At last night’s meeting of the District 26 Democrats, Peggy Toomey Hammann was elected Chair, replacing the retiring Juana Mase. Hammann’s candidacy was actively supported at the meeting by Rev. Gerry Straatemeier, MSW. Straatemeier is an advocate of, and contributor to, the Sonoran Progressives' web site. The SP is headed by Jeff Latas.
Hammann is a relative newcomer to District 26, but not to the Party. She served as the 1st Vice Chair of the Arizona Democratic Party; Vice Chair, Democratic National Committee (Western States Caucus) and 1st Vice Chair of the Coconino County Democratic Party.
In her introductory remarks before the election Hammann announced that she had been urged to run by Lena Saradnik, District 26’s newly elected Democratic House member. Saradnik did not attend the meeting.
Clearly the Progressives are doing what all interest groups within a party try to do…expand their spheres of influence for the sake of changing the party’s direction. Fair enough, and they’re going about it the right way.
So far the only explicit program the Progressives have had (apart from general statements about promoting various aspects of the general welfare) is urging the rapid withdrawal from Iraq.
By the time Arizona Progressive Democrats achieve enough influence to move the sluggish national party beast in their direction on Iraq the issue may be settled. (Not necessarily to anyone’s satisfaction.)
It will be interesting to see what Arizona-oriented action plans they come up with. How about the complete repeal of Arizona's "right to work" laws?
Now that would be progressive.