Winds of Change Blowing With Emergence of Progressive PACs
SAN FRANCISCO - It's being called a "peaceful civil war" - the fight by progressives to protect the social change that is gaining momentum across the country. While political action committees (PACs) have long been considered a tool of the conservative movement and driven by big business, PAC+ (PAC Plus) is one of several building momentum and strength as progressives work to advance the country forward.
Steve Phillips serves as PAC+ chairman. He said his organization is characterized by diversity - unlike its other, more conservative, counterparts.
"This is the direction the country is heading," Phillips asserted. "There is a new, emerging, multi-racial majority that will have political leaders, voices and organizations that advance its march into the future."
PAC+ has a platform based in social justice and progressive politics. PACs are organized groups of people who pool their contributions and collectively support specific candidates, parties or legislation. Phillips said recent peaceful protests in states such as North Carolina and Texas show that public opinion - even in traditionally conservative states - is shifting.
In July more than 2,000 people converged to protest strict abortion laws in Texas. Farther east, North Carolina is another battleground, where the battle plan of groups leading the charge has been to stage peaceful protests every Monday at the state's Capitol. Now, with the legislative session done for the year, "Moral Mondays" are going mobile, with marches planned in cities across North Carolina and around the nation.
Activist Phillips said "Moral Mondays" are indicative of a national trend.
"It's one of those local protests that's reaching a level of national prominence that is both reflective of something significant happening and also can be inspiring to other people around the country," Phillips said.
This year, PAC+ has focused on turning "red" states and regions "blue," supporting candidates who advocate for social justice - such as New Jersey's Cory Booker - and fighting for comprehensive immigration reform. In its first year of existence, PAC+ became the 22nd largest PAC of its kind in the nation and attracted donations from some of the country's top corporate executives.
More information on PAC+ can be found at http://pacplus.org.