Meet Debra Cooper, Blue America's First 2013 Candidate
The Blue America candidate we're introducing today-- 11am at Crooks and Liars-- is someone Digby, John and I have known for years, a colleague and a comrade in arms (metaphorically; she's not into actual arms, except for hugging)-- Debra Cooper. We didn't have to vet her in the conventional sense. We've been working with her for years as an activist and leader in the equality movement-- for women, for immigrants, for gays, for the disabled, for ordinary American working families. Digby, John, Jacquie and I were all struck by one particular quote from the video above:
“I have been asked about my lines in the sand. Actually I have lines in quick drying cement. And those lines are about principles-- progressive and democratic principles. Lines in the sand are for tactics and for strategy. They are moveable and they are erasable. Principles are not. They are firm and they are clear. You use lines in the sand to negotiate. And over the long term, as a progressive, if we want to move the conversation in the right direction, we want to make the lines in the sand the same as our lines in cement.”Sound like your type? Debra's a first-time candidate, running for the New York City Council from the Upper West Side of Manhattan. If you'd like to help us get her elected, please consider a contribution here.
Digby sent out a letter to Blue America members last night:
When the Netroots first appeared in the middle of the last decade, there were a few people who instantly joined up as supporters, benefactors and activists who "got it." But no one got it more clearly than our good friend Debra Cooper, a long time champion of women's rights, New York NARAL board member and Democratic Party activist. From the very beginning Debra understood the power of this new force in American politics and embraced our work and enthusiastically participated in our activities, often to the befuddlement of other experienced organizers who failed to see the potential of our new medium. Debra has been a stalwart supporter of Blue America since its inception and we are thrilled to return the favor by making her our first endorsee of 2013.And let me just leave you with a few words of endorsement from Rep. Carolyn McCarthy for Debra: "I support the candidacy of Debra Cooper for New York City Council. Debra has been a strong voice for women's rights and fair health care for all-- positions that I've long fought for. That's why I believe that she would serve New Yorkers so ably-- and would serve with the determination and drive that she is known for. I hope that she will succeed in her quest to represent New Yorkers on the City Council."
Blue America doesn't normally get involved in local races, but a New York City Council seat is not the usual local race and Debra is not the usual candidate. As she says:
I have been an unabashed progressive my entire life. And I have been around long enough to see that it matters is we move forward as progressives and not react backward. If we aren't pushing forward on our agenda, the right wing is pushing us backward. And it goes from everything from women's reproductive rights to social security to the safety net to the issue of gun control. Those issues all matter. We have to push forward, we have to enlarge the conversation to include our solutions and not just react to their solutions.She is one of us, a stalwart progressive, who has been inspired and motivated by our work and your commitment to throw her hat into the ring and represent our values in elective office.
John, Howie and I are proud to support her and we hope you will too.
And we hope you will stop by Crooks and Liars today at 11am (PT/2pm in NYC) to meet Debra for our first Blue America chat of the year.
Hopefully everyone had a chance to rest up during the holidays and take a breather. But the reactionaries never sleep. As Debra says, if we aren't pushing our agenda, the right wing is pushing us backwards. It's time to start pushing.