I have worked with many of you over the last four years on issues of importance to Progressives across the country. It has been a pleasure to serve the membership as an officer of the caucus. In fact, it has been lightning in a bottle. We have had some successes like the Net Neutrality resolution that I brought forward in 2007. Collaborating with Labor Chair, Jim Gordon, we produced an unprecedented victory for all of America on this essential issue. After that I chaired and co-wrote the Internet plank of the CDP platform with Dante Atkins. I worked with our Co-Chair Jo Olson and our Vice Chair Ahjamu Makalani on the “Immigration Town Hall”. Once again, our caucus blazed a new trail in the CDP by organizing a multi-caucus event on a critical social issue.
The proposal that I worked on the hardest and am most proud of is the, “Progressive Plan” (http://www.progressivecaucuscdp.org/). I co-authored this blueprint for Progressive organizing, strategizing and energizing with Ahjamu Makalani. We also received valuable editing from our fellow officers - Jo Olson, Joye Swan, Dotty LeMieux and Mayme Hubert. Not only does the analysis of the CDP and Democratic Party political infrastructure, found in the plan, still hold true today but also our proposals for change have been fundamental in building our Progressive movement in California and across the nation.
Progressive economics is the best long-term design for creating prosperity and opportunity for all. To that end, I have been writing and collaborating on the problem and the solution. You can find my essay, “Who’s Minding The Store?” at: http://www.riozen.com/salon2.html. In it, I explore the social aspects of the new economic realities. Then please read, “Progressive Economic Principles Essay” at: http://www.economicsfordemocrats.com/. I co-wrote that article with Mark Pash. In it, Mark shares his vision for creating a quality economy through Progressive economics.
I believe that when principled candidates who embody Progressive ideas are joined by modern GOTV operations, then the change we have hoped for and believed in will be possible. Then the Democratic Party will be living up to its mandate.
Change is the only permanent feature of nature. The Progressive Caucus must change as well as the Democratic Party. We need to leave the comfort of our home - the caucus - and reach out to the entire Party. It is time for us to inspire the rest of our Party to invest in our policy proposals. It is time to take the Progressive Platform into every corner of the Democratic Party and America.