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Mole's Progressive Democrat

The Progressive Democrat Newsletter grew out of the frustration of the 2004 election. Originally intended for New York City progressives, its readership is now national. For anyone who wants to be alerted by email whenever this newsletter is updated (usually weekly), please send your email address and let me know what state you live in (so I can keep track of my readership).

Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

I am a research biologist in NYC. Married with two kids living in Brooklyn.

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  • Wednesday, June 04, 2008

    PENNSYLVANIA FOCUS: Alternative Energy, Progressive Candidates, Groups and Events

    Here is an alternative energy event coming up:

    Pennsylvania Renewable Energy and Sustainable Living Festival
    Fri., Sat. & Sun. - Sept. 19, 20, & 21, 2008
    at the Kempton Community Center, Kempton, PA

    A three-day festival about renewable energy, natural building construction, sustainable agriculture, land-use planning, forestry and healthy living practices in general. Featuring dynamic speakers, national exhibitors, workshops, hands-on demonstrations, vendors, live music and entertainment, children's activities, food and more.

    For more info go here.
    Vendors go here for more info about reserving a booth (pdf).

    Here are some Progressive candidates running in Pennsylvania who deserve your support (all are endorsed by Progressive Majority):

    Barbara McIlvaine Smith
    Candidate for State Representative - District 156 (Incumbent)
    West Chester, East and West Goshen and two southern precincts in East Bradford

    Barbara McIlvaine Smith is seeking re-election to the 156th Legislative District, Chester County. Barbara is a lifelong resident of Chester County whose family roots date back to 1683. Barbara is an enrolled member of the federally recognized Sac and Fox Nation of Oklahoma. In 2001, she was elected to the West Chester Borough Council and served as the vice president from 2004-2006. Barbara is a member of American Association of University Women; Sierra Club; League of Women Voters; National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; National Organization for Women; and The National Women's Political Caucus. Barbara is the first Democrat in 30 years to hold the 156th legislative seat, and we know she can build on her historic 2006 win.

    Click here to support and learn more about Barbara.

    Tom Quinn
    Candidate for State Representative - District 165 (Challenger)
    The Borough of Morton, almost all of Springfield and 14 of 21 precincts in Marple, 7 of 15 precincts in Radnor

    Tom Quinn is running for the 165th Legislative District, Delaware County. The 165th Legislative District in Delaware County includes the municipalities of Springfield, Morton, and parts of Maple and Radnor. Tom was the Pennsylvania State Education Association Representative for Central Bucks East High School from 1998-2002 and currently teaches at Philadelphia University. Tom currently holds a Democratic Committee seat to which he was elected in 2005, and has been extremely active in the party. A playwright, Tom was commissioned by the Walnut Street Theater to research and write three civil rights-themed plays. Tom is determined to beat a conservative incumbent and help change the General Assembly to a more progressive body.

    Click here to support and learn more about Tom.

    Tony Payton, Jr.
    Candidate for State Representative - District 179 (Incumbent)
    Philadelphia neighborhoods of Frankford, Hunting Park; Parts of Olney, Feltonville and Oxford Circle

    Tony Payton Jr. is running for reelection in the 179th Legislative District, representing Philadelphia County. The 179th District is one of the poorest in the state, and African Americans and Latinos make up a majority population. Since his election to the General Assembly in 2006, Tony has been at the forefront of education reform in Pennsylvania. He introduced legislation to create the Pennsylvania Youth Commission and authored the REACH scholarship initiative. The REACH Scholarship would provide free tuition and fees to students in the State University System who maintain a 3.0 grade point average and a 90 percent attendance record. In 2007, Tony received the Philadelphia Tribune Leadership Award as one of the city's most influential African-Americans. Tony will once again face opposition from the powerful City Democratic Committee, which has been determined to put a party machine-picked person in the seat since the retirement of a long-time incumbent.

    Click here to support and learn more about Tony.

    Babette Josephs
    Candidate for State Representative - District 182 (Incumbent)
    Philadelphia neighborhoods of Center City, Logan Square; Parts of Bellavista and Grays Ferry

    Babette Josephs is seeking re-election to the 182nd Legislative District, Philadelphia County. She is a senior Democratic legislator and serves as the Chair of the House State Government Committee, which will oversee re-districting in 2010. Babette is dedicated to civil liberties and is responsible for a number of laws and pieces of legislation, including hate crimes protection for against crimes based on sexual orientation. Babette authored the law that guarantees confidentiality of HIV records. She also helped pass a law providing for automatic recounts in close state election races, and has been at the forefront fighting against those who seek to limit first amendment rights. Her current efforts are aimed at increasing state funding for public libraries and the arts. Babette is working to secure adequate and permanent funding for public transit, improved access to health care for low income working adults, increase the minimum wage and to end discrimination against gay, lesbian and transgendered individuals in health care, housing, and employment. Babette's primary opponent is a conservative former Republican who changed his party affiliation to run against one of the few progressive women in the Assembly. In 2006, Babette defeated him by 237 votes.

    Kevin Lee
    Candidate for State Representative - District 163 (Challenger)

    Kevin Lee is running for the State House District 163 seat to represent Delaware County. Kevin has been a member of the Lansdowne Borough Council since 2004. In 2005, he authored and spearheaded passage of a resolution to include employees' domestic partners and domestic partners' children in the borough employee insurance plan (a first in Delaware County). Kevin has worked on environmental issues for the borough including leading a movement to reduce the borough's waste disposal amounts by revamping the town's recycling program (recycling has increased by 50% since introduction of single stream recycling). Kevin is a registered nurse and would bring a much needed healthcare perspective to the General Assembly. If elected, according to the Victory Fund, he will be the first openly-gay legislator to serve in the Pennsylvania State Assembly. Kevin is hard working, has an excellent campaign plan and is a formidable challenger.

    Tom Houghton
    Candidate for State Representative - District 13 (Open Seat)
    Atglen, East and West Nottingham, Elk, Franklin

    Tom Houghton is an attorney running for the 13th Legislative District, representing Chester County. Tom was elected to serve on the London Grove Board of Supervisors in 2001 and became chair in 2004. As chair, Tom has lowered property taxes by nearly 9%, preserved farmland, and passed an ordinance to obtain impact fees from developers to fund parkland. He also allowed for the expansion of Yeatman's Mother Earth Organic Mushrooms and Gourmet's Delight, a group that instituted industry best practices and eliminated harmful air byproducts. In 2006, Tom ran against the incumbent, now retiring, and received 47% of the vote. That year, Tom raised $200,000 for the race, which was more than any Democrat had ever raised in the district.

    Click here to support and learn more about Tom.

    Here are some important progressive events in Pennsylvania:

    Critical Mass
    Monthly at 5:30 PM on the fourth Friday
    Where: Dinosaur, Carnegie Library, 4400 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15213
    Description: Critical Mass is a celebration of bicycling as a pollution-free mode of transportation. Critical Mass is not an organization nor it is affiliated with any organization, it's an unorganized coincidence. It's a movement ... of bicycles, in the streets.

    Pittsburgh Green Drinks
    3rd Friday of every month
    Check the website for locations & guest speakers:

    Steel-City Stonewall Democrats Happy Hour
    Monthly at 17:15 on the fourth Tuesday
    Where: Images 965 Liberty Avenue downtown

    Peace Vigil Every Saturday, 10:30 AM
    Intersection of Lincoln Hgwy & Oxford Valley Roads
    Business Route 1 & Oxford Valley Road at the Closed Transmission Station
    Langhorne, PA
    Organized by Lower Bucks for Democracy

    Here are a few Democracy for America groups in Pennsylvania:

    Gettysburg Area DFA Meetup: will be held at the Lutheran Theological Seminary on Seminary Ridge in Gettysburg the first Wednesday of each month. We gather at 6:30 pm to chat and enjoy refreshments. Our meeting begins at 7:00 PM at the Seminary's Valentine Hall, Room 206 -- across from the Seminary Library. There is parking both in front of Valentine Hall (off Springs Ave) and in the Seminary lot next to the Library. Contact Elaine Jones for more information: elainelynchjones_at_gmail.com

    Western PA DFA Monthly Meeting: second Thursday of each month, 6:00 PM, Rudy & Son Restaurant, 1641 Mercer - Grove City Rd

    Philly for Change Meeting: first Wednesday of the month at 7pm. Find out more about the group at www.phillyforchange.com

    Next, here are some Drinking Liberally chapters in Pennsylvania: second Thursday of each month,

    Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
    * Third Thursday of each month, 7:00 pm onward
    * The Orchards Restaurant, 1580 Orchard Dr
    * Ask for the Drinking Liberally group and you'll find us.
    * Hosted by Alice Elia, chambersburg (at) drinkingliberally.org

    Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
    * Second Thursday of each month (next meeting December 13), 6:00 pm onward
    * O'Rorke's Eatery & Spirits, 44 Steinwehr Avenue (second floor)
    * New Location
    * additional parking in National Park Service Visitor Center lot behind restaurant
    * Hosted by Eileen H. Potemra, gettysburg (at) drinkingliberally.org

    Lancaster, Pennsylvania
    * Every Tuesday, 7:30 pm onward
    * Lancaster Brewing Company, 302 N Plum St (corner of Walnut and Plum)
    * Hosted by Jeff Fulmer, Monz Wenner and Cher Rineer, lancaster (at) drinkingliberally.org

    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    Center City
    * Every Tuesday, 6:00-9:00 pm
    * Tangier, 1801 Lombard St (at 18th St)
    * Hosted by Brendan Skwire, philadelphia (at) drinkingliberally.org

    Mount Airy
    * Every Thursday, 6:30-9:00 pm
    * Mermaid Inn, 7673 Germantown Ave
    * Hosted by Adam Zion, mtairy (at) drinkingliberally.org

    Reading, Pennsylvania
    * Second and fourth Thursday of each month, 6pm onward
    * Canal Street Restaurant & Pub, 535 Canal St (a few blocks past RACC along the riverfront)
    * NEW LOCATION!!! Great local beer from Legacy Brewing Co. & a large selection of wines by the glass.
    * NO Thanksgiving meeting, obviously. Enjoy your holiday and all those awkward political conversations with ornery family members!
    * Hosted by Kim Stahler and Dan Sauder, reading (at) drinkingliberally.org

    State College, Pennsylvania
    * First and third Tuesday of each month, 5:30 pm onward
    * Hi-Way Pizza, 428 Westerly Pky
    * Hosted by Nancy Crane, statecollege (at) drinkingliberally.org

    West Chester, Pennsylvania
    * First Thursday of each month, 8:00 pm onward
    * Ryan's Pub, 124 W Gay St (On Gay St. between Church & Darlington)
    * We are still on the once a month format and we have changed the venue to Ryan's. We'll be meeting up on the 2nd floor near the bar.
    * Remember, no need to feed the meters in town after 5pm- save that cash for drinks!
    * Hosted by Jonathan Long, Daniel Tyman and Jamie Manos, westchester (at) drinkingliberally.org

    York, Pennsylvania
    * Fourth Wednesday of each month, 7:00 pm onward
    * The First Capital Dispensing Company, 57 N Pershing Ave (We usually secure a large table or two in the back room.)
    * Hosted by Phyllis Wise, Roland Rode and Craig Thomas, york (at) drinkingliberally.org


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