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    Why progressives (and others) should enthusiastically support Hillary Clinton for President

    It makes me angry when people say that voting is a choice of "the lesser of two evils." That's just not true. One party is trying to move our country (and world) forward, while the other is fighting against progress. It's a choice between 95% good and 95% evil. (No one's perfect, and even the Koch Brothers support reducing mass incarceration.)

    Voters have a choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Other people will tell you why we must defeat Trump. But I'm going to tell you why you should proudly, happily, and enthusiastically support Hillary:

    1.  Hillary Clinton may well be the best qualified Presidential candidate in history. Who else has served in the Senate and as Secretary of State after living in the White House for eight years?

    2.  Hillary Clinton has devoted her adult life to helping those in need. She worked for the Children's Defense Fund. She worked to enact and implement the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) which brought health insurance to 6 million children. She led the effort to reform health care in the early 1990s.

    3.  Hillary Clinton has been an advocate for women's rights around the world. She went to China and said that "women's rights are human rights” over the objections of the State Department.

    4.  Hillary Clinton has been a tireless advocate for parity in the treatment of mental health by health insurers. This issue exemplified her understanding that change takes place incrementally and that it takes a commitment of years or even decades to make the progress we need.

    5.  In 1998, Hillary Clinton said that there was a "vast right-wing conspiracy" to bring down Bill Clinton. Conventional wisdom was that she was paranoid and thin-skinned. But time has shown that she was right. Read Blinded by the Right, Killing the Messenger, or any number of other books by former right-wing writers who were paid to make up lies about both Clintons. We can’t reward a campaign of lies and manipulation.

    6.  Hillary Clinton has shown her toughness and good judgment in dealing with the unfair attacks on her. What other candidate has been subjected to so many lies, half-truths, innuendo, sexism, and vitriol? We know Hillary can handle pressure because she has doing it for decades.

    7.  After losing in 2008, Hillary Clinton put aside her personal feelings to become a valuable partner to President Obama. She was an excellent Secretary of State, participated in negotiations that led to the Iran nuclear arms agreement, and developed relationships with foreign leaders unlike any other Presidential candidate in recent memory. She gives respect and support for the accomplishments of the Obama administration and says that she wants to build on those accomplishments.

    8.  Hillary Clinton is an excellent speaker and debater. Listen to her foreign policy speech on June 2nd: the whole speech, not just the sound bites. She held her own in debating President Obama, and many observers said that she was the better debater.

    9.  We need to guard against sexism, even in our own reactions. Trump said that Hillary Clinton was "yelling" and that she had an unpleasant voice. But Trump, Sanders, and other male candidates "yell" far more loudly and intemperately than Hillary ever does. When you listen to her speak, ask how you would react if the same words came from a male voice at the same volume.

    10.  Jill Abramson in the left-wing Guardian says that “Hillary Clinton is fundamentally honest.” Trump and other right-wingers accuse her of being dishonest, but they are basing their claims on the phony scandals the right wing has been peddling for years. No politician (and no person) can be in the public eye so long without saying things that can be pointed to as "flip-flops," but name one important thing Hillary Clinton has been untruthful about.

    11.  Hillary Clinton has apologized for her mistakes. She has said she regrets her vote to authorize President Bush to intervene in Iraq, and she's said she's sorry she didn't handle her email differently. No politician can avoid making mistakes, but a good one learns from her mistakes.

    12.  Hillary Clinton’s election would have the same impact on young women that the election of President Obama had on young black people.

    13.  In endorsing Hillary Clinton for President, the New York Times said:

    Hillary Clinton is the right choice for the Democrats to present a vision for America that is radically different from the one that leading Republican candidates offer — a vision in which middle-class Americans have a real shot at prosperity, women’s rights are enhanced, undocumented immigrants are given a chance at legitimacy, international alliances are nurtured and the country is kept safe. 

    14.  Rolling Stone endorsed her, stating:

    On the question of experience, the ability to enact progressive change, and the issue of who can win the general election and the presidency, the clear and urgent choice is Hillary Clinton.

    15.  Moms Demand Action and Everytown for Gun Safety, the country’s largest gun violence prevention group with more than three million supporters,  endorsed Hillary Clinton for President, saying:

    Hillary is the only candidate who has consistently stood on the side of gun safety. She’s the only candidate has stood with gun violence survivors. And she’s the only candidate who has shown the backbone to stand up to the gun lobby’s extreme “guns everywhere” agenda. 

    18.   In 2011, Secretary Clinton went to Pakistan and demanded greater cooperation to reign in groups responsible for terrorist attacks across the border into Afghanistan, saying that:

    You can't keep snakes in your backyard and expect them only to bite your neighbors. Eventually those snakes are going to turn on whoever has them in the backyard.

    That showed courage in confronting a U.S. ally to change their behavior. (I think this statement also captures what has happened to the Republican Party.)

    16.  Hillary Clinton won the Democratic nomination fair and square, playing by the rules, with no manipulation or underhanded tactics. With or without superdelegates, she has earned the right to be the leader of our party. Progressives must unite to win and to continue the progress we’ve made in the last eight years.

    17.   I'm proud to have helped elect the first African-American President. Let's be proud to have elected the first woman as President.

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  • Recommendations for the March 15, 2016 Primary

    Matt Flamm, Palatine Township Democratic Committeeman, has issued a list of his recommendations for voters living in the Greater Palatine area. "These are my personal recommendations," said Flamm. Greater Palatine Area Democrats (GPAD) has not endorsed candidates, and we welcome supporters of all Democratic candidates.

    Flamm put special emphasis on several local candidates. "Kim Foxx has new ideas about how to transform the criminal justice system. Jacob Meister understands what needs to be done to clean up the office of the Clerk or Circuit Court and to bring it into the 21st Century."

    Flamm also endorsed Hillary Clinton for President. "Secretary Clinton has a broad range of experience. She joined President Obama's cabinet as Secretary of State, a position in which she has helped improve our safety and our reputation around the world. She has withstood a relentless propaganda campaign by the right wing. In doing so, she has proven that she is smart and tough enough to be President."

    Flamm' recommendations can be found by clicking on this link. You can print out a list of endorsements and bring it with you when you vote.

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  • The rising tide of Democratic demographics

    Following is a thought-provoking excerpt from a long article in Rolling Stone:

    By the eve of 2016, evidence of a profound social and cultural revolution begun decades ago became too strong to ignore. The rise of the Internet, changing patterns in immigration, racial and ethnic diversity, family organization and gender roles, as well as declining religious piety, have created an America unimaginable when Clinton and Gingrich squared off 20 years ago. 

    According to data reported by the respected Democratic pollster Stanley B. Greenberg, a majority of U.S. households are now headed by unmarried people; non-religious seculars outnumber Protestants; and two-thirds of women are either the breadwinners or co-breadwinners of their households. Racial minorities now constitute nearly 40 percent of the nation's population. According to one Gallup Poll, 60 percent to 70 percent of Americans consider homosexual relations, out-of-wedlock births and divorce as "morally acceptable."

    Even more striking, according to Greenberg, the electorate has changed as well. In 2012, the combined numbers of minorities, single women, millennials and seculars formed 51 percent of the nation's voters. In 2016, Greenberg's analysis shows, these same groups will form 63 percent of the electorate. As each of these groups supports Hillary Clinton for president by margins of two to one, Greenberg writes, "It is fair to say that the United States has reached an electoral tipping point."

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  • A Successful Fundraiser

    Thanks to everyone who made our October 21st fundraiser a great success. Special thanks to Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, who spoke with many of those present and gave a short, inspirational speech. President Preckwinkle is the type of public servant who makes us proud to be Democrats.

    Thanks to the many elected officials who attended including Cook County Recorder Karen Yarborough, State Senator Laura Murphy, State Representative Elaine Nekritz, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District President Mariyana Spyropoulus, Justice Bernetta Lampkin, Judge Rossana Fernandez. and Judge Fredrick Bates. Thanks also to the many candidates who attended, including Josina Morita and Tom Greenhaw, candidates for Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Board; Jacob Meister, candidate for Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County; Dr. Robert Marshall, candidate for Congress in the 6th Congressional District; and Maureen O'Donoghue Hannon and Pat Heneghan, candidates for Circuit Court Judge.

     We are especially grateful to our sponsors:

    • Platinum Sponsor: Alan Prochaska
    • Gold Sponsors: Painters District Council #14, State Rep. Elaine Nekritz, and State Sen. Laura Murphy.
    • Silver Sponsors:  Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Cook County Recorder Karen Yarbrough, State Sen. Julie Morrison, Patrick J. Heneghan, David Gurion, Laddi Singh, Elizabeth Marcin, Lyn and Frank Huckin, and Friends of Flamm.

     

    We awarded our annual Jim Hightower Community Organizing Award to Northwest Suburbs Organizing for Action (NWSOFA) for its continuing actions to organize local progressives around health care reform, gun violence prevention, immigration reform, diversity, and economic and fiscal issues. Bil Davis, Renee Gladstone, Patrick Watson, and Harold Whyte accepted the award on behalf of NWSOFA.

    If you were meaning to make a contribution but didn't get around to it before the fundraiser, there's still time. You can mail your check to GPAD, P.O. Box 2120, Palatine, IL 60078 or go to www.gpadems.org/fundraiser to contribute online.

    This event will allow us to continue to maintain our year-round office, which is available for use by all Democrats and progressives, and to continue our efforts to identify and reach out to Democrats in the Palatine area.

    Finally, thanks to Susan MacDonald, Beth Marcin, Renee Shapiro, Harold Whyte, and Patrick Watson, who helped make this event go smoothly. An organization is only as good as its volunteers, and we are grateful to have some of the best.

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  • Targeting "Bad Apple" Gun Dealers

    On Saturday, June 6th, volunteers from Northwest Suburbs Organizing for Action (NWSOFA) traveled to Riverdale to join almost 200 people in protesting outside Chuck's Gun Shop. The protest was organized by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Volunteers from Operation PUSH, People for a Safer Society, and other Chicago-area groups joined the protest. A group called Hoosiers Concerned About Gun Violence came all the way from Indianapolis.

    Nearly 20% of the crime guns recovered in Chicago between 2009 and 2013 were originally sold by just four local gun dealers. Shockingly, a single gun dealer – Chuck’s Gun Shop and Pistol Range – was the source of nearly one out of every 12 guns traced to crime in Chicago. Chuck’s is part of the roughly 5 percent of gun dealers around the country that supply about 90 percent of the guns linked to crime. From 2009 to 2013, 1,516 guns recovered in crime in Chicago were traced back to Chuck’s. Nationwide, 2,370 guns recovered in crime were traced back to Chuck’s from 1996 to 2000, the most of any gun dealer in the country. In contrast, more than 85 percent of gun dealers sell no guns used in crime.

    Dan Gross of the Brady Campaign introduced Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rev. Michael Pfleger of St.Sabina's Church. He led the group in peaceful protest just outside the front door of Chuck's Gun Shop.

    The truly memorable speakers, however, were dozens of mothers, fathers, and children of people killed by gun violence. Their quiet, sincere testimonials brought our chants of "Purpose over Pain" as they turned their grief into action.

    Several dozen counterprotestors stood on the property of the gun shop, waiving signs that had obviously been prepared by professionals and shouting insults. What struck me was the pettiness and lack of substance in what they and their signs said: "Chuck's Is Not a Bad Apple," "Guns Don't Kill People, Gangs Do," and the like. They had no argument why Chuck's shouldn't sign the code of conduct that most gun shops have, or why Chuck's should be allowed to continue selling guns to straw purchasers, advising customers how to evade the law, and enabling gun crime in Chicago and elsewhere.

    I had several memorable conversations. One was with a woman whose 19-year old son was shot to death. Another was with an older black man who had been in the Marines. He said that after he returned from combat, he had no desire to own or use a gun.

    Another of our volunteers said:

    Guns have always made me fearful. Protesting outside of a well-known gun shop whose unethical business practices are in question terrified me, however, something inside of me pushed me to go. One activist wore a super hero cape, but the family members of the victims of gun violence were the true heroes of the day. As they shared their stories, embraced the photos of their deceased loved ones, held posters with the autopsy photos of their beloved deceased, and hugged a total stranger like me, they demonstrated what a toll this senseless violence has on the living, as well as the strength they have derived to make something positive occur out of their personal tragedy. I left the rally without fear, but with a new found courage. I was emotionally moved, inspired, and resolved to push on because this movement to make America a country that values life over guns and life over money is alive in all of the family members whose loved ones have lost their lives to senseless gun violence.

    ABC-7 News covered the rally. I thought their story was fair, other than underestimating the number of protestors. Even Sean Hannity of Fox News interviewed Dan Gross and agreed with most of what Gross said.

    The Brady Campaign did an excellent job of organizing and managing the protest. Several buses came from different areas, including St. Sabina's Parish and Evanston. The organizers had red t-shirts for all with the message "Stop Bad Apple Gun Dealers." The message was clear and consistent. The crowd was multi-racial and multi-ethnic. The organizers had volunteers walk, chant, and eventually sit symbolically on the sidewalk outside the gun shop. Despite high emotions on all side, there was no violence or even threat of violence. This was a model of how to organize an effective protest.

    The fact that most gun dealers have signed a code of conduct tells us that common sense and public pressure are winning out over the selfish, irrational shouts of a few gun rights extremists. Every year, more people recognize the need for reasonable regulations. This rally encouraged me to "keep the faith" knowing that we are on the track to victory.

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