On this Father’s Day, We Honor PDA’s Founding Father Tim Carpenter


Alan Minsky for Mike F, Kim, Bryan, Deb, Janis, Dr. Bill, Dan, Shayna, and Mike H—your PDA National Team.

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In July 2004, Tim Carpenter realized that tens of millions of progressive Americans had virtually no representation in American politics. Newly-nominated John Kerry had called the Iraq War a “noble cause” despite the fact that 50% or more of the American people had opposed the war; and few if any anti-war voices were heard in the run up to the invasion.

Besides peace, most other Progressive priorities were also largely ignored. Something had to be done. So, in the days after the Democratic Convention in Boston, Tim gathered some of the most progressive members of Congress, Rev. Jesse Jackson, and several of his closest associates. Together, we founded Progressive Democrats of America, and the rise of progressive grassroots political power began!

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In late 2013, Tim understood that the 2016 Presidential Election Cycle needed a powerful progressive champion speaking out during the Democratic Primaries, and he selected Sen. Bernie Sanders as that champion. Tim sought consensus from PDA’s leadership, and we overwhelmingly agreed. Problem was, Bernie didn’t agree—at least not at first.

Undaunted, Tim and PDA set out to “draft” Bernie via the “Run Bernie Run” campaign. Thanks to many many people like you, we collected 10,000s of signatures, organized countless house parties and events, until eventually we helped persuade Bernie to run for president as a Progressive Democrat. Tim’s vision came true beyond our wildest dreams.

Today, more than five years after that, PDA staff and volunteers continue Tim’s work every day of the year. The progressive movement has grown tremendously, in no-small-part due to PDA. However, we are still a very long way from where we need to be. Our shared goal—which was beautifully outlined this week by an old ally of Tim’s, Bernie Sanders—is an America with “shared prosperity, social equality, and freedom for all.”

The very best way you can help PDA continue Tim’s work building the movement to remake America into a more compassionate, inclusive, and just society is by supporting us through our sustainer program. Please Click Here and sign up to make automatic monthly gifts to help PDA elect progressives and make progress on the issues that matter most to you!


P.S. Dr. Bill Honigman wrote: It was with great pride and conviction that I was able to present the Tim Carpenter Lifetime Achievement Award for Activism to Bill Hess, the son of Judy Hess, on her behalf at the PDA luncheon this year associated with the California Democratic Party Convention in San Francisco. Judy Hess is a stalwart organizer who has always shown up, stood up, and spoken out to advance the progressive agenda, especially in her remarkable capacity within PDA.


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