"This will be a chance to participate in democracy, change our country, and support Cleveland. It's like LeBron James without the arrogance, and you're the one who gets the exercise." --Tim Carpenter, Director of PDA

Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), an activist organization founded in 2004, will hold a national grassroots leadership conference in Cleveland, Ohio, July 23rd to 25th. Hundreds of participants from around the country will train and strategize with the likes of local Congressman Dennis Kucinich, the Nation magazine's John Nichols, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, health insurance whistleblower Wendell Potter, immigrant rights organizer Salvador Reza, and Executive Director of the National Priorities Project Jo Comerford.

PDA activists engaged in similar work in distant states--opposing war funding, promoting single-payer healthcare, protecting civil rights, and advancing progressive candidates' campaigns--will compare their tactics and success rates. Speaking and leading workshops will be the Co-Chairs of PDA's "Healthcare Not Warfare" campaign Norman Solomon and Donna Smith, and current and former PDA Advisory Board members Jeff Cohen, Steve Cobble, Jim Hightower, David Swanson, Marcy Winograd, and many more.

An agenda for the event, which will be at the Sheraton Cleveland Airport Hotel, is available online at

Speakers Friday evening, July 23rd, will include:

PDA Executive Director Tim Carpenter
Jim Hightower, national radio commentator, public speaker, and author
Donna Smith, Healthcare Not Warfare co-chair
Norman Solomon, author, columnist and Healthcare Not Warfare co-chair
John Nichols, author and Washington correspondent for The Nation magazine
Jo Comerford, Executive director of the National Priorities Project
Salvador Reza, Hispanic community organizer
David Cobb, former Green Party presidential candidate, founding member
Marcy Winograd, former candidate for Congress
Steve Cobble, PDA Advisory Board member, political consultant

Congressman Dennis Kucinich will speak Saturday, July 24th in the morning. Workshops include
"Building the Medicare-for-All Movement at the National and State Levels" with:

Chuck Pennacchio, Executive Director of Healthcare4AllPennsylvania
Kurt Bateman, State Director SPAN-Ohio
Mark Dudzic, National Coordinator Labor Campaign for Single-Payer
Donna Smith, Healthcare Not Warfare co-chair
Wendell Potter, Senior fellow on Healthcare with the Center for Media and Democracy

Speakers Saturday evening on "Delivering a progressive message to a corporate media" will include:

John Nichols, author and Washington correspondent for The Nation magazine
Jeff Cohen, author and founding director of the Park Center for Independent Media at the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College
Marcy Winograd, former PDA-endorsed congressional candidate and Advisory Board member
Wendell Potter, Senior fellow on Healthcare with the Center for Media and Democracy

Also Saturday evening will be a screening of the Academy award nominated film "The Most Dangerous Man in America" followed by an in-person discussion with its star, Daniel Ellsberg.

Among the events Sunday will be workshops for each of PDA's six Issue Organizing Teams:

• End War and Occupation IOT: Led by Norman Solomon and Steve Carlson.
• Healthcare for All/Single-payer IOT: Led by Donna Smith and Chuck Pennacchio.
• Stop Global Warming/Environmental IOT: Led by James Handley (Carbon Tax Center) and Laura Bonham.
• Accountability and Justice IOT: Led by Susan Harman and David Swanson.
• Amend to Suspend Action Group (opposing corporate personhood): Led by David Cobb and Dave Keeler.
• Immigration Reform Action Group: Led by Dan O'Neal.

Progressive Democrats of America was founded in 2004 to transform the Democratic Party and our country. We seek to build a party and government controlled by citizens, not corporate elites--with policies that serve the broad public interest, not just private interests. PDA is a grassroots PAC operating inside the Democratic Party, and outside in movements for peace and justice; our inside/outside strategy is guided by the belief that a lasting majority will require a revitalized Democratic Party built on firm progressive principles.


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