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(Glens Falls DFA coordinator Larry Dudley with Democratic 21st Congressional District candidate Aaron Woolf)

Last weekend, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) sent out an e-mail congratulating progressive activist group Democracy for America (DFA) on its tenth anniversary, giving recognition to our local Glens Falls, New York DFA chapter and the significant role they played eight years ago in helping to her to topple an entrenched Republican incumbent in a gerrymandered district which had contained some of the most conservative precincts throughout the State of New York and the entire Northeast.

"When I heard Democracy for America was turning 10 years old, I couldn't wait to reach out to celebrate with all of you. After all, DFA's story is, in so many ways, my story too.

When I first ran for Congress in 2006, I was trying to do the impossible: to unseat a four-term Republican incumbent in a district that Republicans had owned for all but 4 years since 1913. A local group of amazing Dean-inspired activists won me DFA's endorsement that year, and their hard work on the ground helped send me to the House of Representatives, which set me up to join the Senate in 2009.

Since then, DFA has been a reliable partner of mine on so many important issues. During the battle for health care reform in 2010, when I urged Majority Leader Harry Reid to make a public option a reality, DFA members secured support for the move from 119 House members. And when the Senate looked poised to unfairly jack up student loan rates, Sen. Tammy Baldwin and I worked with DFA to collect 35,423 signatures in support of keeping student loan interest rates low -- a move that helped pressure Congress into keeping the rates from doubling.

I love working with DFA because through the years, they've proven that their members can move Congress on issues that matter. On this milestone anniversary, let's show DFA how much their passionate advocacy has meant to us: Please give DFA a $10 birthday gift today -- one dollar for every year they've fought for progressive change.

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Thank you for being a part of this incredible progressive team,

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand"

The organizing done by the Glens Falls DFA for Gillibrand in 2006 has helped to pave the way for several more Democratic victories in an area that was basically a one-party Republican bastion from the Civil War era on up through the early 2000s.

     

  • Last year, the Glens Falls DFA helped to re-elect Warren County Judge John Hall (D) over a strong, well-funded Republican challenger in a county where enrolled Republicans still outnumber enrolled Democrats by almost 2 to 1.
         
  • In 2012, the Glens Falls DFA played a major role in re-electing outgoing Congressman Bill Owens (D) in the North Country-based 21st Congressional District. (Prior to Owens's special election victory in November of 2009, it had been over 150 years since much of Northern New York State had last sent a Democrat to Congress)
         
  • Because of the grassroots activity by the Glens Falls DFA, state legislative races throughout our region are increasingly becoming contested and competitive. This year, progressive technology businesswoman Carrie Woerner (D), who narrowly lost to an entrenched Republican incumbent, will run again for the now-open 113th Assembly District covering the eastern half of Saratoga County and most of Washington County. In the 49th State Senate District, two progressives, Madelyn Thorne (D) and Patti Southworth (D) are now gearing up for a primary to take on entrenched State Senator Hugh Farley (R) in a district covering the western half of Saratoga County, most of Schenectady County and the eastern Mohawk Valley.

The Glens Falls DFA meets monthly on the first Wednesday of every month at 7:00PM at the Rockhill Bakehouse Cafe in downtown Glens Falls, New York.

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