"Darcy Burner was a dynamo in the fight for health care for all Americans. Because Darcy helped rally a large number of Members of Congress to fight for the public option, the whole health care package turned out to be stronger than it would have been without her. We need people like Darcy in Congress."When I arrived in DC in March 2009, the Congressional Progressive Caucus was not taken seriously in the halls of power. Although it was the largest ideological caucus on the Democratic side in the entire House of Representatives, the CPC had not leveraged its numbers into power in any meaningful way. When I talked to press about the CPC, they laughed at me. They don't laugh anymore.
- Roger Hickey, Founding Member, Health Care for America Now Steering Committee
The debate over health care reform was just ramping up at that time, a debate that this community was already helping to shift (looking at you, slinkerwink and nyceve). Stepping into my new role as the first executive director of ProgressiveCongress.org, I reached out to like-minded progressives inside and outside of the Beltway. By June we were all pulling in the same direction, leading to an unprecedented national buzz around the public option and our work drove the first-ever public whip of progressives to stand firmly behind a progressive policy and draw a line in the sand.
For the first time, progressive bloggers including the DailyKos community, allied organizations and the Congressional Progressive Caucus worked collaboratively to pull in the same direction. Together, we changed the debate about health care reform, and we proved an even more important point: that when we stick to our progressive values and work together towards a common goal, we can have an enormous impact on what happens in Washington DC.
We need folks in Congress who understand the value of the progressive community in making our country better. That’s what I offer as the next representative of Washington’s 1st District. I’m Darcy Burner, and I’m proud to be from the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party. If you send me to Congress, I’ll have your back.
My track record standing strong for core Democratic values goes well beyond the public option.
Other candidates say they support action to create good middle-class jobs. When budget cuts were on the table last year, I organized and helped promote the “Speakout for Good Jobs” tour. The eight events on this tour brought together members of Congress, members of the media and everyday Americans to hear the stories of victims of the Great Recession, and helped change the national dialogue from the budget deficit to the jobs deficit. I didn’t just say the right thing, I did the right thing.
Other candidates say they want reforms to make Congress work better. I saw important legislation die in the Senate because of abuse of the filibuster, and worked with David Waldman of Congress Matters to organize the coalition to end its abuse. I didn’t just say the right thing, I did the right thing.
Other candidates say they want to bring our troops and our money home from Afghanistan. I was a principal in the Afghanistan Study Group, which laid out clearly why we needed to end the war in Afghanistan and changed the conventional wisdom in DC -- including among Republicans such as Congressman Walter Jones. I didn’t just say the right thing, I did the right thing.
Other candidates say they stand with labor. I’ve walked on picket lines, I’ve intervened in collective bargaining disputes on behalf of workers, and I’ve worked effectively with unions in Washington State and in Washington DC to fight for their priorities. I didn’t just say the right thing, I did the right thing.
I have demonstrated with my words and with my deeds that I will always fight for you. I will always stand up for core Democratic values, not just with my words when it’s easy, but with my actions and choices when it’s hard.
I’ll have your back.
At your service,