List of Progressive Organizations
This list of organizations that may be useful in organizing, advocacy, and campaigning was compiled and provided to us by Pat from The Political Revolution at DK. It would be great if this diary could be linked, along with the candidate list, perhaps under a heading of Progressive Organizations.
One filter was that they had to be progressive — there are many more organizations that are generally on the left or Democratic Party-associated. The list is mainly aimed at running candidates for office, but a few other useful organizations are included. Just to keep the list manageable, it does not include state or local organizations, or organizations whose purpose is supporting candidates in a particular identity category — there are many many of these. (It does include one group that is aimed at young first-time candidates, just because it’s the only group for entry-level offices.) This is by no means exhaustive.
Democratic Socialists of America (https://www.dsausa.org/): Main focus is on educating folks about socialism, and providing a haven for socialists, but the membership turns out to help progressive candidates. They did GOTV for Sanders.
Our Revolution (http://www.ourrevolution.com/): Intent is to provide a focus for the political revolution, after Sanders’ 2016 campaign. They endorse and promote candidates. Local OR groups find and nominate the candidates.
Democracy for America (https://www.democracyforamerica.com/): Formerly Dean for America. This seems to be the only one of the candidate organizations that has successfully made the transition to a general organizing group. Fairly consistently progressive. Endorsed Sanders, by vote of members. Supported Marie Newman. Has a large list of endorsed candidates.
MoveOn (https://front.moveon.org/): Relatively open and accessible platform, mainly for petitions, but also for turning out GOTV workers. Has moved significantly left from where it started. Very large membership…no, larger than that. Large enough that they ask MoveOn members to do phone banking to other MoveOn members in specific areas, to ask them to do GOTV for candidates there.
National Domestic Workers Alliance (https://domesticworkers.org/): Advocates for worker rights, immigration reform, living wage. Membership is active in GOTV for progressive candidates. Has set up a Meetup umbrella group, #Resist. Local #Resist groups can be used for public organizing.
Brand New Congress (https://brandnewcongress.org/): Formed after the 2016 primary by Sanders’ IT staff members, with the intent of making it easy for progressive candidates to run for the US House, by providing shared IT and campaign services. Candidates need to accept a platform that is basically Sanders’ platform. They are very willing to primary Democrats. They do not require that their candidates run as Democrats — they have had two Republicans on their roster…with progressive platforms. They ask locals to source candidates — find people who are not career politicians, but who are already Doing Good Stuff in the local community, have some name recognition,… They are now acting in Senate races, not just House races.
Justice Democrats (https://www.justicedemocrats.com/): Justice Democrats was started because it’s “just us” — we can’t count on the party to be for the people and not big donors. Their purpose is to primary donor-owned Democrats. They have an explicit platform that includes M4A and the GND. They have criteria for helping identify who will make a good candidate — look at their nomination form.
Progressive Change Campaign Committee (https://www.boldprogressives.org/): Candidate training, campaign staffing, polling, “campaign in a box”, GOTV. Their stated platform is not as progressive as Sanders’, e.g. they say debt-free college and public option, not tuition-free college and M4A — they describe themselves as the Warren wing. But they do back more progressive candidates.
90for90 (https://www.90for90.org/): Focus is on the right to vote and on registering new voters.
Sunrise (https://www.sunrisemovement.org/): Young folks, fighting the climate crisis. Prime mover behind the Green New Deal. Organizes direct action, pressure campaigns. Training for activism and organizing. Endorses GND candidates.
Roots Action (https://www.rootsaction.org/): Core focus is on ending war. Supports and advocates for government whistleblowers. More broadly supports M4A, GND, economic justice, sane foreign policy. Endorsed Sanders. Main action is pressure on legislators and politicians. They also endorse and promote candidates down ballot.
Progressive Democrats of America (https://pdamerica.org/): Started in 2004 from Dean and Kucinich campaigns and anti-war groups. Board members include Barbara Lee, Thom Hartmann, Jim Hightower, Raul Grijalva,… Endorsed Sanders, by vote of membership. Partners with Our Revolution. Main action is putting pressure on legislators.
Run for Something (https://runforsomething.net/): They recruit and train young progressives to run for office. This is a good place to go if you want to run for office but don’t know where to start. Their focus is new candidates and down-ballot “entry level” offices, like school board and city council. This is not just to keep Republicans from taking over all the low-level offices — which they are trying to do. This is also where we train up our talent pool, and get them ready to run for higher office.
Climate Hawks Vote (http://climatehawksvote.com/): They back candidates, organize pressure campaigns on legislators and companies, alert people to issues,… Endorsed Sanders. Example recent action is a pressure campaign on Chase bank to not fund the Coastal GasLink pipeline in Canada, which runs through unceded land of the Wet’suwet’en people. Already making plans with other organizations for the Climate Strike in September.
Economic Policy Institute (https://www.epi.org/): Started by Robert Reich 30 years ago. This is where to go for supporting and background material on progressive policies. Their newsletter is worth subscribing to.
Data for Progress (https://www.dataforprogress.org/): Data analysis, opinion polling, policy research for progressive organizations and candidates. Lots of whitepapers on progressive policies — some recent examples are “Regenerative Farming and the Green New Deal” and “A Green Marshall Plan”. Also rapid response to events, e.g. recommendations for economic response to COVID-19. Their polls were among the most accurate of the 2020 Dem primaries.
Medicare For All NOW! (https://medicareforallnow.org/): Started by Wendell Potter. Provides information, analysis, media to support an M4A platform. Candidates can go here to tune up their arguments and find supporting material to point to.
Once Again (https://onceagainpac.com/). Newly formed organization by Nina Turner, Claire Sandberg, Winnie Wong, Larry Cohen, Norman Solomon, khalid kamau, Linda Sarsour and Charles Lenchner, activists committed to progressive change. “While corporate interests and wealthy elites routinely impose inhumane priorities with their undemocratic power, only intensive grassroots organizing can enable genuine democracy to flower. In the midst of a pandemic that is causing enormous human suffering due to systemic injustice, the political programs long championed by Bernie Sanders are more needed than ever.”
Center for Popular Democracy (https://populardemocracy.org/). Provides legal, tech, organizing, and research support to progressive community organizing groups. This includes the remains of Acorn.
CPD Action (https://cpdaction.org/). This is the activism organization affiliated with the Center for Popular Democracy. Actions center around worker issues and economic, social, racial justice. They have a big “Thank You Bernie!” banner on their landing page.
Im a bit upset that the Justice Democrats decided to go the SuperPac route but all in all their candidates are better than most.
Great! And thanks to Pat for compiling this list!
I definitely prefer some of these group to others but it’s good to have them in one place, plus we can add others as we go along.
Kyle Kulinski, one of the founders of Justice Dems, discusses this change to Justice Dems and why.
My understanding of the explanation is that they are a PAC and not a SuperPAC.
Once Again appears to be a PAC also based on their website name—onceagainpac
I’ll try and get a list in our menu bar for these types of orgs, as well as update the progressive media while Im sitting around the house concussed.
I’m printing out these lists and putting them in my politics folder. Will definitely be watching what goes down around here. T and R, jcb!!
In my view, Run for Something isn’t terribly progressive. Clinton solicits donations for that group, as well as for Swing State/Seat.
OnceAgain should be on the list for now since Nina and some others are affiliated with it.
I think it was included because the list is aimed at running candidates for office and Run for Something provides assistance to anyone trying to get started. I would say Run for Something is non ideological but they can help progressives get started.