An American hero, the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and an old and loyal friend through thick and thin, I don’t think Raúl Grijalva needs much of an introduction. As always, he has plenty he wants to share with us. Let me just preface his guest post with two things:
1- he’ll be taking questions live in the comments section starting at 11 am (PST), 2pm on the East Coast; and
2- conservatives who hate him as much as we love him– and for the same reasons– have figured out they can’t beat him with a Republican so they’re running Republicans repackaged as “Democrats” in a primary and he needs some help from his friends.
Like most progressive legislators, Raúl spends virtually all his time on policy and working on behalf of the ordinary American families who can’t afford to hire lobbyists. So he’s not doing hours and hours of call time, begging rich people, special interests and sleazy lobbyists to contribute to his campaign. He deserves our help– and he’s the only incumbent House Member we’ve endorsed this cycle. Please contribute what you can here at a special Blue America Raúl Grijalva page.
What Makes A Progressive Campaign?
-by Raúl Grijalva
It you had to pick the one thing that Progressives do best (aside from being awesome, all the time), what would you say?
That’s right, grassroots community organizing.
When it comes to mobilizing our folks to fight injustice, hold government and corporations accountable and make our communities the best they can be, Progressives can be counted on to do it right.
It starts with an idea, and through word of mouth and organized action, the idea grows into the change we demand. Over the years, as the Internet has brought people closer and facilitated the sharing of ideas and information, we’ve seen a steady crop of Progressive community organizers take note, look around, and realize that they can make a difference, not just for their own communities, but for our American community.
They’ve stepped their game up to the next level to fight for what we all know is right– equality justice, fairness, good government, and the right of every American to pursue the American Dream.
Candidates like David Gill and Ilya Sheyman in Illinois, Patsy Keever in North Carolina, Darcy Burner in the new first district up in Washington, Matt Cartwright in Pennsylvania, Raul Ruiz, Lee Rogers and Normon Solomon in California, the unstoppable Alan Grayson in his new Florida district, Eric Griego in New Mexico are all fighting to make a difference. Some may not join us in Congress next year, but they all are great leaders who have many victories ahead of them.
As I head into my fifth re-election campaign, I feel even more inspired by the spirit of organizing and involvement that we’ve seen in all these Progressive campaigns around the country. I believe that the future of Congress and the direction of this country must be in the hands of Progressives like us– the stakes are too high for it not to be. Only when the people are in power can we keep corporations from calling the shots.
We’re facing an epic battle between the people and the powerful– corporate money is pouring into races all over the country, and mysterious super PACs are popping up to silence Progressive voices. They are keenly aware of our accomplishments– justice, equal rights, peace and prosperity for all– and they’ll stop at nothing to halt our progress. Fear and loathing isn’t just something out of a Hunter S. Thompson book, it is the way that big business, special interests and Republicans feel about Progressives. Four years ago, we saw hope trump fear and ideas trump ambition– and our opponents know that when we’re in charge, they are held to account. And nothing terrifies them more than that.
Two years ago, big business and the Tea Party tried to take me out-– but we beat back their aggression with people power and Progressive principles. They spent millions of dollars against me, and we won. But this time, they think they’ve found a new strategy-– I call it the Wisconsin strategy-– because, just like Scott Walker and the Koch Brothers, they’ve decided to run fake Democrats against me in the Democratic Primary. And we’ve got to let the voters know all about it. Fake Democrats won’t stand up for their constituents– they want the prize and none of the responsibility, sort of like the big corporations and Republicans that are backing them.
This primary is about whether corporate money can prop up someone with a “D” next to her name long enough to buy another seat in Washington. We believe Democracy is about ideas– they believe it is an auction.
I know you agree with me that Democracy is not for sale. And I know I can count on you as we fight harder than we ever have for the government and America that we believe in. Let’s keep fighting for Progress, and let’s do it together.