11/15/05 Local Leaders Help Launch National Network

Organization Aims to Pass Progressive Policy in the States
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 15, 2005 San Francisco, CA — A number of California’s top political leaders helped set the stage for the new Progressive Legislative Action Network (PLAN) during a reception announcing the organization today in San Francisco. The reception was the first in a series across the country to introduce PLAN to activists across the nation. “PLAN exists because the most powerful special interests in America have been quietly moving their agenda at the state level,” explained David Sirota, Co-Chair of PLAN. “These stealth strategies amount to assaults on the rights of Americans as workers, as consumers, and as citizens. PLAN is being founded to rollback the assault on our rights by these corporate interests.” San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, State Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, State Senator Jackie Speier, State Assemblymember Mark Leno, President and co-founder Wes Boyd and philanthropists Andy and Deborah Rappaport were among the hosts of the reception, which featured Sirota and PLAN Executive Director Joel Barkin. “Unfortunately, the conservative political machine has been extremely effective at advancing its agenda at the state level, where many legislators serve part-time and lack access to the support staff our leaders in Congress have,” Barkin said. “And for too long, progressives have been bringing knives to the gunfights going on in the states. PLAN’s going to change that and turn things around.” The Progressive Legislative Action Network (PLAN) is a state-based organization, the mission of which is to pass progressive legislation in all 50 of America's state legislatures. By providing coordinated research and strategic support to state lawmakers, PLAN works to advance policies that protect individual freedoms and strengthen America's working families. The organization is chaired by two Montana residents: Steve Doherty, former minority leader of that state’s senate, and David Sirota, a writer and former fellow at the Center for American Progress. PLAN was launched in August at a conference in Seattle where Senator Jackie Speier served as Master of Ceremonies.