Co-founded by Robert Borosage, Progressive Majority (PM) is a political networking group with one goal -- to help elect as many "progressive" politicians to state and local offices as possible, and "to lead the way against the anti-worker, anti-family, anti-environmental agenda being pushed by conservatives in power." Toward these ends, PM provides "early seed money for promising progressive candidates running for local and state (non-federal) office"; and it conducts "outreach, recruitment and training to create new classes of top-flight progressive candidates for key state and local races."
Progressive Majority identifies its six chief areas of concern as follows:
Economic Justice: PM supports political candidates who favor "raising the minimum wage to a living wage that can sustain the family of a full-time worker"; "enforcing pay equity for men and women doing equivalent work"; "protecting Social Security and expanding pensions"; and "passing new initiatives to hold corporations accountable."
Civil Rights: PM calls for "ending racial profiling and discriminatory sentencing"; "prohibiting bias and discrimination in employment"; supporting and enforcing affirmative action policies (i.e., racial, ethnic, and gender preferences) in the workplace; and promoting policies that protect the rights of illegal immigrant workers.
Health Care: PM's priorities include "providing comprehensive health care for the uninsured and the underinsured, … [and] ensuring a secure and expanded Medicare program that includes a prescription drug benefit."
Education: PM advocates "reducing class sizes," "updating classrooms," and "guaranteeing pre-school and after-school programs for every child.”
Environment: Proceeding from the axiom that toxic waste dumps are located disproportionately in or near black and minority communities, PM calls for "environmental justice" and for "incentives to preserve our wilderness, protect ecosystems, and curb suburban sprawl."
Reproductive Freedom: A Cosponsoring Organization of the April 25, 2004 "March for Women's Lives" held in Washington, D.C., PM seeks to "identify and support candidates of color who will champion a broad progressive agenda" in behalf of abortion-on-demand.
In 2004, Progressive Majority established a Racial Justice Campaign Fund (RJCF) “to support and elect progressive people of color at the local and state levels.” As of June 2006, PM had established RJCF programs in Colorado, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Wisconsin -- and had supported 100 candidates in those states for legislative office. The organization’s goal is to add five new state programs each election cycle until its influence is felt “in the top 20 battleground states in the nation.”
Gloria Totten, a political activist and organizer, has been PM's Executive Director since May 2001. Before that, she spent five years as the Political Director for the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL).
PM's Advisory Committee members include such notables as Tammy Baldwin, Sherrod Brown, Peter DeFazio, Rosa DeLauro, Jesse L. Jackson, Jr., Jan Schakowsky, Hilda Solis, John Conyers Jr., Lane Evans, Bob Filner, Rep. Barney Frank, Raul Grijalva, Luis Gutierrez, Sheila Jackson Lee, Barbara Lee, Jerrold Nadler, Nancy Pelosi, Pete Stark, Maxine Waters, Henry Waxman, Lynne Woolsey, Eleanor Holmes Norton, John Corzine, and Diane Watson. Many of these individuals are members of the Progressive Caucus.
Some key financial contributors to PM include: the Jesse Jackson Jr. for Congress Committee; Schakowsky for Congress; the Service Employees International Union Political Action Committee; the Friends of the Earth Political Action Committee; the NEA Fund for Children and Public Education; the People for the American Way Voters Alliance; Barbara Lee for Congress; the Barney Frank for Congress Committee; Citizens for Eleanor Holmes Norton; Friends of Rosa DeLauro; Nadler for Congress; the Pete Stark Re-Election Committee; Solis for Congress; Woolsey for Congress; Stephen Bing; and the Sierra Club.