Americans for Democratic Action
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Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) is an American political organization advocating progressive policies. ADA works for social and economic justice through lobbying, grassroots organizing, research and supporting progressive candidates.
The ADA grew out of a predecessor group, the Union for Democratic Action (UDA). The UDA was formed by former members of the Socialist Party of America and Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies as well as labor union leaders, liberal politicians, theologians, and others who were opposed to the pacifism adopted by most left-wing political organizations in the late 1930s and early 1940s. It supported a strongly interventionist, internationalist foreign policy and a pro-union, liberal domestic policy. It was strongly anti-communist as well. It undertook a major effort to support left-wing Democratic members of Congress in 1946, but this effort was an overwhelming failure.
James Isaac Loeb (later an ambassador and diplomat in the John F. Kennedy administration), the UDA's executive director, advocated disbanding the UDA and forming a new, more broadly-based, mass-membership organization. The ADA was formed on January 4, 1947, and the UDA shuttered.
Founding members included:
- Reinhold Niebuhr
- Hubert Humphrey
- John Kenneth Galbraith
- Joseph P. Lash
- Walter Reuther
- Eleanor Roosevelt
- Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.
- Wilson W. Wyatt
ADA ranks legislators, identifies key policy issues, and tracks how members of Congress vote on these issues. The annual ADA Voting Record gives each member a rating from 0, meaning complete disagreement with ADA policies, to 100, meaning complete agreement with ADA policies. A score of 0 is considered conservative and a score 100 is considered liberal.
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