June 2018 Newsletter

Montana Progressive Democrats Newsletter

June 2018

Thank you John Heenan; Now let’s get behind Kathleen Williams

John Heenan ran a superb campaign and Montana Progressive Democrats (MtPD) was proud to have endorsed him. That John lost by only 2000 votes out of nearly 112,000 cast in the primary election is a testament to how well a progressive message resonates with Montana voters.

But 2018 is The Year of the Woman and MtPD congratulates Kathleen Williams on her success. MtPD supports the continuing Williams’ campaign and we’ll be discussing how we can assist her in unseating Trump sycophant Greg Gianforte. Additional information will be forwarded to MtPD membership soon.

MtPD will also be advancing a progressive agenda that we’ll be impressing upon candidate Williams.

Call for delegates to the Montana Democratic Party Platform Convention

As a partner organization to the Montana Democratic Party, Montana Progressive Democrats are allowed 10 delegates to the platform convention – 5 from Eastern Montana and 5 from Western Montana (here’s a map of the districts).

Dues paying MtPD members are urged to participate in the process. Those wishing to be a delegate should contact Pete Talbot at petetalbot@montana.com.  

 

The convention will be held in Great Falls on July 13-14. Here’s a link to the details. Officers will be filling some of those 10 spots.

MtPD will also be hosting an event that weekend. Stay tuned for time and place.

MtPD Platform

After hearing back from MtPD platform committees and like-minded organizations, MtPD leadership is leaning toward short, concise amendments to the Montana Democratic Party’s platform. For Example:

Health Care and Human Services:

  1. Health Care is a Human Right. America needs not-for-profit universal health care.
  2. We must resist privatization and voucherization of Medicare and Medicaid, or the rising age of Medicare eligibility.    

Energy:

  1. We support an immediate and just transition to 100 percent renewable energy, and to take action to accelerate the shift to a clean energy economy that works for all.
  2. There must be a rapid phase out of fossil fuel projects in Montana to be replaced by alternative and sustainable union energy jobs.

Good Government:  

WE SUPPORT:

1.The assurance of voting rights to all citizens and expanded voter participation particularly in historically disenfranchised areas.

  1. Campaign finance reform to protect the voice of Montana voters against the dominance of large moneyed interests in electoral and political matters.
  2. The overturning of Citizens United.

WE OPPOSE:

  1. The dominance of huge moneyed interests over the interests of MT voters in electoral and political life.
  2. Corporate human rights under the Constitution and money as protected speech.

 

Labor:

We support raising the minimum wage to a living wage of $15 an hour over and then indexing it. No one who works full time should have to raise a family in poverty.

MtPD does not have a plank for every category. Many progressive planks are being offered by central committees and other organizations – Education, American Indian, Justice, etc. – and we will be lending our support to those amendments.

Deadline for submitting platform amendments is June 30, so please get any additional language to us pronto. (Contact petetalbot@montana.com.)

MtPD to endorse/donate to progressives in general election

We’ll be sending out a questionnaire to Democratic candidates, similar to the questionnaire we sent during the primary election, and we’ll be voting to endorse and donate to candidates that meet MtPD criteria.  The endorsement process is posted at the end of this newsletter. *

Gotta pay them dues

Your dues will go to outreach and building our base, advancing progressive policy, and to contributions – both monetary and membership actions – to progressive candidate campaigns. Here’s our ActBlue site. Do it today!

Outreach

MtPD board members visited three Western Montana activist organizations: Mission Valley Rises in Ronan. Mineral County Democrats in Superior and Ravalli County Democrats.

These were mostly listening sessions to hear what these two fine groups were doing and to assist where MtPD could in their endeavors.

It’s exciting to see more rural communities organizing for progressive change. MtPD would be glad to meet with other organizations. Contact Pete Talbot: petetalbot@montana.com    


*General Election Endorsement Process

The endorsement process starts with a progressive values questionnaire sent to the candidates. Membership then chooses to endorse/not endorse based on questionnaire responses. During primaries, more than one candidate can be endorsed or none at all. Endorsements are weighted on number of votes garnered from the membership, the candidate’s shared values with MTPD, campaign viability and candidate outreach to progressives.

The MTPD Executive Board will compile the information from candidates and membership, and finalize endorsement decisions.

The endorsed candidate is encouraged use MTPD's endorsement in campaign material, and MTPD will promote endorsed candidates in its communications.

Here’s the fine print:     

Endorsement Policy

Montana Progressive Democrats may endorse in primary and general elections according to the following procedure.

 

  1.   The Montana Progressive Democrats executive group shall submit a          questionnaire to all candidates eligible for endorsement, and distribute the   answers to this questionnaire to current members.
  2. A supermajority of two-thirds of members voting in support of a candidate shall make that candidate eligible for endorsement by the Montana Progressive Democrats.

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