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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).

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

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  • Friday, November 07, 2008

    Indigenous Democratic Network's Successes on Nov. 4th

    The Indigenous Democratic Network (INDN) is the only grassroots political organization devoted to recruiting and electing Native American candidates and mobilizing the Indian Vote throughout America on behalf of those candidates. INDN's List was officially launched Feb 28, 2005, in Washington DC in conjunction with the National Congress of American Indians Annual Meeting. We are dedicated to making a unified Indian voice heard at the local, state and national levels by helping Indians build and run effective campaign organizations and to win elected offices across America.

    Their Stated Agenda:

    * Economic Justice: Prosperity should be accessible to everyone, not merely the few.

    * Civil Rights: Every individual's civil rights must be protected; discrimination and harassment based on race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or physical and developmental ability should be banned.

    * Health Care: Every individual should have affordable, quality health care.

    * Education: It is essential that we invest in quality public education for all.

    * Environment: We must commit to restoring and protecting our environment.

    * Reproductive Freedom: Women and men - not politicians - deserve the right to make personal decisions about their reproductive health in accordance with their own personal and moral beliefs.

    Yesterday, INDN helped win several key races, and boost the representation of Native Americans in our government.

    Their statement:

    INDN's List made history this year with 23 American Indian candidates from 11 states and 17 tribes won their state and local elections, which we could not have done without your support.

    Denise Juneau (Three Affiliated Tribes), who is the first American Indian woman elected to statewide office in Montana and only the third tribal member ever elected statewide, is the Superintendent of Public Instruction-Elect in Montana, winning 50.68% of the vote, with 99% of precincts reporting. Denise and her staff attended INDN Campaign Camp in 2007, where she was trained on all aspects of campaigning. Throughout the campaign, Juneau faced down anti-Indian rhetoric, and was the first Indian woman to run state wide and face anti-Indian scorn.

    We told you about her opponent dismissing her as a "young Indian," and you responded. Your financial support helped her get out her positive message to the people of Montana, and yesterday, they responded.

    This is not just an historic year for America, but for Indian Country as we elected more tribal members to state and local office than ever before. In 2006, we elected 20 American Indians, and in 2008 we elected 23. Because of our efforts at INDN's List, tribal members are engaged at all levels of government in an unprecedented manner.

    Your help and support made history in Indian Country, and in elected offices across our country.

    In the South Dakota State House, two Campaign Camp alumni, Kevin Killer and Ed Iron Cloud III, won both seats in District 27, gaining Democratic seats there. They both attended INDN Campaign Camp 2007, and they are both enrolled members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe.

    In Pennsylvania, Barbara McIlvaine Smith (Sac & Fox) won after being targeted by Republicans. She won the seat narrowly in 2006, when we first endorsed her, and flipped control of the PA State House to the Democrats. Last night, she was victorious again.

    Todd Gloria (Tlingit-Haida) won his San Diego City Council race at the age of 30, becoming the youngest member on the Council, and giving Democrats a 5-3 advantage.

    With winners in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Montana, Nevada, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Washington and Wyoming, and 23 out of 37 endorsed candidates winning, INDN's List has an impressive 69% total win rate because of you.

    By assisting American Indians with achieving elected office, we are ensuring that issues that affect Indian Country are heard in state legislatures, city halls, and county jails and courthouses across the country.

    It was a bittersweet evening as not all of our candidates were successful. We have tremendous respect for our first time INDN candidates who challenged Republican incumbents but came up short.

    Our hearts are particularly heavy as we lost 2 excellent advocates for Indian Country, with the losses of Representative Scott BigHorse in Oklahoma and Representative Don Barlow in Washington. They will be deeply missed in their state's legislative chambers. Scott and Don have been champions of progressive causes and outstanding role models and leaders for all of Indian Country. Unfortunately, they were attacked and defeated for being just that. If they stand again, INDN's List will proudly stand with them.

    Together, we made history. Together, we helped twenty-three American Indians achieve victory. Together, we will do even more in two years...

    Sincerely,

    Kalyn Free

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