NPA News

The New Progressive Alliance is a 100-percent volunteer, educational organization comprised of ACTIVE ACTIVISTS dedicated to improving the lives of working men and women and their families by positively influencing public policy. We work to awaken Americans to the reality that only through supporting candidates who support our concerns will those concerns be met. Toward that end, we vet and endorse candidates for office who publicly endorse the Unified Platform; participate in official public comment opportunities to regulatory agencies; and sponsor and partake in a host of events designed to raise public consciousness of the extent to which corporations maintain near-total control of the political and policy-making process in this country.

Visit this page often to learn what we're working on - and please, join our effort to put PEOPLE BEFORE PROFITS! 


I. Public Comments:

    The NPA continues to make Public Comments to federal agencies and legislative bodies in the United States and Canada on specific issues to support the Unified Platform  To see all Public Comments  in full we have made since 2012 or see them summarized with our other activities in Annual Reports look here.

  • ALEC is a corporate organization designed to enrich the 1% at the expense of the rest of us. In September 2016 we recently joined with many other organizations in urging Enterprise to withdraw from ALEC.

  • Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell has launched a major review of how the Bureau of Land Management manages coal. This is an excellent opportunity to take into account the true costs of coal on our air, our health, our land, and our climate. In August 2016 the New Progressive Alliance encouraged the BLM to stop all coal mining on public land.

  • In July 2016 the New Progressive Alliance recently joined with the Leap Manifesto in urging Canada to retain and expand their postal service and resist privatization drives. The Leap Manifesto is a coalition of Canadians calling for a restructuring of the Canadian economy and an end to the use of fossil fuels. As in the United States, there has been a call for privatization of the Post Office despite that it has been both efficient and profitable for decades.  The New Progressive Alliance’s Unified Platform emphasizes the importance of public investment in infrastructure.
  • In June 2016 The New Progressive Alliance wrote in a Public Comment the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to urge it to stop plans for off shore drilling for the Gulf and Atlantic Ocean. We included plenty of documentation on the damage that has already happened.
  • In June 2016 the dangers of most of our rail infrastructure being over a century old are illustrated by the 47 people who died in the Quebec explosion of 2013. Since then there have been 12 train explosions so far and about 15 derailments a year, including on the newer supposedly safer CPC-1232 rail cars. Most recently, a crude oil train derailed and caught fire in Mosier, Oregon. The New Progressive Alliance recently urged the Washington state Department of Ecology to adopt increased safety rules to deal with this danger.
  • In June 2016 the New Progressive Alliance with several local environmental agencies oppose Millennium Bulk Terminals plan to build the largest coal terminal in North America in Washington state. The “plan” is to mine coal in Montana, ship the coal to Washington state, load it on ships bound for China, and then burn it in China which raises Greenhouse gas pollution for the whole planet. In addition to spreading pollution half way around the world, there is no good business case for either the mining or the export.

  • There were at one time strict limits on campaign contributions. Now there are no requirements to even disclose such contributions. Many corrupt members of congress are trying to pass legislation preventing the SEC from requiring disclosure. In May 2016 the New Progressive Alliance along with 37 other organizations opposed this corrupt legislation.
  • In April 2016 the New Progressive Alliance wrote the Washington State Utilities and Transportation Commission urging it to retire the Colstrip Coal Generating Station. Retiring Colstrip is the single largest carbon pollution reduction available in the entire Northwest United States.   
  • In April 2016 the New Progressive Alliance urged the Port of Vancouver to terminate the lease between the Port and the Tesoro Savage oil terminal. This would open up the Port to safer and cleaner opportunities than oil-by-rail.
  • In April 2016 the New Progressive Alliance made a Public comment urging the USDA Forest Service USFS to stop Arch Coal from mining Colorado coal. To allow the mining would mean significant widespread pollution, go against the recent Presidential order forbidding coal mining on public lands, and is based on a bad business plan.

  • In April 2016 the New Progressive Alliance urged the Washington state Draft Environmental Impact Statement to be updated to address the following concerns.  The Kalama Natural Gas to Methanol Refinery would use a lot of power which would be reflected in higher electricity rates, increased dangers and pollution from fracking and natural gas, water use and contamination, and is founded on a bad business plan.

  • Since 2012 the New Progressive Alliance has made 100 Public Comments by ourselves or with other organizations in support of the Unified Platform. We believe it is important to spell out specific policy recommendations in addition to giving general guidelines in the Unified Platform and providing documentation in Make Your Case with Weblinks, Books, Radio, Plays, Videos, and the Unified Platform.   This is our 100th Public Comment. One of the ten points of the Unified Platform is Election Reform. We used to have strict limits on campaign contributions. Now not only are there no limits on campaign contributions, even disclosing political contributions is not required by law. This Public Comment is a very small step back to the Unified Platform and away from corruption. As part of “Transparency Week,” Reps. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and John Duncan (R-TN) re-introduced the “Political Intelligence Transparency Act” on March 14, 2016. New Progressive Alliance and nine other organizations endorsed this action with a Public comment. A brief recap: the Political Intelligence Transparency Act was originally a key provision of the 2012 STOCK Act, which was stripped from the bill at the last minute. The STOCK Act created a system of disclosure of stock trading activity by Members and staff of Congress. The political intelligence provision creates a similar disclosure system for Wall Street operatives who tap into congressional sources for stock market trades. It would require “political intelligence consultants” to register under LDA and disclose their clients, income and stock market activity. 
  • The New Progressive Alliance continues to urge President Obama to issue an Executive Order requiring disclosure on political spending for government contractors. We have made this request in February 2015 and  made it again in with 32 supporting organizations in March 2016.

  • The United Nations Division for Public Administration and Development Management announced an open call for written statements for the 15th session of CEPA for NGOs in ECOSOC consultative status. It will be held April 18-22, 2016. As a qualified NGO, the New Progressive Alliance commented in February 2016 to restrict fossil fuels by requiring countries to provide full information as per the requirements of the 2015 United Nations COP 21. The NPA also advocated promoting access to water by restricting privatization funding by the UN World Bank.  The NPA also requested the World Bank cease funding fossil fuel development. The Public Comment may be found in full at http://www.newprogs.org/public_comments_2016

  • In February 2016 the New Progressive Alliance joined Columbia Riverkeeper, the Sierra Club, and Landowners and Citizens for a Safe Community in advocating before the Washington state Department of Ecology for a full, level six clean up of toxic pollution of Reynolds Aluminum smelter and mill on the Columbia River in Longview, WA. The pollution in the ground and water is flouride, cyanide, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and total petroleum hydrocarbons.

  • A small victory: The New Progressive Alliance along with many other organizations made several Public Comments in 2014-2015 to require the SEC make  pay-to-play rulemaking. As part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) was required to write "pay-to-play" regulations for advisers. In February 2016 they did just that. MSRB already has a ban on political contributions to businesses that underwrite securities transactions. The SEC now has a pay-to-play rule for investment advisers hired by state and local governments. The rule aims to stop quid-pro-quo corruption when governments pay outside consultants for advice about how to raise cash in the securities markets. It says a municipal advisory business will face a two-year ban on working for a state or local government client if the business gave contributions to officials of those entities who can influence awarding business. The rule also applies to contributions made to influence a ballot initiative.

  • In September 2015 the New Progressive Alliance and other organizations issued a Public Comment to keep the Congressional budget free of many of the hundreds of proposed ideological policy riders from the majority that threatened to undermine health, safety, the environment, and our financial system. This year the process is starting even earlier so in February 2016 we again issued a Public Comment to the same effect.

  • In January 2016 he New Progressive Alliance along with 13 other organizations recently signed a joint statement supporting AB 700, the California Disclose Act which dramatically increases transparency and disclosure for political ads. This fits well with the Unified Platform on election reform. The new language in AB 700 is taken from the on-ad disclosure portions of the Voters Right to Know Act initiative.  This means the two fit together and AB 700 now requires the type of clear and prominent disclosure on both ballot measure ads AND ads about candidates by outside groups that the California Clean Money Campaign has always advocated. Television and video ads will have to display the names of the top 3 true funders on a solid black background on the bottom third of the screen for a full 5 seconds.  Each name must be displayed on a separate line in a large clear font and using regular capitalization.  No more fine print.  There are similar rules for radio ads, print ads, online ads, and robocalls. Equally important, there are new rules for earmarking and tracking to identify true funders when they try to hide behind shell groups with misleading names. More than 13,500 people contacted their Assemblymember in the four days heading up to the vote and more than 54,000 Californians  signed petitions for AB 700.The AB 700, the California DISCLOSE Act (Gomez-Levine) passed the Assembly to move to the Senate on a bipartisan vote of 60-15. 

  • In January 2016 the New Progressive Alliance in combination with 61 other organizations made a Public Comment to UNESCO, and the governments of Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda in support of moratorium on all oil activities in the wider Virunga, Africa area.
  • In January 2016 the New Progressive Alliance made a Public Comment opposing building the largest oil rail facility in North America because it is not needed, greatly endangers lives, property, and the environment, and because it worsens our position with the recently signed United Nations agreement COP21.
  • In 2015 we broke a record with 29 Public Comments for a total of 90 since the New Progressive Alliance’s founding. Already we have had five for 2016.

    • January 2016 - So You Want to Volunteer for the United Nations – a guide to volunteers who want to help the UN through the NPA.
    • January 2016 - Make Your Case with the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP 21 – Though it certainly does not solve all our problems, the UN agreement is a positive development.
    • January 2016 - Keeping Big Polluters Out of COP21 – Earlier in 2015 we, along with other organizations, objected to the influence fossil fuels had on international treaties.
    • January 2016 - SEC - FASB on materiality – Bottom line is this results in even less disclosure. We need more disclosure, not less!
    • January 2016 - Postmaster General on Postal Banking – This would help the 99% as well as limiting the power of big banks.

 

II. United Nations:

III. Other News:

  • In November 2016 the NPA analyzed  the election: A Hard Look at Where We Are After the 2016 Election   

  • Green Party candidate John Anthony La Pietra   running for the Michigan Statehouse 63rd District has endorsed the Unified  Platform and earned the New Progressive Alliance endorsement.  This is the third time the NPA has proudly endorsed John Anthony La Pietra.   For details and a full list of those who have endorsed the Unified Platform please visit our website here

  • The NPA joined with other organizations to stop dangerous oil trains in nationwide actions July 6 - 12, 2016.
  • In June 2016 the New Progressive Alliance was pleased to welcome Climate Solutions, Power Past Coal, and Stand Up to Oil as allies. All do outstanding environmental work.
  • In April 2016 the New Progressive Alliance is welcomed the Columbia Riverkeeper as an ally. The Columbia Riverkeeper is very active in fighting pollution in Oregon and Washington to keep the Columbia River clean. It is an excellent source of information for opposing polluting projects. All allies are listed here: http://www.newprogs.org/allies  
  • In March 2016 the New Progressive Alliance welcomed three new allies.

    • Yes on I-732 supports a carbon tax in the state of Washington.

     

    • Beyond Extreme Energy  has correctly concluded that based upon an overwhelming amount of scientific evidence most fossil fuels should be kept in the ground.

    Two Public Comments detailing why we support the two above organizations may be found in full at http://www.newprogs.org/public_comments_2016

    Later in March 2016 we welcomed as an ally the Green Party of Southwest Washington state. A full list of all our allies can be found at Allies.

  • In February 2016 Green Party candidate Doug Mann running for Minneapolis School Board has again endorsed the Unified Platform and earned the New Progressive Alliance endorsement.

  • In February 2016 Gary Swing has also been endorsed in Colorado for 2016. For details and a full list of those who have endorsed the Unified Platform please visit here

  • In January 2016 the New Progressive Alliance proudly welcomed as an ally Democracy Awakening 2016. The actions of Democracy Awakening fits well with the Unified Platform point 8 on election reform. Democracy Awakening 2016 is composed of over 100 organizations. “In April 2016 we will come together to demand a democracy that works for all of us – a nation where our votes are not denied and money doesn’t buy access and power. We will converge upon Washington, D.C. for an array of actions, including demonstrations, concerts, teach-ins, direct action trainings, a Rally for Democracy, lobbying for a Congress of Conscience and more.” For a list of all NPA allies click here
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