El Dorado Progressives was formed in November of 2016 as a citizen response to the election of Donald Trump. In an unprecedented election that included foreign interference, race-baiting, science denial, attacks on immigrants, physical assaults on persons exercising their Constitutional rights and worse, a completely unqualified candidate was elected to the highest office of our government, putting in jeopardy the fundamental social, political and economic rights and liberties cherished by all of us as American citizens.
Trump’s election, however, was only a symptom of a political system, our American democracy, seriously in crisis. Money has become the determining factor in much of our political life, affecting who gets to run for office, who gets elected, and what laws and policies are decided or enacted. From the fossil fuel industry’s long history of climate change denial and attempts to thwart efforts like the Paris Climate Accord, to Monsanto’s efforts to bury the science on pesticides and herbicides effects on our environment, to the Koch Brothers enormous sums of money poured into national and local elections and their support of such Rightwing efforts as ALEC, which quite literally “writes our laws” at the behest of corporate interests, to FoxNews and Breitbart’s twisting of facts and the open promotion of “alternative facts” and “fake news”, we are a nation in crisis. Only citizen action can and will turn our floundering ship of state around.
El Dorado Progressives was formed to do just that.
El Dorado Progressives is a non-partisan organization in El Dorado County, California, that is built on the values of generations of progressives: Freedom, Opportunity, Responsibility, and Community/Cooperation. To support and promote these values, we will be active and vocal in our community and at the state and national level. We will hold elected officials at all levels of government accountable for upholding these values, and we will be inclusive of all people regardless of race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation.
- Freedom: We believe that all people should have freedom from undue interference by governments in carrying out their private affairs and personal beliefs. We also believe that all people should have the freedom to lead a fulfilling and secure life supported by the basic foundations of economic security and opportunity.
- Opportunity: We believe that all people should have the opportunity to turn their talents and ambitions into a meaningful life. Opportunity requires that all people have access to the basic items of security: Healthcare, Education, A Decent Job, Labor Rights, and a Secure Retirement.
- Responsibility: If we are to have Freedom and Opportunity, we believe that we have to take personal responsibility, and to be responsible to one another and to the common good. We must improve our own lives through education and hard work, and we can improve the lives of others by putting public interests above the interests of a few, and by understanding that strong families and communities are the foundations of a strong society. A key component of Responsibility is ecological and social sustainability. This requires good stewardship of our land, water, air and natural resources, smart use of energy, and the responsible consumption of goods.
- Community/Cooperation: Community and Cooperation are the foundation of our most important social institutions including families, governments and faith groups. Freedom without Community and Cooperation leads to a divided society that cannot work together to achieve common goals and improve the lives of all. We also fundamentally value human interdependence on a larger scale and accept the importance of looking beyond our own needs to help others and find global solutions to global problems.
- To develop an effective organization here in El Dorado County, California to achieve our mission;
- To have leadership of this group that is inclusive of all people in our group, regardless of race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation;
- To develop and support common goals with individuals and groups in our community with empathy and open-mindedness;
- To promote participation in public life to achieve our mission and promote our values;
- To promote dialog with our local, state and federal government and to hold them accountable for supporting our values;
- To provide support to each other in our work.
This group was founded by Michael Kuuskvere and Sean Frame. We have a steering committee consisting of founders, Facebook moderators and administrators, and subgroup leaders. This group works on these Mission, Values, and Goals, and sets the agenda for general meetings.
The El Dorado Progressives “Mission, Values, and Goals” were developed using excerpts from the “What it means to be a Progressive: A Manifesto” by John Halpin and Ray Teixeira.