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Americans for Democratic Action
Formation 1947
Headquarters Washington D.C.
Membership 65,000 members
President Richard Parker
Website

Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) is an American political organization advocating liberal policies. ADA works for social and economic justice through lobbying, grassroots organizing, research and supporting progressive candidates.

Contents

History

The group was established by prominent Democratic Party leaders in 1947 in order to combat what those leaders perceived to be an acceptance of, or even an alliance with, American communists. ADA's leaders considered communism (especially as practiced in the Soviet Union) to be both morally wrong and a threat to the United States.

Founding members included:

Over its 60-year history, ADA played a role in many major American movements—civil rights, women's rights, opposition to the Vietnam and Iraq wars—while supporting legislation that resulted from these movements.

Voting Records

ADA is well-known for its rankings of legislators. ADA members identify key policy issues, and ADA tracks how members of Congress vote on these issues. The annual ADA Voting Record gives each member a rating from 0, meaning complete disagreement with ADA policies, to 100, meaning complete agreement with ADA policies. A score of 0 is considered conservative and a score 100 is considered liberal.

Working Families Win

As part of its efforts to promote economic policies that benefit working Americans, ADA created the Working Families Win project in 2004 to organize voters in small towns across the country for fair trade, workers' rights, and universal healthcare. For the 2008 elections, Working Families Win hired 60 organizers in 20 states to build relationships with community leaders and educate voters about how policies in Washington affect their daily lives.

References

  • Clifton Brock, Americans for Democratic Action (Public Affairs Press, 1962)

External links

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Americans for Democratic Action
Formation 1947
Headquarters Washington D.C.
Membership 65,000 members
President Richard Parker
Website

Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) is an American political organization advocating liberal policies. ADA works for social and economic justice through lobbying, grassroots organizing, research and supporting progressive candidates.

Contents

History

The ADA grew out of a predecessor group, the Union for Democratic Action (UDA). The UDA was formed by former members of the Socialist Party of America and Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies as well as labor union leaders, liberal politicians, theologians, and others who were opposed to the pacifism adopted by most left-wing political organizations in the late 1930s and early 1940s.[1][2] It supported a strongly interventionist, internationalist foreign policy and a pro-union, liberal domestic policy. It was strongly anti-communists as well.[2][3] It undertook a major effort to support left-wing Democratic members of Congress in 1946, but this effort was an overwhelming failure.[3][4][5]

James Isaac Loeb (later an ambassador and diplomat in the John F. Kennedy administration), the UDA's executive director, advocated disbanding the UDA and forming a new, more broadly-based, mass-membership organization.[6][7] The ADA was formed on January 4, 1947, and the UDA shuttered.[7][8][4] ADA's leaders considered communism (especially as practiced in the Soviet Union) to be both morally wrong and a threat to the United States.

Founding members included:

Over its 60-year history, ADA played a role in many major American movements—civil rights, women's rights, opposition to the Vietnam and Iraq wars—while supporting legislation that resulted from these movements.[citation needed]

Voting records

ADA is well known for its rankings of legislators. ADA members identify key policy issues, and ADA tracks how members of Congress vote on these issues. The annual ADA Voting Record gives each member a rating from 0, meaning complete disagreement with ADA policies, to 100, meaning complete agreement with ADA policies. A score of 0 is considered conservative and a score 100 is considered liberal.

Working Families Win

As part of its efforts to promote economic policies that benefit working Americans, ADA created the Working Families Win project in 2004 to organize voters in small towns across the country for fair trade, workers' rights, and universal healthcare. For the 2008 elections, Working Families Win hired 60 organizers in 20 states to build relationships with community leaders and educate voters about how policies in Washington affect their daily lives.

Footnotes

  1. ^ Zuckerman, The Wine of Violence: An Anthology on Anti-Semitism, 1947, p. 220; Parmet, The Master of Seventh Avenue: David Dubinsky and the American Labor Movement, 2005, p. 214; Boyle, The UAW and the Heyday of American Liberalism, 1945-1968, 1998, p. 49; Brown, Niebuhr and His Age: Reinhold Niebuhr's Prophetic Role and Legacy, 2002, p. 102; Ceplair, "The Film Industry's Battle Against Left-Wing Influences, From the Russian Revolution to the Blacklist," Film History, 2008, 400-401; Libros, Hard Core Liberals: A Sociological Analysis of the Philadelphia Americans for Democratic Action, 1975, p. 13.
  2. ^ a b Brock, Americans for Democratic Action: Its Role in National Politics, 1962, p. 49.
  3. ^ a b Powers, Not Without Honor: The History of American Anticommunism, 1998, p. 200-201.
  4. ^ a b Davis, The Civil Rights Movement, 2000, p. 27.
  5. ^ Halpern, UAW Politics in the Cold War Era, 1988, p. 138-139.
  6. ^ Beinart, The Good Fight: Why Liberals—and Only Liberals—Can Win the War on Terror and Make America Great Again, 2007, p. 4.
  7. ^ a b Libros, Hard Core Liberals: A Sociological Analysis of the Philadelphia Americans for Democratic Action, 1975, p. 22.
  8. ^ Hambly, "The Liberals, Truman, and the FDR as Symbol and Myth," The Journal of American History, March 1970; Heale, American Anticommunism: Combating the Enemy Within, 1830-1970, 1990, p. 140.

Bibliography

  • Beinart, Peter. The Good Fight: Why Liberals—and Only Liberals—Can Win the War on Terror and Make America Great Again. Carlton, Victoria, Australia: Melbourne University Press, 2007.
  • Boyle, Kevin. The UAW and the Heyday of American Liberalism, 1945-1968. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1998.
  • Brock, Clifton. Americans for Democratic Action: Its Role in National Politics. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1962.
  • Ceplair, Larry. "The Film Industry's Battle Against Left-Wing Influences, From the Russian Revolution to the Blacklist." Film History. 2008: 399-411.
  • Davis, Jack E. The Civil Rights Movement. Malden, Mass.: Blackwell, 2000.
  • Halpern, Martin. UAW Politics in the Cold War Era. Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press, 1988.
  • Hambly, Alonzo L. "The Liberals, Truman, and the FDR as Symbol and Myth." The Journal of American History. 56:4 (March 1970).
  • Heale, M.J. American Anticommunism: Combating the Enemy Within, 1830-1970. Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1990.
  • Libros, Hal. Hard Core Liberals: A Sociological Analysis of the Philadelphia Americans for Democratic Action. Cambridge, Mass.: Schenkman Publishing Co., 1975.
  • Parmet, Robert D. The Master of Seventh Avenue: David Dubinsky and the American Labor Movement. New York: New York University Press, 2005.
  • Powers, Richard Gid. Not Without Honor: The History of American Anticommunism. New Haven, Con..: Yale University Press, 1998.
  • Zuckerman, Nathan. The Wine of Violence: An Anthology on Anti-Semitism. New York, Association Press, 1947.

External links


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