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Stein Endorses Unified Progressive Platform

6:49 am in Uncategorized by New Progressive Alliance

Received late last night by the New Progressive Alliance via email, from Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein:

8 May 2012

To: New Progressive Alliance
From: Jill Stein
Subject: Endorsement of NPA Platform

This is to confirm that as a candidate for President I endorse the
platform of the New Progressive Alliance.

I thank the NPA for the hard work that went into developing this
excellent statement of progressive values.

As you know, I worked actively with the NPA as a board member until I
took a leave of absence to work on my presidential campaign. I hope
to see the NPA flourish and make a major contribution to the revival
of the progressive movement in America.

2012 is shaping up as a year in which we have a golden opportunity to
create a permanent progressive presence on the national political
scene. I am currently involved in Green Party ballot access drives
with the goal of putting our progressive ticket before more than 94%
of the voters in America. I am also working hard to qualify for FEC
matching funds that would give credibility to our campaign and provide
us with funding to undertake several important initiatives. But this
is not a short-term effort to make a splash in one election. It
involves organizing permanent organizations in as many states as
possible and helping elect local and state officials who will organize
in their areas.

We all know that no matter who is elected president on November 6, we
will face enormous challenges over the next four years. We have to
make this election the springboard to what will follow. Every vote we
get in this election, every volunteer that we activate, and every
donor that we discover will put us in a better position to meet the
challenges that will come.

I would like to invite NPA to jump into the fray and demonstrate that
they can make a decisive difference in the electoral arena. There is
much to be done. The Internet and social media have given us exciting
new techniques for political action – and these are ideally suited to
the skills of NPA activists. This is the year to show that we can
revitalize the progressive movement in America and rescue our democracy.

I respectfully request the endorsement of NPA and their full
engagement in the exciting work before us.


Jill Stein
Candidate for President of the United States
Green Party

The New Progressive Alliance was founded by MyFDL readers in 2010. Through electoral activism, we aim to unify Progressive independents, third parties, and other organizations to create a strong, uncompromising voice for Progressive principles, policy, and reform at the national level.

Our mission is based on Noam Chomsky’s long-held belief that the American electoral process is upside down, and it is up to citizens to state what they expect of their elected officials and to support only the candidates who pledge to fight for those interests. The Unified Platform is the NPA’s statement of expectations for candidates seeking our support. In addition to the platform content sourced from current and legacy Progressive organizations, much is the result of ideas provided before and during its writing, by readers of MyFDL.

FireDogLake and its affiliated sites are officially neutral as regards the NPA, its mission, and goals. We thank Jane Hamsher for maintaining a forum where people are free to coalesce around issues that are important to them.

To contact NPA facilitator Anthony Noel, email tonyn_at_newprogs_dot_org.

Jobs for All with a Green New Deal

2:56 pm in Uncategorized by New Progressive Alliance

by Jill E. Stein

Jill Stein is a member of the NPA Steering Committee. She wrote this op-ed in anticipation of President Obama’s speech before a joint session of Congress, September 8.

President Obama’s new job proposals are intended to send a political message that the President cares about the dismal state of the economy. But America needs a decisive and immediate solution, not a limited gesture for the unemployment emergency facing 25 million workers in need of full time jobs that aren’t there.

We need a Green New Deal that will establish government’s responsibility to guarantee the right to a job for every American willing and able to work. The roots of this lie in the Employment Assurance concept that the Roosevelt administration used to tackle the great American depression in 1935. Let’s turn the unemployment office into the employment office: if the private sector fails to provide you a job, you go down to the employment office to get work that keeps you afloat until things turn around.

The “green” in the Green New Deal means that we can solve our jobs problem as we build the economy of the future – a sustainable, green economy that protects the environment as the core foundation for economic prosperity. The Green New Deal would tackle multiple environmental threats to our economy – not only climate change, but also the converging water, soil, fisheries, forest, and fossil fuel crises that imperil our fundamental needs for food, water and energy. Other countries are already making major investments for a secure, carbon-free future. America needs to catch up.

The Green New Deal would enable us to build sustainable energy, transportation and production infrastructure: clean renewable energy generation, energy efficiency, intra-city mass transit and inter-city railroads, “complete streets” that safely encourage bike and pedestrian traffic, regional food systems based on sustainable organic agriculture, and clean manufacturing of the goods needed to support this sustainable economy.

The Green New Deal would also address the enormous, urgent need for social infrastructure – for public education, health care, child care, elder care, youth programs, and arts and culture.

Since a Green New Deal would go where the unemployment is, severe pockets of joblessness – where the poor and people of color are suffering rates as high as 30% – would not be bypassed.

It is time for the White House and Congress to admit that Obama/Bush approach of showering money on Wall Street has failed. Decades of hard-won experience – plus basic economic theory – show that government spending is essential in a recession to stimulate demand and put people back to work. Both major parties, as well as Obama, instead have used the recession caused by Wall Street abuse, costly wars, and bogus trickle-down economics as an excuse to slash funding for vital programs. As a result, seniors, working families and the poor are footing the bill for tax giveaways to the wealthy and large corporations. This is not only wrong it’s also guaranteed to destroy jobs and weaken the economy.

We have put America to work through public works programs many times since the 1930s. We did it with the WPA (Works Progress Administration) in the 1930s and CETA (Comprehensive Employment and Training Act) of the 1970s. These programs employed millions of workers to provide socially needed public infrastructure and public services like education, health, child care, elder care, youth programs and arts and cultural programs.

How much would such a full employment policy cost? Surprisingly, the final cost is almost nothing. It pays for itself over the course of the business cycle according to Philip Harvey, a professor of law and economics at Rutgers in his paper, Learning from the New Deal.

Assuming that for every two public jobs created, an additional job would be stimulated in the private sector, we would need about 17.5 million public jobs. Harvey notes that all these jobs increase tax revenues that defray the cost of the program. Government saves money on unemployment insurance and other safety net programs. As working people spend their earnings, business booms and stimulus programs can be curtailed. The bottom line is simply this: Full employment through a Green New Deal is cheaper than rampant unemployment.

An initial investment is required, of course. The first year net cost for 17.5 million living-wage public jobs, $666 billion, would be less than Obama’s ineffective $825 billion stimulus of 2009. The net cost per job would be only $28,600 compared to $228,055 per job cost of Obama’s indirect stimulus.

The cost could readily be covered through a combination of needed tax reforms – such as taxing Wall Street speculation, off shore tax havens, millionaires and multimillion dollar estates – in addition to a 30% reduction in the trillion dollar bloated military-industrial-security complex budget.

A Green New Deal that decisively ends unemployment and the escalating Bush/Obama recession is within our reach – technically and financially. All that’s needed is the political will to stop throwing money at Wall Street and start building the sustainable prosperity American workers deserve. In spite of Washington’s slavish addiction to serving Wall Street, that political will may finally be catching fire in the American electorate.

Jill Stein is a medical doctor, an environmental health advocate, and former candidate for Governor of Massachusetts for the Green-Rainbow Party. She can reached at thegreennewdeal_at_gmail_dot_com

Pick Up the Cry

12:25 pm in Uncategorized by New Progressive Alliance

That headline, borrowed from the Jefferson Airplane classic “Volunteers,” neatly summarizes what I’m asking each of you to do in this post: Pick up the cry!

Last fall, you – MyFDL readers and diarists -  chose ten prospective opponents to Barack Obama in the 2012 Democratic primary. You spelled out five relentlessly Progressive platform points, each of which stands in stark contrast to the compromised “progressivism” this president and his corporate-owned, hapless party have force-fed Americans for more than a generation. You even gave this fledgling effort a name: the New Progressive Alliance.

The FDL family of sites was officially neutral during the effort’s founding and remains so, but gave the effort a place to grow - when other purportedly “progressive” sites were banning readers and diarists who even dared to suggest the Democrats have gotten it completely wrong.

Since last fall’s nominations and voting took place, a few volunteers have continued to work on the effort, and last week, they received via e-mail a “sneak peak” at the very first NPA Update. We now share it below, right here - where nearly 150 unique readers participated in the NPA’s founding.

We’re all frustrated about the sorry state of America and the lack of voice given to Progressive policy objectives. Those ideals, time and again, are shown in nationwide polling to be overwhelmingly supported by the American people. And certainly, it is great when we “Look what’s happening out in the streets” – in the Mideast and our own Midwest - to borrow another line from the song.

But “now it’s time, for you and me” to take that frustration and apply its energy to the hard work needed to establish, maintain, and expand truly Progressive, social democratic reforms – here, in the land that inspired such reforms overseas two generations ago.

“One generation got old. One generation got soul!” Will we be ready for what comes after the fall of the corporate empire in America? Will we have a ready supply of leaders who put people before profits? Or, like our Egyptian brothers and sisters, will we find ourselves wondering what’s next – and whether the ersatz leaders we have chased from office are merely taking an extended vacation?

In other words: Are you ready join Cindy Sheehan, Jill Stein, Cornel West, Richard Winger, David Swanson, United Progressives, and the NPA’s small corps of Volunteers in promoting electoral activism, and in uniting Progressives hungry to lead America – as long as we’re in it anyway – into the 21st Century?

C’mon people! Pick up the cry!

And thanks for all you do.

Anthony Noel, NPA Facilitator


The NPA Update

Newsletter of the New Progressive Alliance
Early March, 2011

Steering Committee Meets

The NPA was founded at “MyFDL,” the readers’ diary site of, in November and December 2010, after which invitations were sent to prominent activists. Would they help chart our course?

By the end of January, a steering committee of people interested in increasing collaboration among progressive third parties and independents took shape. It includes:
- Cindy Sheehan, “Peace Mom” and 2008 opponent to Nancy Pelosi in CA-08
- Princeton University Professor Dr. Cornel West
- The Green Party’s Dr. Jill Stein, 2010 Massachusetts Gubernatorial candidate
- Richard Winger, editor and publisher of Ballot Access News.
- Anthony Noel (facilitator)

After its first phone conference in early February, the committee added David Swanson, author and press secretary to Dennis Kucinich’s 2004 presidential campaign; and, as an “observing member,” the group United Progressives(Paul Barrow, Communications and Policy Director; Laura Jaynes Hoffman, Public Relations Director).

Noam Chomsky graciously declined due to schedule demands, but conveyed via e-mail his enthusiastic support of the NPA effort.

(Editor’s note: The next issue of The Update will formally introduce United Progressives and explore potential synergies between UP and the NPA.)

A Template?
In its initial conference, the NPA steering committee discussed ideas for leveraging the 2012 election cycle into a broader, lasting progressive movement.

On the call in a facilitating role, Noel noted the practice of legacy party primary challengers “throwing their support” to the incumbent after losing.

“That’s been a big factor in perpetuating the two-party system and subverting dissent,” he said. “I think FDL readers see that, and support finding a challenger who will break away from the Democrats when denied the party’s nomination.”

Winger noted Sheehan’s 2008 challenge to Nancy Pelosi, in which Democrat Shirley Golub challenged Pelosi in the primary, garnering 11 percent of the vote. Pelosi faced Sheehan and five others in the general election, and Sheehan finish second with over 16 percent of the vote.

Sheehan confirmed she is contemplating a third-party or independent presidential run in 2012, but said that, on ideological grounds, she could “under no circumstances” participate in the primaries as a Democrat.

Stein agreed that it would be hard to participate in Democratic Party politics without appearing to condone it, and suggested the 2008 Golub-Sheehan example as a possible template: “How about seeking a primary challenger who will agree to throw support to the NPA-endorsed candidate in the general election?”

So, launch the third-party campaign as soon as possible, with a candidate who will agree in writing to run and and govern based on an NPA-endorsed platform. In the meantime, find a primary challenger to oppose Barack Obama – one who embraces that platform as well, and will agree to back the NPA candidate in the general upon being denied the nomination.

The approach would allow a direct challenge to the Democratic Party’s ensconced hierarchy during the primaries, “and our issues would attract Progressives who are disillusioned by the Democrats’ pattern of triangulation and needless compromise,” Noel said.

A Sheehan Run?
Winger and Stein expressed interest in a possible Sheehan candidacy.

Admitting he cannot support a Progressive economic agenda, Winger – a longtime member of the Libertarian Party – said his interest in dramatically widening ballot access for all third parties takes priority, and he will “will help you get on the ballot with great happiness and eagerness.”

Stein thanked Winger for his willingness to overlook policy differences in the interest of empowering the American electorate. “I think Cindy would be a great choice,” she added.

Sheehan finished tied for 10th in last fall’s voting at FDL before the instant runoff process gave 10th to the site’s founder, Jane Hamsher. Among non-Democrats, Sheehan finished second only to Cynthia McKinney (now a Green), who polled 6th.

In her 2008 challenge to Pelosi, Sheehan ran a broad-based, populist campaign espousing the full range of Progressive values.

Sheehan told the committee that Labor must be a prime consideration in any third-party or independent campaign. Stein agreed, lamenting “establishment” Labor’s willingness to continue supporting Democrats despite the Party’s shameful neglect of Labor and employment in general.

Funding a Campaign
Noel next asked if refusal to accept donations from PACs should be a default position for the NPA.

Sheehan said doing so would be a mistake, particularly in view of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which enables corporate interests to have unbridled influence on the outcome of elections.

“That’s not to say we should take money from just any donor,” she stressed. “But there are many green economy-related donors we can and should encourage to support us. We’d have to look at each donor on a case-by-case basis.”

After the call ended, minutes were prepared and signed off on by all participants. Dr. West, whose schedule prevented him from joining the call, was copied.

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