PDM Coverage in the Gazette
Mary Carey from the Gazette covers PDM
Northampton writer Fred Clarkson, who is the Northampton representative to the statewide organizing committee, said the idea of organizing the group grew out of a meeting at Robert Reich's house following his unsuccessful bid for governor in 2000.
Clarkson counts himself among "Reich Democrats" who had not been closely involved in Democratic politics for many years until Reich's candidacy, because they felt the party had lost its way. As organizers put it on the group's Web site, www.progressivedems.org, "We are deeply concerned that people have become disconnected from the democratic process and that many of the progressive ideals upon which the Democratic Party was founded have been forgotten."
In Hampshire and lower Franklin counties, Reich's candidacy pulled in hundreds of newly energized activists into caucuses that had previously been relatively sleepy affairs attended by only the most dedicated party members. One of the goals of Progressive Democrats of Massachusetts is to keep these and other newly minted activists, including Howard Dean supporters, involved - not only when an election is imminent, but all year long. Clarkson, who writes about the conservative Christian movement, compares Progressive Democrats of Massachusetts to the Christian Coalition, in that it is a values-oriented group intended to affect the outcome of elections.
I was a disconnected Reich supporter in 2002 -- it's much better now, knowing other supporters.