People's Action founding convention is next progressive step

This weekend, the founding convention of People's Action -- next door in Washington DC -- represents the forging of state organizations like Progressive Maryland and 50 other groups in 29 states into a refreshed force for resistance and for creation of positive change. Read more about the event and sign up for a call Thursday night (April 20) to answer questions and prepare for Progressive Maryland's major role in the shaping of this effort.

/PM BlogSpace Report/ Progressive Maryland activists are forming up for the upcoming Rise UP Convention next door in Washington, DC. This is an exciting time for our organization and the progressive movement as we form a new national organization--People's Action. 

For those going, or thinking of going, we're having an organizing call this Thursday at 7 p.m. to provide more information about the new organization, the convention agenda, and logistics for Progressive Maryland members. 

Rise Up is the founding convention for People's Action, a national network of organizations just like ours, where we will:

  • Build a Long-Term Agenda that points the way to transformative change
  • Go on the offense at every level – from cities to statehouses to the halls of Congress
  • Commit to stopping the attacks on people of color, immigrants, women, Muslims and LGBTQ people
  • Gather with friends and allies to celebrate what we have won and the movement we are building together


Here are details on the founding convention itself from the national organizers:

After helping build a national resistance movement against the Trump administration, People’s Action is taking the next step, harnessing the energy to move from protest to election victories – capturing governing power in the states and nationally.

More than a thousand activists will gather in Washington D.C. April 23-25 for “Rise Up: From Protest to Power,” the founding convention of People’s Action.

They will develop strategies and tactics, expanding on the political force that People’s Action has become throughout the country. The convention will introduce some of the new leaders who are preparing to run for office in 2017 and beyond, and unveil a bold agenda for moving forward.

“The resistance is alive and well, beating back attacks on health care and more. Now we are electorializing the resistance – taking the energy of marches and town hall takeovers to the ballot box,” said George Goehl, co-director of People’s Action.

People’s Action was formed last summer in a rare merger of five national organizations, each with decades of organizing and activism history, creating one of the largest grassroots people-powered networks in the country.

People’s Action unites a million people across 29 states from 50 organizations, from Maine to Arizona and Washington state to Virginia.  Other partner organizations include the Native Organizers Alliance, Main Street Alliance and Student Action.

“Together we fought for health care and won, then we fought to defend it against the disastrous Trump-Ryan repeal, and we won again,” said LeeAnn Hall, co-director of People’s Action. “State by state, we’ve raised wages, reined in payday lenders, fought for racial and gender justice, and protected our water and air. Now we know, this is just the beginning of what we can accomplish.”

Here are some details of what’s planned for the People’s Action “Rise Up” conference:

  • A thousand activists whose protests gave life to the resistance, planning the next steps.
  • Speakers, including Democratic National Committee Vice-Chair Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.)
  • Activist and commentator Van Jones announcing the pivot from protest to power and the national movement to take back our democracy.
  • Launch of candidate recruitment, training programs and events in key congressional districts to bring more working class people into our political system.
  • “Hometown Rising,” a health care town hall with 750 people from around the country who helped stop the disastrous Trump-Ryan health care repeal bill. They’ll talk about the future of health care and develop a strategy for protecting and expanding access to health care. Speakers from suburban and rural communities will share their stories.

Progressive Maryland’s role, as a close-in affiliate, will be important and our voice is going to be heard loud and clear as progressives create a force for both resistance and positive change in an era when reactionaries have a (feeble) hold on the levers of power. To find out more Thursday night:

Click the link to register for the organizing call and receive the call-in information.

Progressive Maryland activists are also looking for volunteers who are willing to help with workshops on health care, climate justice, decarceration, and immigration as well as assist with visits to congressional offices. If you would like to volunteer, please email Justin Vest with the days you plan to attend and area of interest.