Take Back America: Progressives, Plenaries and Projects

Tracy Van Slyke

I arrived in DC today for the Campaign for America's Future "Take Back America" Conference. 2,000 people are expected to join conference speakers Howard Dean, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, former V-P candidate John Edwards, LA mayoral-elect Antonio Villaraigosa, Bill Moyers, organizing and advocacy groups ACORN, Emily's List, the National Organization for Women and many more. The next few days include plenty of plenaries, planning and hopefully some organizing and implementation. I'm sitting in the "Progressive Media Row" which features progressive radio (Thom Hartmann, Air America, Democracy Radio); blogs (Atrios, My DD, Oliver Willis, Raw Story) and last but not least magazines (ITT, The American Prospect, Ms. Magazine, Colorlines, The Nation, Mother Jones, etc…) I've only been here a few hours and I've already been informed about a couple great web sites and projects, including: 1) Cities for Progress Cities for Progress is a growing network of locally-elected officials and community-led activists and citizens working together for social change. We are a network that takes a local, national and international approach to issues that affect us in our own communities. Following in the footsteps of Cities for Peace local resolutions prior to the Iraq war in which almost 200 cities and towns expressed their concerns about local costs of such a war, Cities for Progress is taking on other issues such as Universal Health Care and Anti-Walmart campaigns. 2) AfterDowningStreet.org urges Members of Congress to introduce "a resolution of inquiry directing the House Judiciary Committee to launch a formal investigation into whether sufficient grounds exist for the House to impreach George W. Bush." Of course the controversy surrounds the recent emergence of 2002 meeting minutes (known at the Downing Street Memo) between England's PM Tony Blair and top officials. The notes include important evidence that the Bush administration actively deceived the American public about the reasons for going to war, which according to Progressive Democrats "constitutes a High Crime under Article II, Section 4 of the United States Constitution." More from the conference later….

Tracy Van Slyke, a former publisher of In These Times, is the project director for The Media Consortium.
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