From Elizabeth Warren to our victory yesterday on Social Security, 2012 has been a great year.
We've compiled the Top Ten Highlights Of 2012. Check it out below, and let us know what you think.
Thanks for being a bold progressive! We look forward to doing big things with you in 2013.
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#1. Senator-Elect Elizabeth Warren!
Doesn't that feel great to say? PCCC members held "Draft Warren" house parties across Massachusetts, and tens of thousands of us signed a petition urging Elizabeth Warren to run for Senate. Then, we made 574,000 calls for her campaign and contributed more than $1.15 million dollars (through 69,000 grassroots donations) to help her win! As she said right after the election: "PCCC members were with me before there was a beginning. Thanks to you all." Now we'll stand with her as she holds Wall Street accountable from her position on the Senate Banking Committee!
#2. We Won...A Lot.
In 2012, over 30 of our endorsed candidates won races for Senate, House, Governor, and State Legislature. We supported these candidates with deep staffing and infrastructure help, phone calls, and volunteer hours. Over 1,000 media stories were written about our work this cycle. And through 250,000 small-dollar donations, we donated $2.7 million to candidates. PCCC members got a whopping 73% return on our investment. Compare that to Karl Rove, who got a 1% return on his investment. You are more politically savvy than Karl Rove. Congratulations!
#3. Call Out The Vote!
Over 3,200 volunteers made 2 million phone calls for progressive candidates through Call Out The Vote, our national phone program. Our ambitious goal was 1 million calls, but we doubled that! 82% of those calls helped winners! We also worked with campaigns to ensure their scripts used the most up-to-date persuasion methods. Many candidates like Elizabeth Warren, Alan Grayson, Carol Shea-Porter and Chris Murphy personally thanked volunteers. You can listen to Elizabeth Warren thank volunteers here.
#4. Saving Social Security! And Medicare/Medicaid!
Just yesterday, we had a big victory. The terrible "deal" that would have cut Social Security benefits was declared dead...for now. The Nation's Katrina vanden Heuvel tweeted, "Kudos to Progressive Change Campaign Comm 4 giving Dems' spines in 2012/ Reid says Social Security is off the table." We released polling showing these cuts were unpopular, and thousands of PCCC members called Congress opposing benefit cuts. Our friends at Credo, MoveOn, and Social Security Works also applied major pressure.
This victory shows that activism works. In 2013, we'll keep fighting any proposed cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid benefits.
#5. Remembering Paul Wellstone.
October 25th was a very busy day on the campaign trail. But we paused to remember the tenth anniversary of the death of Paul Wellstone, the great progressive senator from Minnesota. Over 500 PCCC members joined Senator Wellstone's son, his former chief of staff, Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison, and other Wellstone friends on a conference call to remember his legacy. There was laughter and definitely some tears. You can listen to the call here. We miss you, Senator Wellstone.
#6. Dump ALEC.
After Trayvon Martin's death, people became aware of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the right-wing group that pushes union busting, voter disenfranchisement, and Shoot-First gun laws in the states.
Our friends at ColorOfChange led a great campaign to pressure corporations like Coke, Pepsi, and Amazon to stop funding ALEC. Over 100,000 PCCC members piled on (see the picture of a PCCC organizer protesting outside Amazon's corporate meeting). So far, over 35 corporations and 49 moderate Democratic lawmakers have publicly dumped ALEC, causing a major right-wing institution to lose power.
#7. Chicago Teachers Strike.
29,000 Chicago teachers went on strike to get textbooks, smaller class sizes, and air conditioning in their classrooms. At moments like this, it's important for progressives to support unions. We made the only television ad to air in support of the teachers, showing how teachers, parents, and students were standing together. We aired it in Chicago during Meet the Press, so that political movers and shakers would see that the teachers had national support. (In case you missed it, you can watch the ad here.)
#8. Standing Up For Women In Michigan.
When Republicans tried to silence Michigan legislators Barb Byrum and Lisa Brown during a debate on women's health care, we fought back. We delivered more than 115,000 petition signatures on the steps of the Capitol with Rep. Byrum and our friends at Democracy for America. Our activism received major media attention and publicly shamed the Republicans who censured these female legislators. You can see video of the petition delivery here.
#9. State Victories!
Vermont Democrats boldly passed the first step toward single-payer health care -- and were under attack. So PCCC members supported Governor Peter Shumlin, State Treasurer Beth Pierce, and state legislators Kesha Ram and Jill Krowinski with 26,603 calls to key voters and thousands in donations to their campaigns. They all won, and single-payer is moving forward.
Wisconsin State Senator Chris Larson is an ally who often communicates with PCCC members through national conference calls and emails. Recently, he was elected Senate Democratic Leader! Chris will lead the fight against Gov. Scott Walker's war on working families. He'll be helped by PCCC staffer Katrina Shankland, who won a 7-way primary and general election for Wisconsin State House with support from PCCC members. She's now the youngest legislator in Wisconsin!
We were proud to support other great progressives like State Senator Angie Buhl in South Dakota and State Representative Matt Lesser in Connecticut in their re-election campaigns. When Washington DC depresses you, remember that inspiring progressives are building power in the states with your help!
#10. Organizing Congress
Behind the scenes, we're ensuring the people we helped elect get a strong start. We are vetting over 1,000 resumes with a goal of giving incoming members of Congress access to great staffers.
We also organized an event where current members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus met incoming freshmen, to help build early solidarity. And we hosted a meeting between Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig and several incoming members of Congress to discuss the in's and out's of campaign finance reform.
There is so much more to do in 2013, and we can't wait! With your help, we're building real progressive power. Let's keep it up!
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