by Jim Nintzel
Jim Hightower, the hell-raisin' columnist who appears in TW every week, is coming to Tucson to help launch a local chapter of Progressive Democrats of Arizona. He'll be appearing with Congressman Raul Grijalva at 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 21, at the Tucson YWCA, 525 N. Bonita (Just south of St. Mary's Road, a half-mile west of I-10).
More on other events around the state after the jump.
Progressive Democrats of America, a national activist group founded in Phoenix 2004, is expanding its presence in Arizona, with events planned this week in Naco, Tucson, Phoenix, and Flagstaff. The “PDA Arizona Tour” events are described below and more information is available online.
PDA national director Tim Carpenter said, “PDA is returning to our roots in Arizona to draw attention to the policies that further exacerbate the economic crisis for average Americans like ever-increasing war spending, unaffordable healthcare, and deficit reduction instead of economic expansion that creates jobs in a green economy.” Carpenter went on to say, “Arizona’s harsh and immoral treatment of undocumented workers will not solve our economic woes; corporate power and the military-industrial complex are the real enemies of prosperity for the middle-class and the poor.”
PDA, as they have always done, is continuing with old-fashioned people-to-people organizing in 2011 to help Americans understand that government no longer has their best interests at heart. The Arizona Tour is the second stop after a successful tour in Pennsylvania (See: http://www.pdamerica.org/blog/view/on-the-road-again-in-pennsylvania/). “Until Americans are prepared to rise-up in common cause as the Egyptians have done, we can expect more policies that benefit the wealthy at the expense of the middle-class and poor,” Carpenter added.
BORDER PEACE AND SOCIAL JUSTICE FAIR
When: Feb 20, 2011 12:00 pm — 4:00 pm
Where: Gay 90s Bar & Grill Lot
3856 Towner, Naco AZ 85620
Description: Progressive Democrats of America is bringing national speakers and organizers to four Arizona communities beginning with a Peace and Social Justice Fair at the US-Mexican Border February 20. The horrific event in Tucson, when a gunman opened fire on a crowd meeting with Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, bring home the urgent need for non-violent, civil discourse.
PDA ARIZONA PROGRESSIVE ACTION
When: Feb 23, 2011 6:30 pm
Where: UA Plumbers and Pipefitters Union Hall
3109 North 24th Street, Phoenix AZ 85016
Description: "Peace and Justice Tour” Coming to Phoenix
With Guest Speaker: Donna Smith, Healthcare Activist, Organizer for California Nurses Association, National Co-Chair-PDA’s Healthcare Not Warfare Campaign and star of Michael Moore’s “Sicko”
Also Speaking: Salvador Reza, Activist and Co-Founder, Puente Arizona; Tim Carpenter, National Director, Progressive Democrats of America; Steve Cobble, Institute for Policy Studies, National Political Director, Progressive Democrats of America; Randy Parraz
Activist and Co-Founder, Citizens For A Better Arizona; Special Musical Guest: The Haymarket Squares.
For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
HEALTHCARE NOT WARFARE AND BUILDING A MOVEMENT
When: Feb 24, 2011 5:30 pm — 9:00 pm
Where: Murdoch Community Center, 203 E. Brannen, Flagstaff AZ 86001
Description: PDA (Progressive Democrats of America) Arizona Tour — Flagstaff Stop
National Speakers - Free admission
6:30: Introductions — Cheryl Bader, PDNA Chair
6:40: Background — Tim Carpenter, PDA National Director
6:50: First Panel — Healthcare NOT Warfare:
Donna Smith, National Healthcare Activist, Single-Payer Systems, Co-Chair of PDA’s HealthCare NOT Warfare Team, Community Organizer for the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee
Conor Boylan, National Field Director for Progressive Democrats of America
Mimi Kennedy, National PDA Advisory Board Chair, actor and activist
7:10: Q’s and A’s
7:45: Second Panel — Building Coalitions and a Progressive Movement:
Laura Bonham, PDA Deputy Director, PDA liaison to Price Carbon Campaign
Bill Wiist, DHSc, MPH, MS, NAU Special Assistant to the Executive Dean, College of Health and Human Services and Chair of PDNA’s Fair Elections
Lamb Benali, Native American Youth Organizer, “K’e the Vote”
Kathleen Peters, Immigrants Rights Activist, NAU Repeal Coalition
8:10: Questions and Answers
8:45: Closing Comments
Progressive Democrats of America was founded in 2004 to transform the Democratic Party and our country. We seek to build a party and government controlled by citizens, not corporate elites—with policies that serve the broad public interest, not just private interests. PDA is a grassroots PAC operating inside the Democratic Party, and outside in movements for peace and justice. Our inside/outside strategy is guided by the belief that a lasting majority will require a revitalized Democratic Party built on firm progressive principles.
For over two decades, the party declined as its leadership listened more to the voices of corporations than those of Americans. PDA strives to rebuild the Democratic Party from the bottom up—from every congressional district to statewide party structures to the corridors of power in Washington, where we work arm in arm with the Congressional Progressive Caucus. In just five years, PDA and its allies have shaken up the political status quo—on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, Medicare for all, voter rights, accountability, and economic and environmental justice.