Progressive Change Campaign Committee
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The Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) is a U.S. political action committee which focuses on building progressive power. This includes electing progressive Democrats to the Senate and House of Representatives and advocating for progressive policy responses to national and local political issues.
The PCCC was founded in 2009 by Adam Green, Stephanie Taylor, and Aaron Swartz. Michael Snook and Forrest Brown have worked with the organization since its founding year. The PCCC claims to have almost one million members.
- 1 Electoral campaigns
- 2 Advocacy campaigns
- 3 See also
- 4 References
- 5 External links
In 2010, Arkansas Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter challenged the moderate Democratic incumbent United States Senator Blanche Lincoln in the primary. The PCCC helped Halter run a grassroots campaign that included a state-wide field program. The group debuted their Call Out The Vote program and its members made tens of thousands of volunteer calls, as well as raising more than $250,000. Halter lost the race to Lincoln, who lost to John Boozman, her Republican challenger in the general election.
Wisconsin Recall Elections
The Wisconsin Recall was a two-part campaign for the progressive organization. The first of which began in February 2011, when over 180,000 PCCC members demonstrated their support for the Wisconsin recall movement. They were able to raise over $2 million with Democracy for America to run television ads  for the movement to recall Republican State Senators who had supported Republican Governor Scott Walker's Budget Repair Bill to limit collective bargaining rights for most Wisconsin state employees, excluding law enforcement agents. The ads were so well-received that they won Pollies from the AAPC in 2012. It was too early in Walker's term to begin a recall effort against him, but they were able to challenge the Republican State Senators and won two seats in the Senate. The PCCC, along with Democracy for America, used their Call Out The Vote program, which made over 1,000,000 calls from PCCC members in 2010, and made 382,623 calls in Wisconsin.
The second part of the campaign began in early 2012, with the formal recall procedures against Scott Walker underway. The PCCC supported Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett as the Democratic challenger to Walker. In June 2012, Walker won the recall by a larger margin than he had originally defeated Barrett in 2010. Democratic wins resulted in a Democratic majority in the Wisconsin Senate temporarily until the Republicans regained control of the Wisconsin State Senate by a margin of three seats, later that same year, due to one retirement and two general election losses. The Wisconsin Supreme Court later upheld all the components of Walker's Budget Repair Bill.
In July 2011, the PCCC launched the grassroots effort to draft Elizabeth Warren to run for Senate in Massachusetts. Over 60,000 members joined the draft as potential volunteers or donors. The group organized several Draft Elizabeth Warren house parties across Massachusetts. Supporters met to discuss the best way to support her candidacy and campaign were she to announce that she was going to run. In September 2011, after the demonstration of grassroots support, Warren announced she would run in 2012 against Republican Scott Brown. The campaign to draft Warren was declared “The Most Valuable Campaign of 2011” by The Nation. With almost 50,000 individual contributions, the PCCC raised more than $800,000 for Warren's campaign.
In August 2013, working from recommendations from their New York City allies, the group endorsed Laurie Cumbo for New York City Council's 35th district seat, held by Letitia James. Cumbo was endorsed and her campaign supported by real estate interests, and she skipped the only debate for the seat before the September 10, 2013 primary. Once she won the primary she was guaranteed election in the general race, running unopposed.
"Donate a Dollar a Day to Make Norm Go Away"
Following the 2008 Minnesota Senate election, between Al Franken and Norm Coleman, the PCCC and DFA organized a campaign in which their members contributed one dollar each day that Norm Coleman refused to concede defeat. Ultimately, Franken was the confirmed victor after a statewide recount. The organizations raised nearly $150,000 for progressive candidates.
In 2009, the PCCC began a campaign for a public option in the Affordable Care Act. Though initial support in Congress for a public option seemed weak, the organization gathered over 65,000 signatures from Obama’s 2008 supporters in favor of a public option. The PCCC raised over $100,000 in 72 hours for a full-page ad in the New York Times calling for a public option that included 400 Obama staffers as signatories, as well as 25,000 volunteers from Obama’s 2008 campaign and 40,000 of his donors. The Nation commended the group’s efforts in reviving debate for the public option and their ability to organize within Congress to demonstrate the support that existed for it in Congress. The support included 120 Representatives and 24 Democratic Senators who signed letters asking Harry Reid to include a public option in the reconciliation bill.
The PCCC made it clear to that there was strong public support for a public option, and they were going to hold Democrats in Congress accountable if they turned a blind eye to the demands of their constituents and the American people. The group followed through when they ran an ad holding Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) accountable; Baucus later announced he would not be running for re-election. Baucus left the Senate on February 6, 2014, before his term expired and was succeeded by John E. Walsh.
In June 2012, when the Supreme Court handed down its ruling on the Affordable Care Act, the PCCC team and members were prepared outside the court. They demonstrated in large numbers and their posters calling for “Medicare for All” were prominent.
P Street Project
In July 2010, the progressive organization founded their own Congressional lobbying arm, P Street, to advance progressive policies from within Capitol Hill. The P Street Project victories include working with Representative Carolyn Maloney to organize a letter to President Obama asking him to nominate Elizabeth Warren for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Representative Jared Polis said that the P Street Project can organize a tremendous amount of energy from the public and progressive members of Congress and provide resources and political cover for liberal lawmakers.
Other P Street successes include working with Rep. Marcy Kaptur to deliver over 140,000 petitions to the DOJ demanding a criminal investigation into Goldman Sachs for their involvement in the financial crisis. The PCCC, through P Street, worked with Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Raul Grijalva to defend Social Security and Medicare during the Debt Ceiling Crisis in 2011.
Net neutrality and SOPA
PCCC members continue to support major campaigns for Net Neutrality, advocating against censorship and supporting an open and accessible Internet. In 2010, the group launched GoogleDontBeEvil.com and helped deliver over 300,000 signatures to Google’s corporate headquarters, calling on them to honor their company motto, ”Don’t be evil.”, as well as end their secret deal with Verizon to kill Net Neutrality. Over 100,000 of the organization's members signed a petition telling FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski to deliver on real Net Neutrality protections – instead of letting corporations write the rules. And, 95 Congressional candidates in the 2010 elections promised to protect Net Neutrality due to the PCCC's work.
The PCCC organized a massive campaign against the SOPA bill the Senate was prepared to vote on. Working with Reddit, the group collected over 230,000 signatures petitioning Congress to protect internet innovation and vote against the bill.
In January 2011, the PCCC delivered over 50,000 thank you notes written by its members to Senator Harry Reid after he took a stand against cuts to Social Security. PCCC members made calls supporting the Congressional Progressive Caucus and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)'s efforts to protect Medicare and Social Security from budget cuts. The group challenged Republicans and Democrats who pushed for cuts to these services. When President Obama put these programs on the chopping block, 200,000 PCCC members pledged not to volunteer or donate to his reelection campaign if he caved and cut benefits.
In November 2011, the PCCC started Banxodus, a website designed to help people move their money out of large banking institutions and into smaller, local credit unions and banks. The site uses crowdsourcing to provide more detailed information about both credit unions and community banks. Banxodus has more than 7,500 institutions in its database, which was created with the help of a few thousand volunteer researchers, and has grown as users add more information.
In April 2012, the PCCC initiated a campaign calling on major corporations to drop their support for the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which was blamed following the shooting of Trayvon Martin for reportedly having pushed the passage of “Stand Your Ground” laws in Florida as well as similar laws in 24 other states across the country.
The PCCC called on its members for their help to get major corporations to stop funding ALEC, and within days the PCCC had over 23,000 signatures, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation issued a statement indicating they would stop supporting ALEC, and McDonald's became the sixth corporation to drop their support of ALEC. Within weeks, Procter and Gamble also stopped their funding of ALEC, the PCCC organized to have its members call their state legislators demanding that they quit their membership to ALEC, and PCCC members called AT&T, State Farm, and Johnson & Johnson headquarters telling them to drop their support.
By July 2012, other corporations to stop funding ALEC include Amazon, Best Buy, Coca-Cola, CVS, Dell Computers, Hewlett-Packard, Kraft foods, MillerCoors, and Wal-Mart. 55 legislators have also cut their ties as well. ALEC later reported it was disbanding its task-forces that were charged with passing voter ID laws which some claim result in illegitimate voter-suppression, and “Stand Your Ground” laws.
Michigan House Representatives silenced
In June 2012, Michigan's Republican House Speaker Jase Bolger and Majority Leader Jim Stamas silenced Representatives Lisa Brown and Barb Byrum for speaking out against an anti-abortion bill. Brown was barred from speaking on the House floor for saying the word “vagina” and Byrum was barred before even taking the floor.
The PCCC promptly organized a campaign demanding Bolder and Stamas apologize to Brown and Byrum, as well as women and progressives everywhere. They garnered 115,000 signatures which Byrum delivered to Bolger one month after being silenced. An apology has not yet been forthcoming, but the organization promises to continue its efforts.
Take Back Democracy
A comprehensive, five-part plan to remove corporate interests and big money from politics, Take Back Democracy is a new cornerstone to the progressive organization’s movement.
The plan consists of the following aspects:
- Passing a Constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United, by preventing corporate spending in elections.
- Requiring shareholder approval before any corporation engages in political spending.
- Passing the DISCLOSE Act, to require organizations to disclose donors of $10,000 or more.
- Enacting public financing of elections, for example in New York state where this is an ongoing debate.
- Electing candidates in support of campaign finance reform.
- "Mission". Progressive Change Campaign Committee. Retrieved August 5, 2012.
Over 950,000 members and growing.
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- Hayes, Christopher. "CPR for the Public Option". The Nation. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
- Phillips, Kate (June 24, 2009). "On Health Care, a Public Insurance Option Pile-On Campaign". The New York Times. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
- "Issues: The Public Option". Progressive Change Campaign Committee. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
- "Hold Max Baucus Accountable". Progressive Change Campaign Committee. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
- Killough, Ashley (April 23, 2013). "Sen. Baucus not seeking a seventh term". CNN.com. Retrieved April 23, 2013.
- "Support progressives who made bold statements on health care". ActBlue. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
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- "Kaptur's Letter Calling For Criminal Investigation Into Goldman Heads To DOJ". The Hill. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
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- "Issues: Net Neutrality". Progressive Change Campaign Committee. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
- "Petition Congress: Protect the Internet for Innovators". Progressive Change Campaign Committee. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
- "50,000 Thank Yous to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for standing up for Social Security". Watchdog Progressive. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
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- Reilly, Ryan. "ALEC, NRA Pushed ‘Stand Your Ground’ Legislation At Center Of Trayvon Martin Killing". Talking Points Memo. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
- "Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Withdraws Support From ALEC". Think Progress. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
- "Procter & Gamble Becomes 13th Company To Drop ALEC". Think Progress. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
- "PCCC Pressured Democratic Members to Drop ALEC". PR Watch. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
- "Call State Farm: Stop Funding ALEC". Progressive Change Campaign Committee. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
- Fisher, Brendan. "Five More Corporations Dump ALEC; 25 Companies Have Now Cut Ties With Right-Wing Bill Mill". PR Watch. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
- Nichols, John. "ALEC Disbands Task Force Responsible for Voter ID, 'Stand Your Ground' Laws". The Nation. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
- Brown, Lisa. "Silenced for saying (shock!) 'vagina'". CNN. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
- Hoffman, Kathy. "Women to hold Michigan rally month after 'vagina' incident". Lansing State Journal. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
- "Take Back Democracy". Progressive Change Campaign Committee. Retrieved August 6, 2012.