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Lets Make Democracy Work
by Mike Rhodes (MikeRhodes [at] Comcast.net)
Tuesday Apr 20th, 2004 12:28 PM
This article is about the establishment of a Progressive Political Action Committee in Fresno. With the money from this PAC, a grassroots get out the vote campaign, and good candidates the progressive community are going to kick the ass of the neo-cons.
Lets Make Democracy Work
By Mike Rhodes

A progressive Political Action Committee (PAC) is forming in Fresno. The goal of the PAC will be to get progressive candidates elected to City Council, Board of Supervisors, and School Board positions. The candidates supported by this PAC will support issues like:

* A living wage for all workers
* Clean air
* Affordable housing
* Adequate public transportation and bike paths
* Police accountability
* Stop the privatization of government services
* Food security
* Health care for all
* Improved Public Education

Many people in Fresno are tired of the builders and developers running local government and even determining which candidates have the money to run viable campaigns. The progressive PAC will change that by raising money, supporting voter registration, and get out the vote campaigns.

Did you know that only 26% of the eligible voters bothered to vote in the last election? Did you know that builders and developers contributed ½ of the money to political candidates in that election? Here is how we are going to take back our local government: The progressive PAC could take automatic deductions of $10 a month from 1,000 members. That $120,000 a year would allow the PAC to provide funding for several candidates in the 2006 elections.

Think of the progressive PAC as a three legged stool. The first leg is the money. The second leg on this stool is having a good candidates to run. The way things are right now, progressives don’t want to run for political office because there is no support system for them as candidates. Having a progressive PAC in place will encourage good candidates to run. The third leg is the get out the vote campaign. The Republicans run this town right now because they are able to get 15% of the eligible voters to the voting booth. A targeted voter registration and get out the vote campaign in poor and working class neighborhoods will dramatically increase voter participation. Combine the get out the vote campaign with a viable candidate who can articulate a progressive agenda and we will win by a landslide. Politics in Fresno will never be the same. We will have elected officials who are elected by and held accountable to the progressive community.

While all of the details of the PAC have not been worked out yet, it is anticipated that members of the PAC will vote, after a public candidate forum, on who to support. There will be a democratic decision making process developed that encourages community participation. If you would like to be a part of this historic movement to reclaim our local government you are encouraged to become involved in the organization.

The first public meeting of the Progressive PAC will be held on Saturday, May 1 at 2 PM - Fresno Center for Nonviolence, 1584 N. Van Ness, south of McKinley. For more information call (559) 978-4502 or email MikeRhodes [at] Comcast.net .
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That’s what we ought toDaniel, Oakland residentTuesday Apr 20th, 2004 4:50 PM

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