Progressive Majority

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Progressive Majority
Progressive Majority.png
Motto "A Future Worth Fighting For"
Formation 1999
Type PAC
Headquarters 1825 K St. NW Suite 450, Washington, DC, 20006
President
Gloria Totten
Website www.progressivemajority.org

Progressive Majority is an American political group that recruits, trains, and campaigns on behalf of progressive politicians for state and local offices. It was founded in 1999 by leaders from organized labor, members of Congress, and progressive donors as a multi-issue political action committee to enhance the political efficacy of the progressive movement.[1] Progressive Majority currently operates in Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.[2] It has elected 411 candidates so far and endorsed 49 candidates so far for the 2012 elections.[3] Progressive Majority's president is Gloria Totten and there are currently 496 people on its "farm team" of potential candidates. Progressive Majority has been credited with helping to achieve the dramatic Democratic advances that occurred in Colorado, Wisconsin, Washington, Ohio, and Pennsylvania in the 2006 election cycle.[4]

All potential candidates must take a questionnaire that tests their commitment to economic justice and civil rights, including gay rights, public education, universal healthcare, environmental protection, worker's rights, civil liberties and reproductive freedom before receiving any support, training or funding from Progressive Majority.

History[edit]

When founded, Progressive Majority assisted progressive candidates in both state and federal elections, raising $818,000 in 2002. Because of the lack of potential candidates for higher office at the state and local levels, the Board of Directors decided to shift the organization's focus toward the states in order to "recruit strong community leaders to run for state and local office and form the 'farm team' for the progressive movement."[1]

Offices were opened in Washington, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania in 2004, and the organization expanded to Colorado and Arizona in 2005.[5] The California office opened in 2006, and offices opened in Minnesota and Ohio in 2007. The number of candidates elected has increased steadily since Progressive Majority's founding, with 41 candidates being elected in 2004, 53 elected in 2005, 102 elected in 2006, 74 elected in 2007, 109 elected in 2008, and 36 elected in 2009.[1]

Public officials elected with the help of Progressive Majority include California Secretary of State Debra Bowen, Washington House of Representatives Majority Floor Leader Larry Springer, Washington state senator and 2007 Humane Society of the United States state legislator of the year Brian Weinstein, and Arizona state senator Paula Aboud, one of Arizona's few openly gay elected officials.

Endorsed candidates who ran in 2008 included Mark Ridley-Thomas, who successfully ran for the Los Angeles County 2nd District Board of Supervisors, and Peter J. Goldmark, who successfully ran for Washington Commissioner of Public Lands.

Racial Justice Campaign[edit]

In 2004, Progressive Majority created the Racial Justice Campaign with the goal of increasing the representation of minorities in government and electing a greater number of candidates of color. Three RJC candidates were elected in 2004, five candidates in 2005, 16 candidates in 2006, and 21 candidates in 2007. Politicians elected with the help of the Racial Justice Campaign include California State Controller John Chiang, who is the highest ranking Asian Pacific American elected state official in California, and Colorado state representative Ed Casso, who was elected deputy whip for the Colorado House Democratic Caucus.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Progressive Majority history. Progressive Majority.
  2. ^ Progressive Majority list of Target States 2012. Progressive Majority.
  3. ^ Progressive Majority list of 2012 endorsed candidates. Progressive Majority.
  4. ^ Nichols, John (December 29, 2006). "Most Valuable Progressives of 2006", The Nation.
  5. ^ Conniff, Ruth (June 8, 2006). "How to Build a Farm Team", The Nation.

External links[edit]