A Shared Multi-State Progressive Agenda for 2010
Friday, November 13, 2009
PERMALINK: http://www.progressivestates.org/node/24057 
A Shared Multi-State Progressive Agenda for 2010
As we mentioned  in September, Progressive States Network is working on a new core campaign, our Shared Multi-State Agenda, to advance progressive state policies nationwide through strategic support and coordination. Today's Dispatch marks the Shared Multi-State Agenda's official launch and so we'll share what a Shared Multi-State Agenda is, why we think it's essential for the state progressive movement, what individual policies are included in the 2010 Shared Agenda, and how PSN will work with progressive legislators and advocates to carry out this ambitious new work.
The new Shared Multi-State Agenda marks an additional project for PSN meant to complement our existing core issue programs and our timely, concentrated work providing technical support for states implementing recovery plans  and promoting progressive revenue campaigns  to invest for future economic growth, which dovetails with our Smart Growth and Green Jobs  and Broadband and Technology Investments  core issue areas. Other core issue programs we continue to support include our Health Care for All  campaign, which will be working with legislative allies on implementing in the states whatever federal reforms are finally approved. And with workers facing wage stagnation and assaults on their rights, our Wage Standards and Workplace Freedom  project will be supporting policies to strengthen worker voices and power in the workplace. Through our State Immigration Project  campaign, we will support both federal reform of our immigration system and humane integration of new immigrants through state policies. Lastly, our Clean and Fair Elections  project will continue to support needed reforms in our democracy to assure full participation by all Americans.
Why a Shared Multi-State Agenda?
Our current era of tough economic times and budget cuts, now more than ever, requires progressives to project an overarching agenda that reflects our values, from rewarding work to valuing families to increasing democracy. The right-wing has had much success over the years in using such coordinated state legislative campaigns -- from anti-gay marriage bills to anti-tax campaigns -- to establish their national political message. Progressives can and must likewise use coordinated state policy work to project our values and vision to voters during the 2010 legislative sessions.
By adopting a Shared Multi-State Agenda and introducing similar bills in multiple states, we can convert individual state policy fights into national campaigns that capture both media attention and grassroots excitement for those policies across the nation. The power of coordinated action and access to greater resources and support will also strengthen the advancement of key progressive state policies while helping to shape a message that projects progressive values.
In short, instead of being the folks who cut public services less, forward-thinking legislators can, through these policies, answer the important question "What does it mean to be progressive?"
How the 2010 Shared Multi-State Agenda Was Chosen
At our 2009 Legislative Leadership Retreat  held in Detroit this September, legislators and advocate allies came together to discuss and select which policies would be included in the 2010 Shared Multi-State Agenda that they would then work to introduce in states across the country.
The policies were selected based on whether they best met the following criteria:
(1) reflect strong progressive values;
(2) have applicability in multiple states;
(3) have minimal or no budgetary costs;
(4) have significant support among organizational allies who can support the campaigns nationally.
The 2010 Shared Multi-State Agenda
The policies included in the 2010 Shared Multi-State Agenda are:
Legislators or advocates interested in introducing bills in one or more of these issues areas are asked to contact PSN through our web site  or by emailing email@example.com .
For those states that have already enacted or introduced legislation touching on one or more of these policy issue areas, we'd like to work with legislative sponsors and allies to evaluate current laws and/or bills to identify elements of our model legislation that can strengthen those already existing. Legislation already introduced is welcome for inclusion in the Shared Agenda campaign so that its advancement can be supported through our gathered resources and peer support.
If you know of legislators or advocates, national or state-based, working on these issues, please let us know  so we may contact them - we welcome and invite the input of legislators and advocates with experience and expertise in these issue areas.
How Will the Shared Agenda Campaign Work?
PSN has already begun working with legislators and advocates to provide support for them as they introduce model legislation for each of these policies. We'd like to work with many more!
In the coming weeks, PSN will dedicate a Stateside Dispatch to detailing and exploring each of the chosen issues in the Shared Agenda. We will also hold national conference calls for each issue with legislative allies to plan coordinated policy campaigns across the country.
We have also created special web pages for each issue in the Shared Agenda containing model legislation, bill summaries, research and other resources (see example to right). Please check these often as we will be adding additional resources throughout the campaign and especially in the coming weeks.
Our policy staff are also available to answer questions and supply information not on the website. Again, legislators or advocates can contact us about the Shared Agenda or specific issue areas through our website  or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org .
As bills are introduced and sessions begin, PSN will provide ongoing resources and updates on legislation, as well as coordinate strategy and information sharing among sponsors and advocates for each issue area. We are excited about joining with legislative and advocate allies in building these campaigns across the states!
On November 6th, New York State Senator Eric Schneiderman appeared on a segment of MSNBC's Countdown called Stopping Insurance Companies' Dirty Tricks . In this clip, he describes his idea for a bill  to ban insurance companies from dropping a class of coverage as a means to dropping coverage for a particularly expensive customer and his hopes to work with PSN on sharing the bill idea with legislators across the country.
The Stateside Dispatch is written and edited by:
Nathan Newman , Executive Director
Please shoot us an email at email@example.com  if you have feedback, tips, suggestions, criticisms, or nominations for any of our sidebar features.