Saturday, June 29, 2013

Voting Rights Decision Showing Repercussions

The Supreme Court ruling 5-4 in favor of striking down section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act is already showing repercussions

Just two hours after the Supreme Court announced its ruling, Texas (one of the nine flagged states) responded by declaring they would be “immediately” enacting their Voter ID law that a panel of federal judges previously ruled would cause “strict, unforgiving burdens on the poor.” North Carolina is also following suit by moving forward with their Voter ID bill. Chief Justice John Roberts supported his decision by explaining, “nearly 50 years later, things have changed dramatically.” Yes, things have changed, but racism is still alive and well in America. A study done by Richard J. Timpone found that the Voting Rights Act was responsible for the sharp increase in African-America voters (in Mississippi specifically). This is the generally accepted idea: the act was extremely successful in deterring discrimination in the voting system. However, if things have changed so dramatically, as the Chief Justice claims, why is it that since 2000 the Department of Justice has objected changes to voting laws in these nine states seventy-four times. The Voting Rights Act had a huge impact on voting in the South throughout the past decades. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg compared the decision against section 5 to “throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet.” We are throwing away the one thing that made such change possible. This was not an easy bill to pass; people fought and some even died for it. After all, flagged states did have the option to opt out of the Act if they’ve had a “clean” ten years and didn’t violate any of the VRA. The good news is, the Supreme Court did leave the opportunity for the section to be amended, but that would have to be voted on by Congress.

By student contributor Carly Hanson

Friday, June 28, 2013

DOMA and Our Dad, Paul Wellstone


Change happens. Sometimes it happens in the blink of an eye, but often it takes decades of organizing, fighting, and struggling for what’s right.

Yesterday, at the United States Supreme Court, we saw what can come from that struggle. But we know it took decades of hard work to get there.

On a brisk fall day in 1996, 85 United State Senators, including our dad, Paul Wellstone, voted to pass the Defense of Marriage Act that limited the definition of marriage. Our dad spent a career in the Senate making one principled and courageous vote after another. This was an exception. Dad spent a lot of time reflecting, soul-searching, and apologizing about that vote.

In 2001 he wrote this, “What troubles me is that I may not have cast the right vote on DOMA. When Sheila and I attended a Minnesota memorial service for Matthew Shepard, I thought to myself, 'Have I taken a position that contributed to a climate of hatred?'"

By 2002, groups like the Human Rights Campaign gave him a 100% rating for his votes in the Senate. In our dad’s journey, we see hope for a sustained movement: changing hearts, shaping policy, and effecting change, one person, one community, and one decision at a time.

The Supreme Court’s decision on Wednesday to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act is a historic step forward. But it only happened because over many years, organizers across the country worked to build a movement. At Wellstone Action, we’re proud to be a part of that movement, equipping leaders with a training foundation to effectively champion causes, elect progressives, and mobilize to action.

That’s the Wellstone Triangle: sustained change happens only when grassroots organizing, electoral politics, and public policy are combined to build a movement.

There’s still more work to do. The majority of Americans live in states where marriage is not available to everyone. But progress is afoot.

Dad would be so proud.

Dave and Mark Wellstone

Want to help continue the honest and deep work that was the hallmark of Paul Wellstone's career?  Click to sign up for our August 9-11 Training coming to Lombard.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Wendy! Wendy! Wendy! Guest blogger Walt Zlotow

Until yesterday few Americans outside of Texas knew about Texas state senator Wendy Davis. That changed in an incredible 13 hours Tuesday when Davis staged her marathon filibuster to prevent passage of a Texas anti abortion bill so restrictive Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards said would virtually ban abortion in Texas, leading the Lone Star State back to the back alleys and knitting needles. 

Wearing a back brace and required by senate rules to speak non-stop, stay on topic and not sit down or even lean on her desk for support, Davis persevered for Texas women and all decent human beings till just before the midnight adjournment hour. As midnight approched Lt. Gov. Dave Dewhurst ruled she had strayed from the topic for a third technical violation and shut her up so he could hold the vote before the legislative session expired. Then the "peoples filibuster" gallery of abortion supporters took charge and caused such a ruckus that the 19-10 vote to pass the draconian law was pushed back till 12:03 AM. Dewhurst thought he'd won but the time stamp proved him wrong causing him to rescind his high fives to the forces of regression and ignorance for and about the gentle sex.

Just don't use the word "gentle" around Senator Wendy Davis. She is one tough Texas lady.

Find Walt at

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Just In Case You Missed it...

A Wonderful Day for Marriage Equality!!!

Justice Anthony Kennedy writes, in a 5 - 4 decision,  Federal Benefits will be ALLOWED to same-sex marriages.  Justice Kennedy also writes this is confined in the 12 states that allow same-sex marriages.

PROP 8: Supreme Court dismisses California's Appeal in a 5 - 4 vote. This means same-sex marriages in California are legal.

President Obama just tweets; Today's Doma ruling is a historic step forward for # MARRIAGE EQUALITY  #LOVEisLOVE

This is profound moment in history!

Say Happy Birthday to our Executive Director by Signing up for Camp Wellstone!

Executive Director, Amy Rohrer,  flips the dial over to start her 53rd year on this planet today and wants you to celebrate with her at DuPage Dems Camp Wellstone!!

Camp Wellstone is a vigorous and motivating 2 ½ day training running from 3-9pm Friday, 9am-6pm Saturday, and 9am-3:30pm Sunday. It is open to anyone interested in gaining practical skills in progressive political action. During Camp Wellstone, we provide focus areas based on your role in progressive organizing, each with a distinctive curriculum taught by some of the nation's leading experts in grassroots politics and organizing.

Registration is now open! 

Can't go but can make a donation to scholarship someone else? Call us and leave a message at 630-629-1125. We will get back to you, generous person, as soon as we can! 

When you register, you choose from one of three tracks below and stay with that track throughout the weekend:

Not sure which track to take? Read more about them here.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Decision Day is Here: Paint the Internet Red with Equality


Powered By Convio

Friday, June 21, 2013

HAPPY SUMMER DuPage ranks among the HEALTHIEST counties for kids (in the US-IL)

Editor's note: Notice what has made this wonderful thing possible and it wasn't church-sponsored potlucks for kids!!
DuPage Co. ranks 20 on “America’s Healthiest Counties for Kids”
DuPage County has been named one of "America's 50 Healthiest Counties for Kids," according to a new set of rankings released by U.S. News and World Report. With a rating of No. 20, DuPage is the only Illinois county to make the list, which highlights communities that "are safe and child-friendly," according to the DuPage County Health Department. "This ranking is a result of the health department's commitment to the health care needs of all DuPage County children and families," said Linda Kurzawa, president of the DuPage County Board of Health. Researchers from the University of Wisconsin's Population Health Institute reviewed data related to infant deaths, birth weights, teen birthrates, injury death rates and poverty levels to determine the rankings.
DuPage scored 87.2 out of a possible 100 points. The analysis is the first national, county-level assessment of how health and environmental factors affect the well-being of children younger than 18, according to DuPage officials. Maureen McHugh, the health department executive director, said DuPage traditionally has ranked high in other studies that examined the health of counties. "Do we think we're a great place to live, work and raise your family? Absolutely." McHugh said Wednesday.
What has officials excited about the latest ranking is that it comes at a time when poverty is climbing in DuPage. Roughly 11 percent of the children in the county are living in poverty, according to the report. "The numbers support the work we've been doing to expand capacity and programs to meet the needs of a new population in DuPage," McHugh said. The health department, for example, provides Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and Family Case Management services to more than 24,000 people annually. It also offers a dental sealant program for eligible children, a mobile dental van and an urgent care clinic in Wheaton. In addition, DuPage benefits from having quality hospitals and community partners working together, officials said. "We certainly have schools involved," said Karen Ayala, director of public health services. "We have human services involved. We have medical providers involved. Everybody gets on board and really works to make the program successful." DuPage, for example, launched an initiative in 2009 to encourage active living and healthy eating. The FORWARD initiative now has 1,165 coalition members working to reduce the number of children who are overweight or obese, officials said. "We don't look at issues from one vantage point," McHugh said. "We look at them from a communitywide perspective, because there's not one solution." Last year, instructors taught healthy behaviors to 23,488 children and others, officials said. The children learned to prevent diseases instead of attempting to manage them later in life.
Thank you to Paul Sjordal for allowing me to borrow from his newsletter. If you would like to receive Paul’s newsletter,
(national, state & local news) you can contact him at

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

What IS Juneteenth?

What Is Juneteenth?

100 Amazing Facts About the Negro: Learn about the most popular annual celebration of black emancipation.

Official Juneteenth Committee, Austin, Texas, June 19, 1900 (courtesy of Austin History Center, Austin Public Library)
Editor's note: For those who are wondering about the retro title of this black history series, please take a moment to learn about historian Joel A. Rogers, author of the 1934 book 100 Amazing Facts About the Negro With Complete Proof, to whom these "amazing facts" are an homage.
(The Root) -- Amazing Fact About the Negro No. 36: What is Juneteenth and why are 42 states and the District of Columbia celebrating it this year?

$1000 PRIZE. A DPDC Golf Outing first thanks to PGA Superstore

Just a few days until the DPDC Golf Outing and our sponsor, PGA Superstore,  is offering a ONE THOUSAND DOLLAR prize for a whole in one.
Sure, its a long shot (and a dream of so many golfers) but what it really is is JUST ONE MORE REASON to sign up your foursome today by


Can't wait to see you!

How To Fight Climate Change And Rising Fuel And Healthcare Costs And Improve Fitness And Air Quality?

Have some fun, vote Democratic, and volunteer!

Contact for ways you can help.

All the best, if you work and vote for it,

Dan Stafford
York 112

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Congresswoman Duckworth; Supporting our Soldiers and Defense Cuts at the same time

Not even 6 months into her new position, Tammy Duckworth is showing up to support the needs of our citizens in the military and our overall need to spend defense dollars wisely. Please read on to see what she is accomplishing!
Speaking with U.S. Senator Tim Kaine at an American Legion post about legislation to help Veterans earn the licenses and credentials they need for civilian jobs.

Jobs for Veterans:
Key provisions of my bipartisan bill, the Troop Talent Act, were included into today’s bill. These provisions will help Veterans find jobs when they return home by making it easier for them to earn the credentials and licenses they need for civilian work.
Preventing military sexual assault:
Sexual assault in the military is completely unacceptable. My amendment will expedite a report on measures to prevent sexual assault and require the military to review the potential impact of investigating and punishing sexual assault cases outside the military chain of command.
Creating one combat uniform to save taxpayer dollars:
In the past 11 years, two kinds of camouflage have turned into ten. Meanwhile, each branch of the military has continued to create its own camouflage pattern for its battle uniform, some of which can't be worn in combat such as the blue Air Force camouflage pattern. This has resulted in waste of taxpayer dollars. My amendment will establish a joint camouflage pattern for a combat uniform, so that taxpayers won’t have to pay millions for the government to keep developing camouflage patterns that don't protect our troops in combat.
Stronger oversight for military equipment purchases:
We need to hold defense contractors accountable for spending taxpayer dollars. One of my successful amendments will stop spending on new Stryker vehicles until the Army uses the current $900 million stockpile of Stryker vehicle parts. We should not be purchasing new parts for new vehicles until we use the brand new parts we’ve already bought but haven't used.

I also introduced an amendment to freeze any additional  F-35 Joint Strike Fighter spending until its integral software testing is successfully completed. The program is 10 years behind schedule and 70% over budget.  While the F35 is an important part of our future military defense system, there are already multiple technical problems with the program.  Although the amendment was not passed, we were able to send a message to the Department of Defense that it should not be spending billions in taxpayer dollars on any new weapons systems that do not work.  As I work to provide our troops with the very best equipment, I will also continue to advocate for greater oversight and accountability in our defense spending.
I’m proud of these victories for our Veterans, service members and taxpayers. I will continue to ensure that our troops have the best equipment in the world, while also working to cut unnecessary waste. As always, if you have any ideas, suggestions, or questions, please let me know.


Tammy Duckworth
Member of Congress

Monday, June 17, 2013

Republican senator freaks out...Fun Video from the Bold Progressives

DuPage County,
On Wednesday, we delivered 100,000 petition signatures against government spying on Americans to Senate offices.
Senator Lindsey Graham's (R-SC) staff responded by repeatedly yelling, "We don't allow filming in the front office!" We responded, "We don't like having our phone records spied on."
Sen. Graham has made some of the most outrageous comments in favor of government surveillance. We made sure that he heard from the people.
Watch the amazing video of the delivery, and add your voice to the growing number of Americans calling for accountability.
Sample Ad
The media is taking note of our momentum. The Washington Post reported our "20,000 signatures in 36 hours" and MSNBC reported "100,000 Americans demanded that Congress investigate this NSA program."
We'll keep the media and Congress informed of the growing number of Americans demanding action.
Click here to watch the video and sign the petition today!
Thanks for being a bold progressive.
-- Zaid Jilani, PCCC Investigative Blogger

PCCC Investigative Blogger Zaid Jilani speaks at press conference.
PCCC Investigative Blogger, Zaid Jilani, speaks at press conference.
PCCC members present over 100,000 petition signatures to Congress.
Representatives from Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Demand Progress, and Free Press delivered over 100,000 petition signatures calling on Congress to take action against government spying.
PCCC activists in the halls of Congress to deliver the over 100,000 petition signatures calling for an investigation into government spying.
PCCC activists in the halls of Congress to deliver the over 100,000 petition signatures calling for an investigation into government spying.
Join the fight against government surveillance! Click here to watch the video and sign the petition.

Like the PCCC on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
Want to support our work? PCCC's Draft Warren campaign was named The Nation's "Most Valuable Campaign of 2011" and in 2010 we were awarded "Most Valuable Online Organizing". And our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. Chip in $3 here.
Paid for by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee PAC ( and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. Contributions to the PCCC are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Make a Call for Newtown today

Gun Control...We Need To Keep The Dialogue Going
Make a call for Newtown today‏
Friend --

My mom, Dawn Hochsprung, was the principal at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

Six months ago today, she was shot and killed in her school, along with five of her coworkers and 20 of her students.

In the weeks and months after that horrible day, lawmakers from across the country told us, the families of the victims, that they'd take action to make our communities safer. What we found out is that, for some of our members of Congress, those were empty promises.

And in those six months, thousands more people have been killed by guns.

I've been doing everything I can to reach out to members of Congress. But my voice isn't enough. Today, on the six-month anniversary of Newtown, they need to hear from every single person who cares about reducing gun violence.

Will you call your representative right now, and tell them that you're one of the 90 percent of Americans who support expanding background checks for all gun sales?
Just call the switchboard operator at 202-224-3121 and ask for your member of Congress. If you're not sure who your representative is, look it up here.

Then, let OFA know how the call went by reporting back here.

In her last minutes, Mom was just as brave and caring as I knew her to be. After telling everyone to hide, she went running into the hallway, saw the gunman, yelled and lunged at him in an effort to protect the school she loved.

I miss her every second of every day. I'm getting married in just a few weeks -- to a guy she was rooting for, in a dress we picked out together -- but because a dangerous man got his hands on a gun, my mom won't be there to see it.

I'm still grieving -- and I'm not alone. On average, 33 Americans are killed by a gun every single day. That's 33 new families a day who mourn like I do.

If a background check saves even one life, and keeps even one family from hurting like this, then this fight will all be worth it. I think my mom would like to know that the tragedy that fell on Newtown meant that another tragedy could be stopped before it even started.

I'm asking you to join me today, six months after that horrible day, to keep this fight going -- take action for my mom, Dawn, and the 25 other people who we lost in December.

Call your representative now at (202) 224-3121. Then let OFA know how it went:



Erica Lafferty

Margin between Quinn and Madigan closing

In the most recent WE ASK AMERICA poll, the gap between a Quinn and AG Madigan race has been cut in half. Earlier this year, Madigan had a 56-25 lead over Quinn in a poll of 1000+ likely voters. As of this week, the gap has been narrowed to 11 points 44-33 with 22.5 undecided.

What will all this mean?


Thursday, June 13, 2013

FORE! Labor is looking out for us!! Golf Deadline June 17th

We are so pleased to have a wonderful turnout---AGAIN--from Labor but this year we even have some new faces!
It's good to know we have each other's backs and we thank the following unions for supporting our outing this year! Here's our list of Union supporters so far but we look forward to more in the coming week! Please join us on June 24th for our Annual Golf Outing.

* Operating Engineers Local 150
* Chicago Council of Carpenters 
* International Letter Carriers Union 
* West Suburban Teachers Union Local 571
* North Central Illinois Labor Council
* Iron Workers 
* Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers
* Sheet Metal Workers Local 73
* IBEW Local 9
* Northwest Suburban Teachers Union Local 1211
* Chicago Building  and Trades Council
* Sprinkler Fitters Union
*Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Council 1

Just a few days left for RSVP and sign up.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Like to Have a Credit Card that Helps the Planet?

Green America Affinity Card

One PacificCoast Bank has partnered with Green America to launch a Visa Platinum credit card that contributes to a more sustainable economy.* The Green America Visa credit card turns your everyday purchases into acts of environmental and social change. Your purchases support One PacificCoast Bank, an FDIC-insured bank committed to sustainable community development and Green America, a national nonprofit membership organization since 1982.

Green America is a national nonprofit that promotes environmental sustainability and social and economic justice. They mobilize powerful economic strategies for a more just and sustainable society: tackling climate change, building fair trading systems, stopping corporate abuse, and helping people and businesses everywhere become more sustainable.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A greatest obstacle to personal and political change. Online Seminar June 13

Every now and then I share with you some of the material I get from the personal growth arena. Having been intricately involved in politics now for over a decade, I have experienced times where my ego and taking things personally really hurt my ability to communicate a greater message. And, on the flip side, I have watched others, and myself, let their egos get in the way of creating party unity or in the way of seeing what strategies would work best in using our limited resources. I am not suggesting that this free online seminar will eliminate all of that but just that it might give us each a different and broader perspective with which to pursue both our personal and political goals. Attend this event on June 13 if you can (usually there is access to a recording later if you can't but you still have to sign up). 

Amy Rohrer, Executive Director, Democratic Party of DuPage County

Most of us who are trying to change our lives -- or the world -- are trying to evolve and awaken our best selves. Yet we all have something in common -- a big part of us doesn't want to go there with us.

If you've met with this struggle on your spiritual or personal growth journey, you're not alone -- we've all got this resistance. It's often been called the "ego" -- a pervasive part of our human nature left over from the early evolution of our ancient animal past.

It's practically wired into us -- and since it evolved for survival, it's averse to change in a whole host of ways that take our lives and our spiritual growth off course.

Most of the ego's impulses have not only outlived their usefulness -- they're antithetical to the higher flourishing we know is possible. They don't match up with today's world and our highest aspirations.

Most spiritual and psychological experts agree that the ego is the single greatest obstacle to our higher evolution, personally and culturally.

And despite a certain amount of progress, we haven't yet fully evolved beyond this primitive "conditioning" that has eons of momentum behind it.

But a new discovery now makes it possible for us to do just that. And evolutionary pioneer Craig Hamilton will share how in his upcoming free online seminar The Key to Evolving Beyond Ego, taking place this June 13. Please cut and paste if the other links don't work.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Governor Quinn – A Week in Review

Quote to Remember..."Force is the vital principal and immediate parent of despotism."~George Washington
Illinois Governor Quinn Calls Special Session June 19 on Pensions
Due to the second major downgrade of Illinois’ credit rating, Governor Quinn, has called a special session on June 19 to address the state’s pension crisis.
Governor Quinn Statement on Illinois Credit Downgrade
Governor Quinn has issued a statement in response to Moody’s downgrade from A2 to A3.

Governor Quinn -LINK up Illinois Double Value Coupon Program
 Program Makes Nutritious Foods Available to Families Across Illinois
06/08/13 - Governor Quinn Encourages Use of LINK Cards at Illinois Farmers Markets

Governor Quinn Makes Executive Appointments
Fills Key Positions on Transit, Medical, Law Enforcement, and Developmental Disabilities Boards and Commissions.
Governor Quinn Announces Honorary Street Naming for MA Governor Deval Patrick

Governor Quinn Identifies Temporary Emergency Assistance to Roseland Hospital
Independent Financial Experts will Conduct Comprehensive Immediate review
Governor Quinn Signed legislation That Renews Online Horse Betting for Residents
Though the state law allowing the practice expired in late 2012, two companies that took bets from Illinois gamblers kept up the practice until state officials forced them to stop.
I’d like to thank Paul Sjordal for allowing me to use information from his Newsletter. If you would like to contact Paul you can so do at:

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Tell Congress to level the playing field on MLPs


Good news for bi-partisan clean-energy solutions!

Right now, a pair of bills -- one in the House, and one in the Senate -- may be on their way toward correcting a bias written into the tax code that favors fossil-fuel investingover clean-energy investing.

The Master Limited Partnerships (MLP) Parity Acts would end restrictions on clean-energy ventures seeking to organize as MLPs, opening up access to easy, low-cost capital previously reserved only for the fossil-fuel industry.

Tell your reps to support these bills »

"Our bill just allows renewable energy projects to compete fairly," says Sen. Chris Coons (D, DE), sponsor of the Senate bill.  "It gives anequal chance for success for projects using energy from wind and the sun, the heat of the Earth, and biomass; breakthrough technologies for affordable homegrown energy for generations to come."

The "all-of-the-above" philosophy of the bills (which do not alter the MLP availability for fossil fuels) has attracted Republican support in both houses of Congress, increasing the chances of its success.

We hope you'll join us in pushing Congress to do the right thing and level the playing field on renewable energy by opening up MLP advantages previously reserved for fossil fuels.
Thanks for all you do,

Todd Larsen,
Climate Action Program Director
Green America
P.S.  Looking to invest in clean energy now?  Check out our list of fossil-free investing resources at  We've collected fossil-free mutual funds, clean-energy mutual funds, and financial planners with a fossil-free focus all on one page.  Here's to investing in renewables!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

If Obama walked on water, would GOP just say he couldn't swim?

The Presidency...The difference between a Republican and a Democrat
So, take a moment and imagine if a Republican President inherited the worst recession since the Great Depression, and 2 wars, then:
  • Ended the recession less than six months after taking office
  • Cut job losses by more than 50% less than 4 months after being elected
  • Ordered the successful killing of Osama bin Ladin
  • Ended the war in Iraq
  • Saved the American auto industry
  • Presided over record growth in corporate profits
  • Increased domestic oil production to levels not seen since the late-90′s
  • The stock market increased by about 120% from it’s 2009 lows
  • The Dow Jones industrial average shatters previous record highs
  • Ended record job losses less than a year after taking office
  • Unemployment dropped from 10% to 7.6%
  • Created over 6.5 million jobs for 38 consecutive months of job growth
  • Helped aid in the liberation of Libya and the death of dictator Muammar Gaddafi
  • Championed the largest deficit reductions since World War II
  • Created more private sector jobs in 2010 than the combined totals of their predecessor
  • Was given Israel’s highest civilian award, the Medal of Distinction–the first sitting President to receive the award
They would be a hero, a legend, one of the greatest Presidents ever to grace the oval office. Instead, it was a half  black Democrat, therefore he’s a socialist, not a “true American” and the “worst President in history.” Funny how that works, right?
You can