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Back to basics: Progressive Women's Alliance focused on fundraising

The Progressive Women's Alliance is changing to focus on fundraising.
Underwriting support from:

/courtesy of the Progressive Women's Alliance

/courtesy of the Progressive Women's Alliance

Ten years ago, a group of West Michigan women, interested in politics and distressed by the lack of progressive policies both nationally and state-wide, met to talk about what actions they could take to challenge the status-quo. From this initial, informal meeting, the Progressive Women's Alliance of West Michigan (PWA) was born. PWA is a Political Action Committee (PAC) formed to promote, support and fund progressive candidates and causes. Since its inception, PWA has contributed over $375,000 to PWA endorsed candidates and initiatives.

As its tenth anniversary approaches, PWA leadership is streamlining the organization to better address increasingly challenging times for progressives. Its focus on fundraising will be front and center as the organization moves forward. PWA has committed to an ambitious goal of raising at least $100,000 in 2013 so that it can play a significant role in the 2014 election cycle.

In the 2012 elections, PWA supports 18 candidates from throughout the United States. Of that list, 17 were elected including President Barack Obama; Senator Debbie Stabenow; State Representative Winnie Brinks; Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts; Bridget Mary McCormack, Michigan State Supreme Court; State Representative Gary Peters and others. PWA also opposed state ballot Proposal Five, which failed and endorsed local Proposal Two, which passed.

Compared to super PACs like Karl Robe's American Crossroads, which achieved a success rate of one percent, and the Koch brothers' Americans for Prosperity, PWA's endorsed candidates and causes achieved a 97 percent success rate.

The complete list of PWA's endorsements is included on the organization's website.

The 2014 election cycle will include a gubernatorial race in Michigan as well as a race for US Senator, a position currently held by Carl Levin, who has announced he will not be running for reelection. In Grand Rapids, there will be at least one city commission race and several state legislature seats to protect, including those of Winnie Brinks and Collene Lamonte.

State level issues PWA is watching and hoping to influence in the coming months include: concealed carry in daycare, schools, churches and public meetings; public education funding; women's healthcare coverage; Medicaid expansion and reapportionment in the state's Electoral College votes.

PWA looks forward to the 2014 elections with enthusiasm and determination. As part of their commitment to substantial fund raising efforts over the next year, the members of the PWA steering committee have all made significant financial pledges to the organization.

If you would like more information on the Progessive Women's Alliance of West Michigan, visit their website.


Disclosure: Jane Whittington serves on the steering committee Progressive Women's Alliance.

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