Northside DFA (Democracy for America) is a grassroots political organization dedicated to electing socially progressive, fiscally responsible, ethically committed Democrats to all levels of government.

NDFA stands with the teachers: CTU Strike supported

On Tuesday, NDFA members voted to support the CTU teachers in their strike. Voting members not present were given 24 hours to vote via email, and as that deadline has now passed, the measure passed overwhelmingly.

We voted to give "voting member credit" to members who either stand on a picket line with teachers, or attend a rally. One action is eligible for credit (we still want you to work on elections!).

We hope the strike ends soon with a fair contract, but we applaud the teachers who have managed to shed light on the Mayor's plans for education, and on the issues facing teachers in CPS as they struggle to educate our children.

presentation on behalf of Brad Schneider to NDFA members at August meeting

On August 14, Ram Villivalam, the political director of Brad Schneider's congressional campaign spoke to a crowded room (about 60 people) at the Lincoln Restaurant.

In an email after the presentation Ram said he wanted to make the following points.

1. There are three huge policy differences between Brad and Congressman Dold
-Brad is 100% for marriage equality while Dold is only in support of civil unions
-Brad will protect our Great Lake, fight Republican attempts to defund the EPA, and stress the urgency to use renewable sources of energy. Brad has been endorsed by the League of Conservation Voters. Congressman Dold has an F from the Sierra Club.
-Brad is the only 100% pro-choice candidate and has been endorsed by NARAL Pro Choice America. Congressman Dold voted to defund Planned Parenthood 6 times.

2. The district is completely different from 2010.

NDFA meeting on September 11: After the convention, time to defeat Republicans

I’ve been on vacation, and didn’t watch one little tiny bit of the Republican convention – other things were way more important. I did read about it on various blogs, which seemed about the appropriate level of engagement for me – unlike the friend of my mother’s, who spent the week yelling at her TV and raising her blood pressure. Got home tonight from watching “No Impact Man” to see a little bit of Mayor Castro’s speech, and all of Michelle Obama’s speech … and am really glad I did, if only to have it pointed out on national TV “Truth matters.” So often forgotten by our national media: yes, truth does matter – it matters inherently, but it also matters when it comes to the policies that are labeled one thing but will deliver the opposite. It matters when candidates lie: and it’s the job of journalists to know when they are lying and call them out on it.

Recap of August meeting: two upcoming social events

At our August monthly meeting, we heard from Wendy Katten from Raise Your Hand, speaking about the importance of parents’ voices in decisions about the CPS, and what RYH has accomplished so far. Next up, Ram Villivalam from Brad Schneider’s campaign spoke about the importance of the race in the 10th Congressional District, and took questions on Schneider’s policy positions. There will be a follow-up blog post on the Schneider campaign this week, so look for that on the NDFA website ( we’d like to start the discussion before next month’s meeting. The last speaker was Carl Wasco, who is running for state representative in the Rockford area, in the 68th district. Next month, we’ll discuss endorsing Schneider and Wasco.

NDFA meeting on August 14: Raise Your Hand, MALDEF, Morrison, Wasco and much more

It’s August, the Olympics are on, the national political scene is full of lies and distortions (mostly from the other side … ), and in the state we watch as the dysfunction that serves us as normal continues with no signs of abating. But there are people out there who are working to counter the negativity, and it’s time to check with a few them who are trying to make a difference.

At our next monthly meeting on Tuesday, August 14, we’ll hear from two working on issues critical to our community and two brave enough to run for the General Assembly:

Wendy Katten, from Raise Your Hand (, will speak about the ongoing contract negotiations between Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union... and the possibility of a strike, as well as the CPS issues RYH has identified as critical.

Photos of Happy People

It looks like you can have alot of fun at a Progressive fundraiser, after all! For more pictures from "Small Change for BIG Change 2012" at Uncommon Ground, visit our Facebook page. And, it's still not to late to donate at Act Blue

This week! Events! plus a thank you

It was great to see so many of you at the fundraiser Monday: a little bit of money goes a long way with us, and we’re grateful for all that you give. To those who donated, gave silent auction items, and spent their valuable time making the event a success: thanks!

At our last meeting we heard from Reps. Greg Harris and Ann Williams, who spoke eloquently about the Legislative session and the state’s budget woes (and the woes of those trying to come up with solutions to the budgetary problems). We also heard from Will Guzzardi, who spoke about the effort to put a referendum for an elected school board on the ballot: Chicago is the only municipality in the state with a school board appointed by the Mayor. Do the millionaires appointed to the school board really understand and serve the needs of Chicago public school students?

Meanwhile, upcoming events to put on your calendar:

Northside DFA meeting on July 10: State Reps Ann Williams and Greg Harris and much much more

I hope everyone is surviving the heat – I’m beginning to feel that the hot temperatures have just gotten to the absurdist levels, where you just can’t believe they’re going on and on …. And yet they do. I can’t go on. I must go on. But politics goes on , as usual, even when it’s nearly too hot to pay attention, and so we’ll meet this month to discuss life in the General Assembly, and talk a little congressional politics as well. Next Tuesday, July 10, is our monthly meeting – we’ll be hearing from State Reps. Ann Williams and Greg Harris, who will discuss the ups and downs of the past legislative year. We’re also hoping that Dr. David Gill will be able to join us: he’s running for Congress in the 13th Congressional District downstate – he’s the first candidate our members were excited to see after the primary.

Get mad and get to work

Well, any sense that we can let the failure of the Wisconsin Recall to wallow in dismay over the seeming-futility of our efforts was really kicked to dust this week by the latest instance of Republican bad behavior: banning female legislators in the Michigan legislature from speaking for two days after they’d dared to use the word “vagina” in speeches defending women’s reproductive health care. Apparently, the word was so offensive to their delicate sensibilities that they had no other recourse, even as they passed an extremely restrictive anti-choice bill, banning all abortions after 20 weeks even if the health of the mother was at risk or was the victim of rape, or if the fetus was extremely impaired (no brain or spine). Why would female representatives have an opinion about such a matter and dare to speak it on the floor?

Mayoral TIF Propaganda

Check out this short film from Mayor Emanuel. It explains nothing about TIFs and later the Mayor takes credit for reforming TIFs, which he hasn't done. Not mentioned is how property tax payers get gouged to make up for the general revenue lost to the Mayor's TIF slush fund. At least only about 900 people have watched it. Mayor's TIF Fantasy

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