Inaugural Annual Report

People Demanding Action
Inaugural Annual Report Summary

In 2015 People Demanding Action launched a series of campaigns and initiatives to move the progressive movement forward.  PDAction focused on four major PROGRESSIVE MOVEMENT priorities:


PDAction has accomplished the following:

Coalition-Building Activities

  • Coalition Leader/facilitator on several national advocacy campaigns
  • Webinar training series for local activists and regional trainers
  • Mega digital advocacy campaign organizing
  • Assembled access to combined email outreach up to 15 million activists
  • Digital advocacy tools for small organizations
  • Petition Drives - delivered signatures for coalition partners both in Wash, DC and in District.
  • Conference, Events and Summit organizing

National campaigns

  • Trans Pacific Partnership
  • The People’s Budget Campaign
  • Americans Against Air Traffic Privatization
  • Postal Service Grand Alliance – member and outreach consultation
  • Social Security Works: Expand SS, 75th
  • People’s Summit Co-Convener (National Nurse United-led convening of 3000 activists, Jun’16)
  • People’s Convention (Progressive Dems of America alternative progressive Dem convention)

Multi-issue Agenda
PDAction’s overarching agenda priorities are to fight ECONOMIC, ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL inequality

ECONOMIC JUSTICE: Globalization/Privatization

  • TPP: a co-organizer of the Trade Justice Planning Team
    • sponsors weekly webinars opposing the Trans Pacific Partnership
    • 15,000+ people have attended the Sunday Webinars since 2013
    • including Reps. Alan Grayson, Keith Ellison, Mark Pocan, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Naomi Klein, Michael Stumo and Bill McKibben.
  • End Mass Incarceration
  • End War on Drugs; decimalize marijuana
  • Progressive/Sustainable Business Movement Support
    • Chesapeake Sustainable Business Council digital management assistance
    • Inaugural Progressive-Business Conference attendee (led by American Family Voices)

 ENVIRONMENTAL: Climate Justice Advocacy

  • both legislative (inside) and activism (outside)
  • Wrote legislation supporting zero climate emissions.
  • Introduced legislation at the Fed and State level in behalf of coalition partners
  • Trained Capitol Hill/in-District activists to work w/Members to build climate cosponsors 
  • Ensured climate justice goals of the Zero Climate Emissions resolution were included.
  • PDAction Board and other climate justice leaders drafted a Zero Climate Emissions resolution
  • Organized Building an Inclusive Climate Movement to Create Community Power leadership conference in Washington, DC
  • Hosted weekly Webinars opposing the Trans Pacific Partnership and other trade deals linking free trade to climate chaos
  • Provided digital support for the September 2015 Pope Rally for Climate Justice organized by Moral Action on Climate
  • Drafted Zero Climate Emissions resolution introduced by Rep. Raul Grijalva in the U.S. House on December 1st.
  • Organized more than 250 in district and Capitol Hill Congressional visits seeking cosponsors for H Res 540 Zero Climate Emissions Resolutions
  • Worked with The People’s Budget Campaign and People Demanding Action Board members to include basic funding for zero climate emissions in the FY 2017 People’s Budget.
  • Organized mega petition jointly sponsored with Daily Kos to identify 100,000 citizen cosponsors for H Res 540 with 22 participating national organizations. In two weeks gathered more than 210,000 signatures.
  • Delivered 156,000 unique signatures to Rep. Raul Grijalva during livestream of Progressive Round Table on March 16th. The following day Rep. Pelosi became a cosponsor of H Res 540
  • Planning national Town Halls, Congressional visits, educational Webinars around H Res 540 integrating local economic, social and climate initiatives.
  • Developing a resource hub to support local and state activists to support local and Congressional district organizing on TPP, The People's Budget and other PDAction initiatives


Equal Rights Amendment/Women’s Issues
People Demanding Action supports the 3 state strategy for ratification of the ERA; we need three (3) of the 15 unratified states to ratify to complete the Constitutional amendment process. Working with the coalition we direct emailed the Virginia General Assembly where the bill was passed by the full Senate. We continue to add more bipartisan organizations in the 15 unratified states. Partners are adding ratification of the ERA to their legislative priorities. The following states have introduced legislation supporting ratification (Virginia, Illinois, Nevada, North Carolina, Florida and Minnesota).

Medicare for All – single payer health care for all (upcoming)

Voter Suppression/Election Integrity

  • Let Me Vote/Count My Vote – anti voter suppression/election integrity project
    • Partnered with Virginia Alliance Against Mass Incarceration, Virginia State Conference of the NAACP and other Black community/civic organizations to design a consistent, ongoing voter registration process aiming to register more than 150,000 voters (including Returning Citizens) per year

End Mass Incarceration

  • Partner with Every Case Matters - parents of children murdered while in police custody - requesting Government Accountability Office (GAO) study and release results of how many, where to determine is there a pattern and how do we end this
  • Agitator Radio - weekly radio show hosted by Advisory Board Member Robert Dawkins. Robert looks at the advances and struggles in African-American communities throughout the country as they seek solutions to police brutality and accountability, grand jury reform and create of Citizen Oversight Committees
  • End Incarceration of the Mentally Ill - working on drafting legislation requiring people with mental illness diagnosis to receive treatment and not jail. Working with Bureau of Prisons to release all inmates from solitary confinement who have been diagnosed as mentally ill as per President Obama's Executive Order
  • Legalize Cannabis/End the War on Drugs - 13% of African Americans use marijuana; however they account for 80% of marijuana arrests. In some states small amounts of cannabis will elevate the crime from a misdemeanor to a felony potentially resulting in a loss of voting rights.

End Corporate Rule

  • Organized digital and letter drop campaign for Americans Against Air Traffic Privatization to defeat privatization of US Air Traffic Control. The legislation was defeated, Representative sponsoring the legislation nearly lost his primary.


Lobbying/Communication Initiatives:

  • Educate Congress Letter Drops: 300+ average monthly offices visits (in-district & Capital Hill)
  • Daily Kos – strategic partnership (sponsor mega-petitions for PDAction campaigns (WATER Act, Zero Climate Emissions)
  • Issue Teams (moved from PDA)
  • Digital Organizing and Outreach Development
  • Dem List support and outreach
  • PDAction Action Fund (C-3)
    •  establishing C-3 to provide trainings; lead town hall tours with Cong Member allies

 Legislative wins:

  • 32,000 emails stopped 9 bad budget riders from being included in the last budget, stopped Rep. Shuster’s Air Traffic Control Privatization bill; Senate bill contains no privatization language,
  • Prop 49 is now on the California ballot for November,
  • Defeated Internet voting bill in California
  • Helped pass the California DISCLOSE Act in the House; preparing to work on passage in the Senate,
  • Passed the Equal Rights Amendment in the Virginia Senate and introduced in Nevada, Florida, North Carolina, Illinois and Minnesota
  • Gathered 156,000 unique petition signatures in support of Zero Climate Emissions
  • Gathered 96,000 unique petition signatures in support of The People's Budget



 The following are various initiatives developed by PDAction and are in progress and or seeking funding.


  • Progressive Support Project
    •  fee for Service Project to support allies with organizing, lobbying and tech help
    • 3 successful contracts completed (Statehood DC, SSW, Bauman Consulting)
    • Current prospect pipeline is growing (Daily Kos; Dem List; AFL-CIO; Solutions Project) 
  • Leadership Training Webinar Series (internal program; pending alliance with AFL-CIO)
  • Resource HUB – information sharing, coalition building tools and initiatives
  • Digital Organizing/Technology Infrastructure
    We deploy and utilize tools that will empower grassroots activists. We manage Action Network and NationBuilder accounts. Using Phone2Action, we build state-of-the-art petitions and email advocacy with social media integration


The following are sample allies we have worked this past year and those that we are working out potential fee-for-service contracts (all issues and campaigns are approved PDAction priorities)

  • AFL-CIO – on-line leadership training
  • SOCIAL SECURITY WORKS – expand Social Security
  • DAILY KOS – activist list development; grassroots development, media partnership
  • CSBC – communications/outreach support
  • DC STATEHOOD – advocacy/action
  • DEM LIST – Dem Convention calendar and organizing hub
  • MORAL ACTION ON CLIMATE – supported Pope Rally (Sept – 75,000 crowd)/ provided digital support and recruitment for Congressional Forum on Oil is the New Tobacco hosted by Rep. Keith Ellison
  • Democracy Partners
  • DC Table – Capital Region area Rapid Response Initiative


PDAction had the dual challenge of building its own internal organization while simultaneously implementing an ambitious, effective agenda.  This accomplishment is a reflection of outstandingly committed and experienced professional leadership, passionate activist support, strong inside/outside movement relationships, and, access to influential Progressive elected officials and Congress Members.


               Built distinguished and broad Board of Directors and Advisory Council            


  • Created comprehensive Development Plan
  • Recruited volunteer Development Team (researcher, grant writer, fund raiser specialist)
  • Developed Foundation Prospect List (over 150 potential foundations)
    • Now prepared to build foundation submission pipeline
    • First submission will be ready in 2 weeks
    • Will target over 20 foundations in next 4 months (cumulative asks:  approx. $750,000)
  • Membership Campaign Launch
    • 15 Jun – campaign start
    • calls and other outreach by new Fund raiser specialist begins one week after launch
  • Private Funder development: direct asks of past large donors/supporters
  • Individual Membership Campaign launch ($30) July launch
  • Small donor social media fundraising to be implemented in summer

Activist/Contractor Professional Team 

Tom Hocking

IT/Digital Advocacy/Organizer

Former Regional organizer, TPP Call Planning Team

Harriet Heywood

Florida State Organizer
Resource Hub Support

Former Regional organizer, TPP Call Planning Team, Fracking organizer

Mara Cohen

Chicago Organizer, Resource Hub Manager

Former Regional organizer, TPP Chat Host

Rev. Terence Dicks

Georgia State Organizer

Civil Rights Leader, Faith leader, organizer for Social Security, Jobs, Voting Rights

Emilianne Slaydon


Social Media Strategist

Led weekly TPP Twitter storms for 2 years

Valencia Mohammed

DC Advocate, Political Writer, DC Rapid Response Team

Reporter/Writer for local DC African-American newspapers

John Johnson


Nevada state organizer

Event organizer, campaign manager

Marc Levin


DC Grant Writer

Grant and development specialist

Robert Dawkins

North Carolina Organizer

Former Acorn organizer, former Action NC Organizer, Agitator Radio host, founder

Elizabeth Warren


Former Regional Organizer, TPP Call Organizer, Trainer

Eileen Davis

Virginia organizer, General Assembly Lobbyist/ERA

Founder, Lobbyist at Federal and State level for ratification of the ERA

Vivian Fulk

Communication, North Carolina organizer

North Carolina organizer, climate change activist, Pope Rally organizer

Ervin Murfree

Fund Raising Specialist

National Capital Area, development strategy, membership campaign director