The Congressional Progressive Caucus

In the House of Representatives, there are a group of 72 Democrats that are fighting to push forward Progressive issues within the federal government. This group is called the Congressional Progressive Caucus and it was founded in the early 1990s. The co-chairwomen of the caucus are U.S. Representatives Lynn Woolsey and Barbara Lee and the group fight for “universal access to affordable, high quality healthcare,” fair trade agreements, living wage laws, the right of all workers to organize into labor unions and engage in strike actions and collective bargaining, the abolition of significant portions of the USA PATRIOT Act, the legalization of gay marriage, strict campaign finance reform laws, a complete pullout from the war in Iraq, a crackdown on free trade and corporate welfare, an increase in income tax on the wealthy, tax cuts for the poor, and an increase in social welfare spending by the federal government (I got this from Wikipedia).

The Congressional Progressive Caucus was founded in 1991 by independent congressman Bernie Sanders of Vermont to push for progressive issues. Eleven of the twenty standing committees in the House are currently chaired by members of the Caucus. Among the members of the Caucus are Dennis Kucinich, Charles Rangel, Bennie Thompson, Barnie Frank, and Maxine Waters. I admire them because they are trying to work within the government for progressive change, and that means often going through the frustrations of real life politics. If you compare the positions of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (http://cpc.lee.house.gov/) with the Green Party (http://www.gp.org/index.php) or even the Nader campaign (http://www.votenader.org/issues/) they share many of the same values. I think there is value in groups working both outside the government and inside the government influencing and pushing each other for change.

Some people say that the Democrats are just like the Republicans, but the Democrats have within them groups like the Progressive Caucus to influence and cajole them towards the left. In these elections, a potential Nader voter may not agree with everything that either Obama or Clinton will hold. But both Obama and Clinton are center left candidates who can be swayed by a Party that has many strong progressive voices like Barbara Lee, Dennis Kucinich, and Barnie Frank. .

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About angelolopez

I’ve wanted to be an artist all my life. Since I was a child I’ve drawn on any scrap of paper I could get a hold of. When I went to San Jose State University, I became more exposed to the works of the great fine artists and illustrators. My college paintings were heavily influenced by the humorous illustrations of Peter De Seve, an illustrator for the New Yorker magazine. I also fell under the spell of the great muralists of the 1930s, especially Thomas Hart Benton and Diego Rivera. I graduated with a degree in Illustration. Since my time in college, my goal has been to be a successful children’s book illustrator. I’ve illustrated 3 books: Two Moms the Zark and Me by Johnny Valentine in 1993; Night Travelers by Sue Hill in 1994; and Cherubic Children’s New Classic Story Book Volume 2 for Cherubic Press in 1998. I’ve painted murals for Lester Shields Elementary School in San Jose, the Berryessa branch of the San Jose Public Library, and Grace Community Church in Los Altos. I’ve had a few illustrations published in South Bay Accent Magazine and I will have an illustration published in the January/February issue of Tikkun magazine.
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One Response to The Congressional Progressive Caucus

  1. Mike Harmon says:

    Great Blog post. I am going to bookmark and read more often. I love the Blog template if you need any assistance customizing it let me know!

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