Progressive Dane

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Progressive Dane is an independent, progressive political party in Dane County, Wisconsin founded in the fall of 1992.

Focusing exclusively on local elections, Progressive Dane endorses candidates and lobbies for issues decided on by its membership. It currently boasts four members of the Madison Common Council, five members of the Dane County Board of Supervisors, three of the seven members of the Madison School Board and one member of the Fitchburg Common Council.[1] It has tenuous relationships and substantial membership overlap with the Wisconsin Green Party.

Progressive Dane's original mission was:

. . . to unite people and community organizations with progressive ideals into a vibrant alternative to the Democrats and Republicans. Progressive Dane believes that the social, economic, and political progress of the United States requires a democratic revolution. The party is democratically run by its members. The general membership makes decisions based on common values and principles. PD's funding is membership-based, so it is independent of corporations and powerful big interests.

In order to more closely match the party's activities at the time, in 2007 that mission statement was revised to read:

We, the members of Progressive Dane, join together to form an independent political party in Dane County with a major focus on local issues. We pledge to work to improve the quality of life in Dane County for all people, particularly those marginalized by economic and social discrimination. We will work to improve our local government by making it open, easier to understand, and accessible for all citizens of Dane County. We are working to achieve positive policy change by electing accountable progressive officials and mobilizing citizen action.

Nonetheless, in 2010, the party endorsed charter member Ben Manski in his Wisconsin Green Party race for the Wisconsin Assembly. And today, Progressive Dane has returned to its roots, having in October 2012 elected a steering committee composed almost entirely of Green Party members.

Progressive Dane has both a city and a county party platform. Revised in 2011, Progressive Dane's county platform lists many progressive policies such as living wages and economic development, open and democratic government, public safety and protection, land use, transportation and environmental protection, affordable housing, quality human services and efficient, effective government.[2] Progressive Dane's city platform was last revised in 2010 and it identifies the following goals and principles: Improve quality social services and public health; seek sustainable economic development, progressive tax justice and responsible land use; provide safe, efficient, accessible transportation; support affordable housing and tenant rights, an open and democratic government, and support employment rights of city employees and protect civil rights and liberties.[3]

The party has received harsh criticism from such local media as the Wisconsin State Journal[4] and won plaudits from local progressive media, including The Capital Times.[5]


External sources[edit]

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