April is the ten year anniversary of Blog for Iowa, the original weblog of Democracy for Iowa, a state chapter of Democracy for America (DFA), Howard Dean’s grassroots organization that he formed following his presidential run in 2004. BFIA’s first post, WELCOME TO BLOG FOR IOWA, by Linda Thieman, the original editor, went up on April 2, 2004.
This was pre-Facebook and Twitter when blogs and group list-serves were the online community and action centers of progressive organizing. An entire nation of Deaniacs carried on a 24-7 conversation on the DFA blog. Back in the day, Blog for America and Dailykos were the two best sources of information.
We at Blog for Iowa have been proud to continue Howard Dean’s tradition of people-powered Democracy. We will be celebrating the past decade of grassroots activism throughout the month of April, highlighting the Democracy-saving work of Howard Dean and DFA, and looking forward to another decade of progressive activism.
DFA-10 is gathering stories from members and supporters, and BFIA would also like to invite Iowa Deaniacs to feel free to share any special memories, photos and stories of what the Dean campaign and DFA has meant to you. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
And if you don’t believe us, maybe you’ll believe Elizabeth Warren.
What Howard Dean Did
Elizabeth Warren, a “Dean Dozen” candidate, describes what Democracy for America means to her.
I never expected to run for office. Ask around Washington, and nobody will tell you that the best way to get elected is by spending your career picking a fight with Wall Street.
So when I decided to run against Scott Brown for the Senate seat in Massachusetts, I knew I wanted to run a grassroots campaign powered by people, not by powerful interests. The same sort of campaign that my friend Howard Dean ran in 2004.
But I needed some help getting started. I was so grateful when DFA got behind our campaign early on, not only endorsing me but making me one of their “Dean Dozen” candidates. DFA members across Massachusetts and around the country donated more than $300,000 of their hard-earned money and volunteered hundreds of hours to make sure I could continue our fight for the middle class in the Senate.
The incredible support of DFA members and so many others is the reason I am where I am today — and it’s why I want to take a moment to celebrate DFA’s work after 10 years of amazing activism.
Over the last decade, DFA has played a critical role in getting 802 game-changing progressive candidates elected — including candidates in every single state. I don’t know how many progressive champions will run for office this year or in the years to come, but I know that I want them to have the same kind of hands-on, grassroots support that DFA members have given me.
DFA fought shoulder-to-shoulder with me to defeat Scott Brown in 2012, but that’s not the only way they’ve had my back. Over the past year, they’ve made my fight for the middle class their fight — and they have doubled down on leveling the playing field for working Americans, fighting with energy and passion.
When I introduced my very first bill, the Bank on Students Loan Fairness Act, more than 50,000 DFA members signed a petition supporting it. Together, we fought back against cuts to Social Security, helping President Obama decide to drop “chained CPI” from his budget completely.
And just a few weeks ago, I joined with former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich on a “DFA Live” national conference call. Together, we asked thousands of people gathered at 746 DFA “Inequality for All” Watch Parties to start local petitions to raise the minimum wage in communities across America. DFA members launched more than 500 YouPower petition campaigns in just 24 hours.
Real reform in Washington is tough, and making change is always an uphill battle. But when we fight, we can win. And that’s why we need strong organizations like DFA that will boldly advocate for progressive solutions today while training up young talent to fight for what we believe in tomorrow.
Let’s wish DFA a very “Happy Birthday” together. Please give DFA a $10 birthday gift today — $1 for every year DFA has been changing the country — and say thanks for a ground-breaking decade of activism.
Thanks for helping us build a better future together,
Sen. Elizabeth Warren