Category Archives: Progressive Candidates

Progressive Democrats endorse Kari Birdseye & Dana Dean

Kari Birdseye for City Council, and Dana Dean for Solano County Board of Education

At its August 14 membership meeting, the Progressive Democrats of Benicia interviewed Democratic candidates for Benicia City Council and Solano County School Board. Ballots were cast, and today were made public.

Kari Birdseye for Benicia City Council

Only one of two declared Democratic candidates for City Council received a majority vote earning endorsement: Kari Birdseye. The Progressive Democrats of Benicia are proud to endorse Planning Commission chair Birdseye. Find out more about Kari and offer your support at her campaign website,, and be in touch on her Facebook page.

Christina Strawbridge, candidate for Benicia City Council

Democratic candidate for City Council and member of Progressive Democrats of Benicia Christina Strawbridge narrowly lost her bid for endorsement.  Find out more about Christina at her campaign website,  and be in touch on her Facebook page.

Dana Dean for Solano County Board of Education

Also interviewed was candidate for Solano County School Board Dana Dean.  Dana is unopposed in her bid for re-election, and was also endorsed by a majority of Progressive Democrats at last night’s meeting. In her presentation, she declared victory, as no other candidate has filed to run against her.  Find out more about Dana at her campaign website, and be in touch on her Facebook page.

DNC execs reverse course on banning donations from fossil fuel companies

From an email, Action
[Progressive Dems and independents need to hear about this – and sign the petition!  We sure hope Senators Harris and Feinstein, and Rep. Mike Thompson will join us in saying no to oil and gas campaign contributions.]

From: Brant Olson, Action
Sent: Friday, August 10, 2018 5:29 PM
Subject: DNC execs just undid its fossil fuel money ban

Dear [name],

The DNC just reversed course on banning donations from fossil fuel companies, turning its back on those living with the impacts of climate change and fossil fuel extraction every day — as well as the more than 950 candidates nationwide that our community recruited to sign the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge.

DNC executives are keeping quiet about the Friday night vote — they know taking polluter money isn’t a good look for the Party — but resistance from DNC membership is growing and the press is beginning to take notice.

By ringing the alarm now, we can hold the DNC accountable to its values, and force a new vote during the DNC’s Summer Meeting in Chicago in two weeks.

Sign the petition to demand that the DNC reject contributions from fossil fuel companies!

The DNC’s Executive Committee voted on a resolution sponsored by Chairman Tom Perez. The resolution is framed in terms of supporting workers, but welcomes “the longstanding and generous contributions of… [energy industry] political action committees” and declares support for an “all of the above” energy policy.

Supporting workers as we transition to clean energy is absolutely essential — but taking money from fossil fuel industry PACs is the wrong way to do it. The ban on fossil fuel company money adopted by the DNC just two months ago didn’t limit unions and employees from donating to the Party — so the only effect of Friday’s resolution was to re-open DNC coffers to fossil fuel company PACs.

Elizabeth Warren and others are already standing up to oppose the DNC’s vote — a testament to the months of work by thousands in our community to push this issue to the top of the national conversation.

Sign the petition to DNC Chairman Tom Perez to demand that the DNC keep fossil fuel money out!

Together, we’ve built the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge from a good idea into a juggernaut that’s changing the 2018 elections for the better. Let’s be sure the DNC leads, follows, or gets out of our way.


Brant, Amanda, Matt and the rest of the team.


“Democratic National Committee Proposes Reversing Its Ban On Fossil Fuel Donations,” Huffington Post, 8-10-2018

“Resolution Reaffirming the DNC’s Unwavering Commitment to Workers and Unions in Industries that Power the American Economy, and Expressing the Democratic Party’s Appreciation of their Profound Contributions to Our Party, Our Nation’s Economy, and Our Way of Life,” Tom Perez, 8-10-2018

PAID FOR BY OCUSA, WWW.OILCHANGEUSA.ORG, NOT AUTHORIZED BY ANY CANDIDATE, CANDIDATE’S AUTHORIZED POLITICAL COMMITTEE, OR CANDIDATE’S AGENTS. Action fights the denial, distortion, and disinformation that block bold action on climate change. Help us end climate denial once and for all. Click here to donate. Action is a program of Oil Change USA, a 501(c)(4) organization.
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Washington Post: What works with reluctant voters

Repost from The Washington Post

How to mobilize reluctant voters

By Melissa Michelson, July 15, 2014
(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Americans of different ethnicities vote at very different rates. Whites and blacks tend to vote more frequently than Latinos and Asians.  Older people and wealthier people vote more frequently than the young and the poor. Increasing turnout among groups that tend to vote at lower rates can not only increase their political power, but also change the outcomes of elections. Indeed, this is a major reason that Democrats are concentrating so much on mobilizing voters who don’t vote in midterm elections.

Could this strategy work?  Is it possible to mobilize people who are otherwise uninterested in voting or reluctant to vote?   We now have good answers to these questions.  People who have not participated much before can indeed be moved to go to the polls.

What really mobilizes these voters is repeated personal contacting. In our book Mobilizing Inclusion, Lisa García Bedolla and I describe 268 get-out-the-vote field experiments conducted repeatedly across six electoral cycles from 2006 to 2008. These field experiments were focused on communities with a history of low participation and were conducted in partnership with non-partisan community-based organizations. Because these experiments randomly assign some voters to be contacted in particular ways and others not to be contacted, we can better know what actually gets people to the ballot box.

Our analysis shows that citizens who haven’t voted much in the past can be inspired by either door-to-door visits or live phone calls. Tellingly, our research shows that such contacts, especially if repeated, can produce habitual voters. Phone banks from which callers contact the same potential voters twice are especially effective in creating committed voters. Door-to-door campaigns also showed strong results, with one such effort increasing voter turnout by more than 40 percentage points. (To be sure, most get-out-the-vote campaigns produce smaller gains.)

Personal contacting works to persuade people to vote regularly even though the interactions do not increase voters’ resources and have little or no impact on their underlying attitudes about public issues. It is the social interaction itself that seems to matter. These interactions appear to change reluctant citizens’ entrenched understandings of themselves as disengaged from the polity. For most Americans – and especially for low-income citizens of color – it is very rare to be contacted for the sole purpose of being urged to vote. When such an unexpected interaction occurs, it can be very meaningful.

Personal contact to encourage voting can be enough to cause many low-income minority people to see themselves anew, as the sorts of people who regularly go to the polls on Election Day. In turn, voting even once can become habit forming, reinforcing self-identification as “a voter” long after the initial conversation with a canvasser. What is more, voter contacts have strong spillover effects within households, boosting participation by others as much as 60 percent.

These field experiments also shed light on tactics that do not work.  Perhaps most interestingly, messages designed to appeal to ethnic or racial solidarities aren’t more effective than general appeals to “civic duty” or other broad concerns.

For example, among African-American voters experiments conducted in cooperation with community organizations using “Green Jobs” or other non-racial issue-based appeals have successfully increased turnout, while another experiment that stressed racial solidarity did not. Among Asian-Americans, appeals that stress ethnic community empowerment have proven no more effective than general messages telling people how to go about voting. Among Latinos, dozens of randomized experiments have effectively mobilized Latino voters with a variety of appeals, although recent work I have done with Ali Valenzuela in California and Texas suggests that appeals to ethnic solidarity can be more effective for Latinos who are less incorporated into the broader American culture and who have stronger ties to their Latino identity.

As candidates, political parties, and interest groups gear up for the 2014 and 2016 elections, recent scholarship shows how to bring reluctant voters to the polls. Largely regardless of the message, personal contact with reluctant voters — even once, but especially repeatedly — can shape the electorate dramatically.

Melissa Michelson is a political scientist at Menlo College and a member of the Scholars Strategy Network.