It was ten years ago we launched Democracy for America to build off of the momentum you started with my presidential campaign, and we're still going strong today! As the Daily Kos community has been a big part of our success, I wanted to make sure I shared the birthday message DFA members received today.
"So here is what I propose: our Dean for America will create a new enterprise: Democracy for America... We don't have to be afraid of the special interests anymore, because our special interest is going to be the American people... We have the power. We are going to win... not just by changing Presidents, but by changing America."And we have.
Today, Democracy for America has become everything we imagined it could be and more. We've trained 75,000 candidates, campaign staff and volunteers. We elected more than 800 progressive candidates in all 50 states. Together, our movement has grown to more than 1 million members nationwide.
Whether it's fighting to implement a 50 State Strategy and access to Medicare for All or electing candidates like Barack Obama and Elizabeth Warren, working together, we have played an active, critical role in every election since our founding -- and we're just getting started.
Will you join me in saying "Happy Birthday" to DFA and celebrate our work by contributing $10 on our anniversary -- one dollar for every year DFA has been changing American politics?
We've never been traditional. From the moment DFA was founded in 2004, its momentum was fueled by an amazing grassroots movement of Americans empowered by a presidential campaign unlike any before it. We were stepping into the great unknown, with nothing but our faith in each other and the politics of conviction to drive us forward.
I promised you that we would be committed to the same core principles that drove my presidential campaign. But it wasn't just about standing for core principles; it was that we stood together, as a movement, and we didn't back down.
Your work elected me to head the Democratic Party and develop the 50 State Strategy. Your work created a Democratic wave in 2006 that took back the House and Senate, stopping the Bush/Cheney agenda in its tracks. Your work drove a 50-state presidential primary between two historic candidates that led to the election of Barack Obama. Your work ended the war in Iraq, passed the Affordable Care Act, and led marriage equality to victory in state after state.
No office has been too big or too small for DFA: your work elected proud progressive leaders like Elizabeth Warren to the U.S. Senate, Donna Edwards to the U.S. House of Representatives, and Debra Bowen as California's Secretary of State.
Yet our victories have only just begun.
We have so much more to do together. Join me in saying "Happy Birthday" to DFA and the movement you began by contributing $10 on our 10th anniversary.
Our future begins today. In 2014, we'll beat Mitch McConnell in Kentucky. We'll re-elect progressive champions like Jeff Merkley and Mike Honda. And we'll get Wendy Davis elected as Governor, finally turning Texas blue.
DFA members, who have started more than 500 "Raise the Minimum Wage" campaigns in communities across America, will drive local victories through DFA's YouPower petition platform for progressive change.
In 2016 and beyond, we'll elect another Democrat to the White House, expand Social Security, and create progressive majorities to flip state legislatures from purple to blue nationwide.
Our organization has come a long way in the last 10 years, and we've left quite an impression on American politics in the process. Though today America faces great challenges, from growing income inequality to the Tea Party insurgency to climate change, I have no doubt that we can make America a more progressive country for our children and grandchildren.
Please say "Happy Birthday" to DFA on our 10th anniversary by donating $10 -- and fuel our movement as we begin the fight for the next ten years.
You still have the power and, when we work together, we're unstoppable.
Thank you for everything you do to move America -- and DFA -- forward.
Gov. Howard Dean
Founder, Democracy for America