petition the DNC for a Green Platform

The DNC Environment and Climate Crisis Council has proposed a very ambitious $16 trillion plan to combat climate change (https://www.dncclimate.org/the-platform).  It aligns well with proDA support for a Green New Deal.  Adrianne George, DPCA DNC member and founding member of the Council, encourages us to write messages in support of  the proposal to the Council's Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/DNCClimate/) and sign its petition to tell the Democratic Party 2020 Platform Committee to adopt the proposal. It only takes a minute. Please consider signing, commenting that you are associated with the Progressive Caucus of Democrats Abroad, and share the petition widely in your social media network.

 

NOTE: Democrats Abroad is not responsible for any use of your personal data by the third party service that created this petition. You should verify the petition site's privacy rules.

 


How to Find and Support Progressive Candidates in 2020

Why?  

To ensure real progress in 2020, winning the White House is necessary.  But it is not enough.  We also must regain the Senate majority, increase our House majority, and win races up and down the ballot everywhere at every level of government.  Our best shot at achieving those goals is to support candidates who will fight for the progressive policies supported by growing U.S. majorities, including Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, the Fight for 15, and much more.  Voters in the remaining primaries and in the general election will determine whether or not the Democratic candidates support these and other progressive policies. They and we hold the progressive future in our hands!

Who are the progressive candidates?

Many progressive organizations work hard to identify the candidates who meet their requirements for endorsement.  Consulting their recommendations is one method to determine who to support.  Here is a list of some organizations with links to their endorsements:

Brand New Congress
Indivisible
Progressive Democrats of America
Justice Democrats
Our Revolution
Working Families Party

Many issue-based organizations endorse candidates, too. Here is a sample list:

Moms Demand Action (Reasonable Gun Legislation)
National Nurses United (Medicare for All)
Sunrise Movement (Green New Deal)

Progressive broadcasts provide yet another source of good information, often featuring specific candidates.  Among others, these seem especially noteworthy:

Democracy Now
The Rational National
Rumble with Michael Moore
The Humanist Report
Rising with Krystal and Saagar
Secular Talk with Kyle Kulinski

What can we do?

  • We can develop our personal candidate lists, share them with friends, family, and community members, and consider volunteering for at least one candidate.
  • Each of us can select one issue and support the candidates who champion it!
  • We can listen to progressive broadcasts and share our favorites!

Let’s ensure victory for the largest possible number of progressive candidates who speak loudly in favor of the reforms and policies!  


2020 DA Platform Action - by June 5, 2020


2020 DA Platform Action - by June 5, 2020

As we prepare for the DPCA Global Convention on June 6th and 7th, work on our DA platform continues.  proDA encourages all members to  read the draft platform and offer feedback. The online feedback option is open until June 5th but you’ll have more impact by submitting earlier.  The clock is ticking! 

Specific feedback suggestions to support policies likely to be popular among proDA membership appear below. The suggestions are organized according to the ‘planks’ (or sections) in the platform. When you submit feedback, the feedback form requires that you indicate which plank your feedback concerns. Just pick the relevant plank from the pull-down menu in the feedback form.  When you share your suggestion for the platform, it helps the Platform committee if you include the relevant page numbers and sub-topic (if there is one), so both of those are included in the list of topics below. If you wish, you could copy specific suggestions and paste them into the feedback form. You can also make several suggestions in one feedback submission form, as long as they all pertain to the same plank, for instance, submit both Taxation improvements, or all three Economic Policy improvements.

Why this matters: The 2020 DA platform expresses our priorities for the DNC platform and Democratic legislative work for the next four years. It can be used to pressure our DNC members to support certain initiatives in their DNC work, and help determine where DA deploys volunteer resources. It can help attract and retain progressive-minded new members to DA.

Plank: Criminal Justice

Page 14 Restoring the Federal Judiciary: The platform should demand an ethically rigorous federal judiciary. Everyone should be treated equally under the law, including judges at all levels. DA should call for fundamental reform of the Supreme Court by placing stricter restrictions on any federal judge who may hold a conflict of interest, and an independent body should be created by Congress to assess and manage these affairs so we can always have a fully functioning judiciary held to the highest standard to reflect the power held by the third branch of government. 

offer feedback

Plank: Democracy and Elections

Page 15 Public Funding of Campaigns: After section “Ending Citizens United and Lobbying,” add a new section supporting increased public funding of political campaigns. Elected and appointed officials should work primarily on behalf of their constituents and not on behalf of people, lobbyists, or companies that make large donations. The platform should also emphasize that the U.S.  will study, establish, and use public funding programs that allow candidates to fundraise small sums of money from each person who supports the candidate and encourage people who would not normally make donations to do so. 

offer feedback

Plank: Economic Policy

Page 19 Add Support of an Economic Bill of Rights. Delete the current text “Democrats Abroad supports economic policy that protects, preserves, and grows our economy sustainably and inclusively. Our Government must provide support mechanisms so that American workers can succeed and build happy and prosperous lives. Free and open markets can coexist with social welfare systems. The United States can simultaneously embrace the principles of capitalism and fulfill our collective responsibility to care for each other’s well-being.” and replace with language asserting our economy should work for all, substantially improving the lived experience of all Americans, such as "Democrats Abroad supports economic policy that advances the well-being of all Americans and envisions an economic policy that works for all. Our Government can and should move towards providing and improving the lived experience and real economic well-being so that American workers can succeed and build happy and prosperous lives. Crucial to the sustainability of our democracy and well-being is pursuing an Economic Bill of Rights – that all are afforded the decency of self-actualization as we have a collective responsibility to care for each other’s well-being. To achieve this aim, we can implement monetary policy that works for both the public and private sectors, to expand innovation as well as economic justice rather than pit one against the other." 

offer feedback

Page 21 Labor Unions: Add language asserting our support for: (1) the right to organize and join unions, (2) certification of a union through a simple majority sign-up process, (3) enactment of “first contract” provisions to ensure companies cannot prevent a union from forming by denying a first contract, (4) elimination of “Right to Work for Less” laws, (5) establishment of federal protections against the firing of workers for any reason other than “just cause,” (6) ratification of the ILO core conventions on freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collectively bargain, (7) elimination of forced or compulsory labor, (8) the abolition of child labor and (9) the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.”  

offer feedback

Page 22 Fiscal Policy
Current Draft Platform Text: ‘Fiscal Prudence - Trickle down economic theory and promises that “tax cuts pay for themselves” – repeatedly offered by Republicans to advance tax-cut legislation – have actually exacerbated income inequality, and ballooned budget deficits and the national debt, serving then only as an excuse for cutting Government services. The Government’s financial choices with respect to revenue and debt should reflect the discipline of a well-run business or household, while recognizing that sustainable debt levels reflect the commercial capacity and direction of the U.S. economy.’ 
Proposal: ALTER a portion of the draft platform.
Proposed Text: Our Platform should promote accurate and equitable approaches to utilize strategic deficit spending to ensure a sustainable future and the well-being of all Americans. This section should be re-titled “Fiscal Policy”; as it stands, it is supporting right-wing ideology. Governments are not a household or business as the US government is a currency issuer, not a user. DA should promote fiscal approaches here that call upon the US Government to ensure strategic investment in new, innovative and sustainable emerging sectors, such as those called for in the Green New Deal.  

offer feedback

Plank: Education

Page 25 Student Loans
Current draft platform text: We support simplified, automated, income-based student loan repayment plans, with payments capped as a percentage of income, and the balance forgiven after a reasonable period of time. Unlike other consumer debt, such as credit card and mortgage debt, student loans cannot currently be discharged in bankruptcy. We support the discharge of student loan debt in the event of bankruptcy. The Federal Government must reduce the interest burden on Government-guaranteed student loans to zero and must require private student lenders to abolish prepayment penalties, to ease refinancing through third parties, and to provide pricing transparency.” [...] “The Federal Government must especially support colleges and universities that play unique and vital roles in their communities, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Serving Institutions.”
Proposal: ALTER a portion of the draft platform.
Proposed Text: “Democrats Abroad supports the cancellation of all current federally-backed student debt from tuition. Unlike other consumer debt, such as credit card and mortgage debt, student loans cannot currently be discharged in bankruptcy. We support the discharge of both public and private student loan debt of any kind in the event of bankruptcy. Profiteering off a student's education is unacceptable at public institutions. The Federal Government must also reduce the interest burden on government-guaranteed student loans for non-tuition related college expenses to zero as many other countries do. All remaining costs should be simplified, automated, income-based student loan repayment plans, with payments capped at a low percentage of discretionary income, and the balance forgiven after 10 years regardless of principal due. Private student lenders must be regulated to the same standard and abolish student exploitation in the form of prepayment penalties, refinancing restrictions, and non-transparency in pricing. Pell Grant eligibility requirements should be loosened, and grants expanded, to help cover any non-tuition related expenses a student may acquire while building their life and career. The Federal Government must especially support colleges and universities that play unique and vital roles in their communities, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Serving Institutions, by providing for debt-free education and related expenses at these institutions.“  

offer feedback

Plank: Environment and Energy

Page 27
Current draft platform text: “Environmental and economic policy should work together to ensure that we evolve towards a healthy economy which has a positive environmental impact.”
Proposal: ADD an element to the draft platform.
Proposed Text: Add a final sentence to reflect the resolution passed by DA in 2019 on the Green New Deal and its specific goals. Suggested text as follows: “Environmental and economic policy should work together to ensure that we evolve towards a healthy economy which has a positive environmental impact. With this in mind, Democrats Abroad supports a Green New Deal, similar in its goals and scope to H.R. 109 and S. Res. 59.” More focus should be on the goals of the Green New Deal, specifically in H.Res 109, achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions; establishing millions of high-wage jobs and ensuring economic security for all; investing in infrastructure and industry; securing clean air and water, climate and community resiliency, healthy food, access to nature, and a sustainable environment for all; and promoting justice and equality.  

offer feedback

Plank: Foreign Policy

Page 32 Living Our Values: Supporting Democracy
Current draft platform text: The United States should stand with those seeking to advance personal liberty, freedom of expression, and democratic political representation. We cannot abide by hate crimes or discrimination based on race, ethnicity, national origin, sexuality, or religious belief.
Proposal: ALTER a portion of the draft platform
Proposed Text: 2019 was the year of the protestor, and we have witnessed the effectiveness of these movements and should incorporate their tools into our own political movements. When human beings are stricken by circumstances that lead them to protest, they are defending or calling for a change in their way of life, and we encourage the freedom of peaceful assembly and political association worldwide we enjoy at home. These direct actions are the basis and reference for all political change, and an essential piece of democracy in any democratic organization or nation. Democrats Abroad supports democratic movements and protesters around the world in asserting their full liberties guaranteed under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Democrats Abroad condemns all acts of violence against those peacefully seeking to further their democratic rights.

offer feedback

Page 36 International Organizations - Remove mention of World Trade Organization
Current draft platform text: “We must strengthen institutions such as the World Trade Organization that the current Administration has attempted to derail. We call on all nations to return to full engagement with these organizations, and we denounce unilateral actions that defy U.N. directives or other treaty obligations.“
Proposal: ALTER
Proposed text:  Remove reference to the World Trade Organization as an international organization that DA wishes to strengthen.  

offer feedback

Plank: Healthcare

Page 40 Preamble/Healthcare-- Inclusion for All in Proposed Healthcare Policy
Current draft platform text: Preamble/Healthcare
Proposal: ADD an element to the draft platform.
Proposed Text: The need for equitable access to all and for rural and underserved areas is crucial and must be named to ensure that those most disadvantaged are explicitly represented in this Platform. Suggested revised text: "We support coverage for everyone, regardless of age, color, class, ethnicity, family status, gender identity, labor union membership, military status, nationality, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, ability, pre-existing condition, and/or any other inappropriate factor.” and “We support equitable resourcing for underserved, rural, homeless, and immigrant communities.”  

Page 40 Medicare for All
Current draft platform text: “We support Medicare for All as the preferred method for achieving these goals. Healthcare coverage should include preventive care and holistic health promotion, reproductive health and abortion services; pre- and post-natal care, pediatric and gender affirming care, dental, vision, and mental health care, and rehabilitation and end-of-life palliative care...”
Proposal: SUPPORT a portion of the draft platform.
Proposed Text: DA’s Platform should support the inclusion of Medicare for All, as healthcare is a fundamental human right and Medicare for All is the best way to achieve true, universal healthcare.  

Page 40 Support for transitioning “healthcare administrative workers”
Current draft platform text: “We support retraining and a just transition for insurance administrators whose jobs might be at risk from such reform.”
Proposal: ALTER a portion of the draft platform.
Proposed Text: The DA Platform must support those who will be transitioned by a Medicare for All reform and that “insurance administrators” must be changed to “medical administrators” or “healthcare administrative workers” to ensure concerns are met around retraining include administrators not employed by insurance companies (hospital billing staff, for example).   

Page 40 “Undocumented immigrants” instead of “legal immigrants”
Current draft platform text: “Understanding that healthcare is the highest concern for many Americans – including many of our families and friends living in the United States, Democrats Abroad advocates for high quality, equitable, and affordable healthcare for all Americans and legal immigrants, which we regard as a fundamental human right. We advocate a comprehensive reform that can withstand assault from for-profit interests, in particular insurance and pharmaceutical companies; and avoiding patchwork solutions that are more vulnerable to piecemeal attack and dilution.”
Proposal: ALTER a portion of the draft platform.
Proposed Text: The reference to ‘legal immigrants’ in the first paragraph is out of sync with earlier responses from both Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, who both stated that undocumented immigrants would be covered within their policies. The GPC should include provisions to protect undocumented immigrants.   

offer feedback

Plank: Security

Page 53 Cybersecurity and Privacy
Current draft platform text: Democrats Abroad has members who have experienced being surveilled and understand the danger in mass surveillance. We believe that when it comes to policy on digital communications, balance is needed between cyber security and protection of private communications. Safe private communications are fundamental to the ability of people around the world both to protest and to advocate for and support democratic governments. Placing backdoors into hardware or software increases the likelihood that authoritarian governments, hackers, illegitimate non-state actors, and criminals can compromise communications.
Proposal: SUPPORT a portion of the draft platform.
Proposed Text: Support the text as written or stronger commitments to encryption, as this is the most important tool our members will have if the world continues an authoritarian trend, and that Americans will need to organize safely if Donald Trump wins again.  

offer feedback

Plank: Taxation

Page 57 Equitable Taxation
Current draft platform text: In line with our support for equitable taxation of all Americans and the redistribution of wealth concentrated to the degree that 0.003% of the population holds 13% of all wealth, we support a wealth tax.
Proposal: SUPPORT a portion of the draft platform.
Proposed Text: Preserve support of a wealth tax, and resist organized effort to have the wealth tax removed from the DA platform.  

Pages 60, 57 to top of 59 Wealth Tax 2

Current draft platform text:  p. 60 Tax Code Priorities for our 21st Century Economy or p. 57 to top of 59 CBT Vs RBT  Leave it to the Platform Committee to decide which one.
Proposal: ADAPT a portion of the draft platform.
Proposed Text:  “A policy to support a U.S. wealth tax and allow the treasury access to trillions from the super rich while providing relief from Citizen Based Taxation for all but a few handfuls of very wealthy Americans Abroad. 

  1. Raise the foreign earnings exclusion from around $100,00 US to $1.75 million US so that double taxation would be eliminated for nearly all citizens outside the US.
  2. Those who fall under this exclusion need only submit a one line tax return stating this, accompanied by a copy of your residence country tax return. (Note:  A similar resolution was adopted by DA a few years ago.)
  3. Given that citizens outside the US have not benefited from years of mortgage interest deduction tax credits, citizens outside the US shall not pay tax on the “profits” from home sales in the country of residence.
  4. FATCA reporting under $35 Million in institutions in countries of residence should  be eliminated. The exception to this would apply if the country of residence holdings contribute to a total wealth of over $50 million. All holdings outside of the country of residence will be reported.
  5. This shall not apply to residents of, or to, financial holdings in countries deemed tax havens. All figures will be indexed to inflation/deflation.  

offer feedback

More platform background and ideas: Electors considered platform resolutions at our mid-May 2020 regional meetings.  Here you can see information about their work:

Asia and Pacific--includes text of resolutions, most of which were adopted

Americas--includes proDA platform resolution package, which passed in full.

EMEA--The electors referred the resolutions to the Global Platform Committee, requiring Town Hall meetings for their consideration.

 


Bittersweet November: An Opponent, An Opportunity

By Kelsey McLendon

 Medium1.jpgPhoto by Carlos Esteves on Unsplash

Over the past several weeks, I’ve been asked to weigh in as a young progressive voice on the polarizing effect of the presumed Joe Biden Democratic nomination. My attempt here is to represent my own thought process for the current and future challenges Democrats face, while fully acknowledging that I do not speak for any sort of progressive monolith. I’m writing in hopes of addressing a wide swath of Democrat or Democrat-leaning voters after having had many conversations, done extensive reading, and most importantly, spent a lot of time listening. My hope is that this article reframes questions about voting for Biden in a way that helps us see a more complete picture of the choice we’re making in November.

Read more

Progressive Wins at the 2020 DA Regional Conventions

Thank you to all our progressive activists who ran for delegate and DNC member at the Regional Conventions. Thank you for your work in the 2020 primaries, building support for your candidate, and bringing new members to DA.  Good luck if you are running at the Global Convention!!!

Here is a run down of the progressive wins at the three Regional Conventions held online May 16/17.

Americas: A very progressive set of platform resolutions passed in the Americas, including a proposal to support a wealth tax by limiting taxation of Americans abroad to the super wealthy.  The Sanders Delegate elected is Tim Ellis. Friend of the Progressive Caucus, Ken Sherman, was re-elected as DNC member. Sam Goodman (Costa Rica), elected to the Platform Committee, made supportive comments of progressive policy. See the official report on the Americas Convention.

EMEA: Active proDA leader Katie Solon was elected DNC member, along with Diego Rivas, Anne Dlugosz, and Farid Ben Amor as Sanders delegates.  Only one of the platform resolutions was discussed at the EMEA convention, however the electors voted to refer the full set of resolutions to the Global Platform Committee and require it to hold a town hall meeting on them. See the official results from the EMEA Convention.

Asia Pacific: Active proDA members and leaders were elected as follows: John Baumlin as Sanders Delegate, Kiyoko Ayukawa and Kent Getsinger to Global Platform Committee.  ProDA looks forward to working with Aaron Kruse, who was elected DNC Member for AP. And 13 out of 16 of our Platform Resolutions PASSED, including:

  • Support for Wealth Tax 
  • Democratic right to protest
  • Supporting Medicare for All (including undocumented immigrant and medical workers)
  • Fiscal Policy (rather than ‘Fiscal Prudence’)
  • Student Loan Debt Forgiveness
  • Cyber security protection
  • Inclusion of 'Green New Deal' named specifically in Environmental Policy
  • Support for Union Rights
  • Finance Reform

See the official report on the Asia Pacific Convention.


34 of 83 DNC member candidates respond to proDA survey

Check out the questions we issued to all the candidates here.  Of 83 initial candidates, 37 responded by the May 8thdeadline. Their responses are shared to electors. Who are the electors? Find out on our DNC member elections resource pages.


Questions for DNC Candidates

Questions for DA DNC Candidates from the DA Progressive Caucus


The Progressive Caucus is conducting a survey of candidates for DNC membership. We invited all candidates to complete our survey by May 8th 2020. Responses will be made available to all electors simultaneously on May 10th.


Survey Questions:

  1. DA DNC Member Qualifications

    What qualities and skills qualify you to be an effective DA DNC member? Why should members of the Progressive Caucus of Democrats Abroad support your candidacy?

  2. Communication with Democrats Abroad Membership

    What role do you think DA DNC members must play as intermediaries between the DNC and DA membership? Are you satisfied with the current status? If not, what specific improvements would you recommend?

  3. Reforms in the Democratic Party and DNC

    In 2018, the DNC adopted several Unity Reform Commission proposals for this year’s convention to make the Party more democratic, transparent, and accountable. Which of these changes should become permanent? What, if any, additional reforms are necessary?

  4. Policy Goals

(a)  DA overwhelmingly passed resolutions in support of Medicare for All and the Green New Deal at its 2019 Annual General Meeting. What would you do as our DNC member to promote them?

(b)  What other specific policies do you promote for inclusion in the Democratic Party platform?

(c)  What can DA DNC members do to make the platform a more effective instrument?


How DA DNC Members are Elected

Dems Abroad DNC Members and How They’re Elected

Here is basic information about the Democrats Abroad members of the Democratic National Committee and how they are elected.

How many DNC members do we have?  Dems Abroad has eight members of the DNC out of the total of 447 DNC members.  Six of our eight are elected specifically to be our DNC members.  The other two are the Dems Abroad global chair and vice chair, who are automatically DNC members. 

How our DNC members are elected.  Of Dems Abroad’s six elected DNC members, three are elected by the three Dems Abroad regions.  Each region elects one DNC member.  The regions are Europe/Middle East/Africa (EMEA), Asia/Pacific (AP) and the Americas.  Each region holds its own convention to elect its DNC member.  This year, the regional elections will be held online on May 16 and 17.  (Each region also elects delegates to the Democratic National Convention, which is different from being a DNC member.)

Who elects our three regional DNC members?  At the regional conventions, the electors who vote for that region’s DNC member are from recognized country committees in that region.  They are (1) anyone elected to a country committee office or elected by Dems Abroad members to be a voting representative to the Democratic Party Committee Abroad (DPCA), which is the governing body of Dems Abroad comparable to a state party’s central committee, (2) elected chapter chairs and (3) the regional vice chair for that region.  Dems Abroad members who live in countries without a recognized country committee do not have representation at the regional conventions.

Who elects our three at-large global DNC members?  The other three of the six elected members are elected at-large at a global convention, which will be held this year online June 6 and 7.  The electors at the global convention are the eight incumbent Dems Abroad DNC members, the three newly elected DNC members from the three regions, all elected members of the DPCA and any “distinguished party leaders designated by the Secretary of the DNC”.  So, the electors for the global convention include most of the electors at the regional conventions but not all of them.  For example, elected chapter chairs who are not also elected as DPCA voting representatives are electors in the regional conventions but not in the global convention.  Dems Abroad members in countries that don’t have a recognized country committee are not represented at the global convention, just as they are not represented at the regional conventions.

Diversity among DNC members.  The eight DNC members representing Dems Abroad must be evenly distributed regarding their gender identification.  The global chair and vice chair always need to be of different genders.  The six elected DNC members need to total three women and three men. Nonbinary candidates are also welcome. In addition, Democrats Abroad aims for inclusion in our delegation of members of specific groups historically under-represented in Democratic Party affairs such as African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders as well as members of the LGBTQ+ community, people with disabilities and youth.  Because the three regional DNC members are elected first and the three global at-large members are elected later, the at-large members can be elected to balance the gender representation and to meet the guidelines for the representation of historically under-represented groups.  So, for example, if by chance all three regions happen to elect men as their DNC members, all three at-large DNC members would have to be women and only women candidates could run.

DNC members’ terms.  All Dems Abroad DNC members serve for a four year term.  The members we elect this year will begin their term at the close of the Democratic National Convention in August. They will serve as automatic delegates to the 2024 Democratic National Convention.

All these details about the Dems Abroad election of DNC members are stipulated by the official 2020 Delegate Selection Plan which is available here, section III, parts C and D.

Dems Abroad DNC members have only ½ vote each.  Each Dems Abroad DNC member has one-half vote in the DNC, so we have a total of four votes even though we have eight members.  Other DNC members have a full vote.  The half-vote arrangement was adopted to enable DA to have enough members to serve on various DNC committees and in various roles within the DNC while giving DA the same number of full votes as 24 smaller-population states and all the territories.

Where do all the other DNC members come from? To put these numbers in perspective, of the total of 447 DNC members, 214 are elected at the state level, which includes the 50 states plus six territories and Dems Abroad.  An additional 114 DNC members are the chairs and vice chairs of all 50 state parties plus six territories and Dems Abroad.  So, 328 members of the total 447 represent states, territories and Dems Abroad.  Of the remaining 119, 75 are called “at-large” members.  They are appointed by the Chair of the DNC and voted on as a block by the rest of the DNC, typically or always without debate.  The other members are appointed by fifteen specific groups within the Democratic Party such as the Democratic Governors Association, Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, College Democrats of America, National Conference of Democratic Mayors and others.