- 1 Senate
- 2 Anti NAFTA rally
- 3 Support from communist Rick Nagin
- 4 Column reprinted in communist paper
- 5 Congressional Progressive Caucus
- 6 Communist inspired letter to defund Colombian military
- 7 2006 letter to Condoleezza Rice on Colombia
- 8 Progressive Majority Advisory Committee
- 9 Take Back America Conferences
- 10 America's Future Now Conferences
- 11 DSA support in Senate race
- 12 Peace Action support
- 13 "Trade Act of 2008"
- 14 "Progressive mandate"
- 15 PDA support
- 16 Jobs with Justice
- 17 Endorsed Creamer's book
- 18 Blue Green Alliance
- 19 Health Care for America Now rally
- 20 "Kill the Bill" rally
- 21 Supported by Council for a Livable World
- 22 Council of Canadians connection
- 23 21st Century Democrats support
- 24 Anti "speculator" bill
- 25 BIT briefing
- 26 High IPS rating
- 27 IPS donors
- 28 Cuba trip
- 29 "New Deal" event
- 30 21st-Century Green Industrial Transformation
- 31 Equal Opportunity for All Act
- 32 JStreet endorsement, 2012
- 33 Honduras letter
- 34 OARA endorsement
- 35 SOAR rally
- 36 Soros money
- 37 Secret Meeting/Progressive Agenda
- 38 Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act of 2015
- 39 Voted against Iran sanctions
- 40 The Farm Bill
- 41 The "Jihad" Caucus
- 42 CAIR
- 43 Cleveland Jobs with Justice connection
- 44 Committees
- 45 Staff
- 46 External links
- 47 References
Sherrod Brown is a Democratic member of the United States Senate, representing Ohio. Previously, he was a member of the House from 1993 to 2006, representing Ohio's 13th district. He has served Ohio’s Secretary of State, as a member of the Ohio General Assembly, and has taught in Ohio’s public schools and at The Ohio State University. 
In the early 1990s, Brown taught democracy and government in Poland as that nation was making the transition from communism to democracy.
Brown is just the sixth Ohio Senator in history to serve on the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee where he works to ensure that Ohio receives its fair share of federal resources and investments. He also serves on the Senate Banking Committee, where he played an instrumental role in passing the historic Wall Street reform law, and is Chairman of its Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection Subcommittee. From his position on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, Brown is a staunch supporter of providing comprehensive benefits and body armor to our nation’s service members, even as an early and outspoken opponent of the Iraq War.
Brown is also the first Ohio Senator in 40 years to serve on the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee, where he has been instrumental in strengthening the farm safety net and addressing childhood hunger.
Described as “Congress’ leading proponent of American manufacturing,” Brown is working with the Obama Administration on the creation of a national manufacturing policy that would invest in manufacturing innovation, strengthen our component supply chain, connect workers with emerging industries, and align our trade policies to promote our national interests.
And as a long-time advocate for fair trade, Senator Brown is working on trade policies that promote our workers and manufacturers while creating jobs and expanding markets for businesses through an aggressive export promotion strategy.
Anti NAFTA rally
In November 1993 Jobs with Justice and Cleveland Women Against NAFTA organized an anti NAFTA rally in the Sheet Metal Workers Local 13 Hall in Cleveland. Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur gave a "ringing indictment" of NAFTA, and called for intense last minute lobbying to ensure its defeat. "Keep the pressure on" she said "we can win this one".
Reps Sherrod Brown and Eric Fingerhut were also present, and added their voices for the defeat of NAFTA.
Support from communist Rick Nagin
In 1990, the office of Ohio Secretary of State Sherrod Brown gave a certificate of recognition to Rick Nagin, chairman of the Ohio Communist Party USA. Nagin collected the award in Columbus for registering more than 2,000 voters during his losing campaign for Cleveland City Council
Rick Nagin, speaking to a meeting June 25 of the Communist Party USA’s national committee, in New York, said the labor movement and other progressive forces are using a ballot referendum to raise Ohio’s minimum wage to reach out to voters in rural and southern Ohio, a bastion of the Republican Party. The referendum could prove decisive in Rep. Sherrod Brown’s drive to oust Republican Sen. Michael DeWine, Nagin said.
Column reprinted in communist paper
Sherrod Brown wrote a commentary on medicare privatization for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Dec. 11, 2003. It was reprinted by permission of the author, in the Communist Party USA's People's World of December 19, 2003.
Congressional Progressive Caucus
Communist inspired letter to defund Colombian military
Sam Farr had been a Peace Corps volunteer in Colombia, and was contacted by the communist dominated Colombia Support Network in 1997. Efforts by Colombia Support Network were instrumental in getting a letter sent to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, with the 19 other members signing on. The January 30, 1998 letter called for the continued suspension of funding to the Colombian military then engaged in a bloody civil war against communist guerillas.
- Dear Secretary Albright :
- We are writing to express our concern with the worsening human rights situation in Colombia and urge you to take steps to address this matter.
- News reports and first-hand accounts indicate that violence in Colombia is escalating, particularly in the country's northern most regions and the southern coca growing regions. Many different groups and individuals have been implicated in the violence, but an increasing number of human rights abuses are being instigated by paramilitary groups --armed civilians who torture, evict, kidnap and murder Colombian civilians.
- There is also evidence of links between paramilitaries and local drug lords, who rely on paramilitary groups to undertake violent activities on their behalf. The Peasant Self-Defense Group of Cordoba and Uraba, a paramilitary group lead by Carlos Castano, is considered one of the most powerful paramilitary groups in Colombia. Reports indicate that last yeqar Castano's group killed hundreds, if not more than a thousand, peasants it accused of helping rebels.
- As concerned Members of Congress, we urge you to place the issue of human rights and the problem of paramilitary groups in the forefront of your priority list in your dealings with Colombia. We understand that aid to the Colombian army is currently on hold because of human rights concerns and urge you to continue to withhold funding.
Signatories were;Sam Farr, John Porter, Ron Dellums, David Bonior, Marty Meehan, Marcy Kaptur, Scott Klug, James McGovern, Elizabeth Furse, Jim Oberstar, Peter DeFazio, Maurice Hinchey, Gerald Kleczka,John Conyers, Pete Stark, Robert Wexler, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Lane Evans, David Price, Sherrod Brown, 
2006 letter to Condoleezza Rice on Colombia
Alleged Colombian Army killings prompted Fellowship of Reconciliation to work with Representative Sam Farr to forge a response that would impact the 17th Brigade, the unit allegedly responsible for the violence against San José de Apartadó and communities throughout northwestern Colombia.
- Letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
- (Deadline for Congressional representatives to sign: February 22)
- We applaud the decision, noted in your certification letter of August 2005, that the US "will not consider providing assistance to the 17th Brigade until all significant human rights allegations involving the unit have been credibly addressed." Because the Brigade is a component of the Colombian Armed Forces' command structure and has been implicated in the above referenced human rights violations, we implore you to abide by both the letter of the law and the spirit of the law by withholding human rights certification for Colombia until the following conditions are met:
Signatories included Sherrod Brown.
Progressive Majority Advisory Committee
Take Back America Conferences
Sherrod Brown was on the list of 153 speakers at the 2006 Take Back America conference, which was organized by the Institute for Policy Studies, and Democratic Socialists of America dominated Campaign for America's Future.
He was back in 2007.
America's Future Now Conferences
Sherrod Brown was on the list of speakers at the 2009 America's Future Now conference, which was organized by the Institute for Policy Studies, and Democratic Socialists of America dominated Campaign for America's Future.
DSA support in Senate race
- Former Representative, now Senator Sherrod Brown is the most visible symbol of this change...A longtime critic of “free trade” agreements, frequently characterized as far left and out ofthe mainstream, Brown handily defeated the relatively moderate but free-trade proponent Mike DeWine.
- Trade was also an issue in the narrow loss of Mary Jo Kilroy to Deborah Pryce. Local DSAers worked in both the Brown and Kilroy campaigns.
Peace Action support
- Peace Action endorses and contributes directly to worthy candidates, sometimes with cash contributions through Peace Action PAC, more often by hiring experienced organizers to work on candidates’ campaigns in order to mobilize the peace constituency. We are the only peace organization in the peace movement that utilizes both of these political strategies, especially at the grassroots level.
- We can help change the direction of our country next year by electing more progressives who reflect Peace Action’s values. The first steps toward developing real change in this country begins by electing candidates who believe real security comes through international cooperation, the abolition of nuclear weapons and the transfer of Pentagon bloat to government programs for human needs. Once elected, they’ll have the political power to throw off the yoke of the radical right
"Trade Act of 2008"
The "Trade Act of 2008" (HR 6180) was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representative Mike Michaud of Maine in early June.
It has gathered 63 cosponsors, including Illinois Representatives Danny Davis, Phil Hare, Jesse Jackson, Jr., Daniel Lipinski, Jan Schakowsky. In the Senate, the legislation (S 3083) was introduced by Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio and gathered 4 cosponsors.
Ohio Conference on Fair Trade support
In June 2008, the Ohio Conference on Fair Trade commended Sen. Sherrod Brown and five members of Ohio's congressional delegation for co-sponsoring the groundbreaking Trade Reform, Accountability, Development and Employment (TRADE) Act, introduced by Sen. Brown and Rep. Mike Michaud yesterday in Washington D.C.
Representatives Marcy Kaptur, Dennis Kucinich, Tim Ryan, Betty Sutton and Charlie Wilson were among over fifty original House and Senate co-sponsors joining labor, environmental, family farm and faith groups in support of new consensus legislation which offers a positive vision for future U.S. trade policy.
"Fair and level global trade is long overdue and Ohio's workers and communities have paid a steep price," says Tim Burga, Ohio AFL-CIO Chief of Staff and OCFT member. The state's labor federation, representing over one million workers, praised Senator Brown's initiative. "Sen. Brown has taken the reins to address the economic meltdown that turning over our foreign trade rights to corporate profiteers has caused."
"This bill breaks new ground on the enforcement of labor rights, environmental protection, food and product safety, procurement, safeguards against surges of imports, trade remedies against unfair trade practices and the ability for countries to regulate foreign investment," said Bruce Raynor, President of UNITE HERE.
Ben Burkett, President of the National Family Farm Coalition added: "(The TRADE Act) is clear that fair trade begins with farmers being able to earn fair prices reflecting cost of production, fair treatment of farm labor, and limitations against unfair dumping practices.
The TRADE Act also triggers a review of all existing trade agreements, and provides a process to renegotiate them. "Long overdue, this comprehensive approach allows us to reassess the failed trade model that has damaged workers and the environment, and jeopardized food security and public health," says OCFT President Simone Morgen, representing Columbus Jobs with Justice. "We have the opportunity for a new beginning that can spread the benefits of fair trade to the widest possible number of people. This is change we can really believe in!"
Twenty-six out of the 29 Democratic candidates who won seats previously held by Republicans in the House and Senate championed bold progressive economic positions, according to a new report released today by the Campaign for America's Future. The report shows that these progressive candidates’ victories represent a swing to the left of 34 votes in the House and 10 in the Senate, reflecting a clear mandate for progressive change.
Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md., newly elected Rep.-Elect Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, and AFL-CIO political director Karen Ackerman joined Campaign for America's Future co-director Robert Borosage on a conference call with reporters November 4, 2008, to discuss the report’s findings.
“This was not simply a change election. It was a sea-change election that marks the end of the conservative era that has dominated our politics over the past three decades.” said Borosage. “Democrats won because they campaigned as progressives, not as moderates or conservatives. On core economic issues, voters gave these legislators a mandate for reform.”
Sen. Brown said candidates that won last night were unified around a common set of bold progressive themes.
“This election ushered in the next progressive era for our nation,” said Sen. Brown. “From health care to trade to education, progressive values will now be the priority in Washington. It’s time to get to work.”.
Tim Carpenter claimed that Progressive Democrats of America had chalked up several achievements in its short life, successfully promoting initiatives by PDA board members John Conyers and James McGovern.
- PDA was the driving force in the passage of resolutions opposing the war in Iraq by eight state Democratic Party meetings. The organization also was instrumental in the passage of resolutions in 10 states calling for the impeachment of President Bush.
- PDA is often referred to by Congressional Progressive Caucus Executive Director Bill Goold as the CPC’s field operation, because PDA has built relationships with members of Congress by delivering grassroots support for their initiatives – from Rep. John Conyers’ investigation of the 2004 Ohio voting fraud to Rep. Jim McGovern’s bill to cut off funding for the war in Iraq, a current priority effort.
The organization worked hard for Marcy Winograd against Jane Harman and for other "progressive " Democrats including Donna Edwards, Christine Cegelis, Jerry McNerney, Tony Trupiano, John Hall, Jeff Latas, Gabby Giffords and Herb Paine.
In the United States Senate primary races PDA unsuccessfully backed Jonathan Tasini against Hillary Clinton in New York, In Ohio, PDA backed successful candidate Sherrod Brown. In Connecticut, PDA campaigned to replace pro Iraq War Senator Joe Lieberman with Ned Lamont.
Jobs with Justice
On April 21, 2009, Heidi Hartmann spoke alongside Steve Husson, Arlene Holt-Baker, Barbara Ehrenreich, Ai-Jen Poo, Kim Gandy, Johanna Moon, Sherrod Brown at the DC Lobby Day for members of the Workers Rights Board of Jobs with Justice - Employee Free Choice Act.
Endorsed Creamer's book
Senator Sherrod Brown endorsed Robert Creamer's 2009 book "Listen to Your Mother: Stand Up Straight - How Progressive Can Win".
- If Progressives are ready to move beyond the “Age of W” into a winning era, they can start with Stand Up Straight. This is more than a call to arms. This is a battle plan from one of the best campaign minds in America. Bob Creamer takes his readers from values to votes with practical tactics and insight gathered over decades of experience. This book is for players…spectators need not apply.
If every activist in America read Listen to Your Mother: Stand Up Straight, we could change our country. This book will help bring on the New Progressive Era. It's that good.
Blue Green Alliance
The Blue Green Alliance sponsors the annual Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference. The 2009 conference was held from Feb. 4-6, 2009.
Conference speakers included:
- Lisa P. Jackson, Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, Ohio
- U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota
- U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Michigan
- Governor Martin O'Malley, Maryland
- Governor Kathleen Sebelius, Kansas
- Congressman Keith Ellison, Fifth District, Minnesota
- Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director, United Nations Under-Secretary General
- Cathy Zoi, CEO, Alliance for Climate Protection
- Richard Trumka, Secretary-Treasurer, AFL-CIO
- Leo W. Gerard, International President, United Steelworkers
- Larry Cohen, President, Communications Workers of America
- Van Jones, Founding President, Green For All
Health Care for America Now rally
Repeatedly chanting “Yes, We Can,” some 600 labor, retiree and community activists loudly voiced determination to win health care reform this year at a rally April 17, in Cleveland Heights sponsored by Health Care for America Now.
The crowd filling the sanctuary of Forest Hills Presbyterian Church cheered Sen. Sherrod Brown as he outlined plans for a “public option” in legislation expected to be introduced soon in Congress. Brown is seen as the lead Senator in the fight in Congress for health care reform.
“I would love to see a single payer system,” Brown said, referring to a national health care program without private insurance companies, “but that is not possible right now.” What is possible, he said, is a public option that, in effect, regulates the insurance companies and that “will keep the private plans a lot more honest.”
This is possible, Brown said, because “the days when the drug companies and insurance companies write health care legislation are over. The conservative era is over. We now have the opportunity for a national health care reform.”
The U.S., Brown said, has entered a “new progressive era” similar to the New Deal of the 1930’s and the Great Society of the 1960’s. “The government is on the side of middle class people,” he said, and high on the agenda is an overhaul of the failed health care system.
"Kill the Bill" rally
In Mid March 2011, at the bandstand in Tappan Square, over 100 members of Oberlin College and the Lorain County community gathered outside in the rain to rally against Senate Bill 5, which would "eliminate all of Ohio public employees’ right to collectively bargain for adequate benefits, fair wages and safe working conditions" . Governor John Kasich and Republicans in the Ohio House and Senate had introduced the bill.
Beginning at 5 p.m. and moderated by Professor of Politics and East Asian Studies Marc Blecher, the rally featured speakers from the College and the Lorain County community, including statements by Senator Sherrod Brown and Lorain County Representative Marcy Kaptur.
“This is a bigger issue than just unions versus governors — it’s a fight for the middle class and a way of life,” Senator Sherrod Brown said in a statement read by Beth Thames, Brown’s deputy state director. “You can blame bad trade deals, irresponsible fiscal policies for Ohio’s financial crisis, but you can not blame public workers for the mess we’re in.”
Other speakers included Oberlin College faculty member Chris Howell, Executive Board of the Oberlin Ohio Education Association member Janet Garrett, Sub-District Director Pat Gallagher of the United Steelworkers of America, Vice President Ron Rimbert of the Oberlin NAACP, President Angie Martinez of United Auto Workers, Reverend Steve Hammond of Peace Community Church in Oberlin, and Bruce Bostick of the United Steelworkers of America Retirees organization.
Supported by Council for a Livable World
The Council for a Livable World, founded in 1962 by long-time socialist activist and alleged Soviet agent, Leo Szilard, is a non-profit advocacy organization that seeks to "reduce the danger of nuclear weapons and increase national security", primarily through supporting progressive, congressional candidates who support their policies. The Council supported Sherrod Brown in his successful Senate run as candidate for Ohio. He has also been previously supported by the Council.
2012 CLW Senate victories
2012 CLW Senate Victories were;Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Bob Casey (D-PA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Angus King (I-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Chris Murphy (D-CT) Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jon Tester (D-MT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).
The Council wrote, when endorsing Brown in 2012;
- An unabashed progressive, he is one of the most articulate and respected spokespeople for progressive causes in the United States, especially on universal health care, labor, reproductive rights, responsible gun ownership and gay marriage.
- Totally committed to nuclear arms control and responsible national security policies, Brown has the voting record to match. On the two most recent Council for a Livable World Nuclear Arms Race Voting Records, he achieved a perfect 100%.
- "The New START treaty makes us safer, reduces the number of nuclear weapons our grandchildren will have to pay for, and will maintain America’s strong military and global leadership in non-proliferation."
- Brown was a strong proponent this past December of the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty, helping to beat back amendments designed to undermine the treaty.
- A political activist since high school, he was inspired by his mother, a native of Georgia who was an early supporter of the civil rights movement. At Yale, he split his time between Russian studies and campaign work for liberal candidates.
- In the Senate, Brown has been a strong advocate for passage of New START nuclear reductions treaty. He stated:
- "The New START treaty makes us safer, reduces the number of nuclear weapons our grandchildren will have to pay for, and will maintain America’s strong military and global leadership in non-proliferation. Because of bipartisan involvement, we passed a stronger treaty that will allow for a 21st-century approach to missile defense and prevention of nuclear proliferation."
Council of Canadians connection
In late June 2011, Stuart Trew, Trade campaigner for the radical Council of Canadians spent two days in Washington, D.C. for meetings with U.S. allies and other organizations on the Beyond the Border perimeter deal. He was there with John Foster representing Common Frontiers. Together they met with the Institute for Policy Studies, Center for Economic Policy Research, Hudson Institute, AFL-CIO, a staffer in Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur’s office, Friends of the Earth (U.S.), the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, and the Global Trade Watch team at Public Citizen. Separately, John Foster met with the Can-Am Business Council, Canadian embassy staff and a staffer in Senator Sherrod Brown’s office. Trew met with the American Civil Liberties Union and Privacy International - U.S.
21st Century Democrats support
21st Century Democrats is a Political Action Committee that has stood for Progressive causes for over 20 years. Founded in 1986 by Institute for Policy Studies affiliate, Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, Democratic Socialists of America affiliates, former Texas Agriculture Secretary Jim Hightower, and former Illinois Congressman Lane Evans. Its three main goals are to help elect progressive candidates, train young people about grassroots organizing, and lastly, to continue to support our elected officials after Election Day "through our comprehensive progressive network".
Carol Moseley Braun, a former US Senator from Illinois, and long time Communist Party USA affiliate, serves on the organization's Advisory Board. Long time Board chair was Democratic Socialists of America member Jim Scheibel, a former Mayor of Saint Paul, Minnesota.
The mission of 21st Century Democrats is to build a "farm team" of progressive populists who will be the future leaders of the Democratic Party.
- In each election cycle, we endorse a diverse array of candidates who exemplify our values and show unusual promise to advance our progressive goals. We invest in some of the most competitive races as well as in some of the most challenging – those in which the candidates are outstanding but the traditional Democratic supporters are most reticent. We back candidates in primaries as well as general election races, and we focus the bulk of our resources on electing challengers and protecting vulnerable incumbents.
Sherrod Brown was one of 12 key progressives endorsed by 21st Century Democrats in the 2012 election cycle.
- A longtime ally, 21st Century Democrats provided Brown active support in his Senate election in 2006. One of our first endorsees, we first helped this true progressive win his House seat in 1992.
Anti "speculator" bill
in April 2012 Ben Cardin joined a group of his Senate colleagues in sponsoring a bill, S. 2222, which "will give federal regulators immediate authority to invoke emergency powers to rein in speculators who are responsible for rapidly rising gasoline prices".
- There is broad agreement among energy experts and economists that speculators are one of the causes for the rapidly rising price of gas. Domestic oil production has risen to its highest level in a decade, oil supplies are greater today than they were three years ago and demand for oil in the United States is lower today than it was in 1997. Yet gas prices continue to soar.
- There is something wrong with this equation. There is no logical reason why gas prices should continue to rise if oil supplies are up and demand is down.
- The American Trucking Association, Delta Airlines, the Petroleum Marketers Association of America, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, and other experts all say excessive oil speculation in the futures markets significantly increases crude oil and gasoline prices. A Feb. 27, 2012 article in Forbes Magazine cited a recent report by the investment bank Goldman Sachs pointing out that excessive oil speculation adds 56 cents to the price of a gallon of gas.
This "speculators" bill would set a 14-day deadline for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to take emergency steps to stop excessive speculation by Wall Street traders in the crude oil, gasoline and other energy futures markets. Also co-sponsoring the measure were: U.S. Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Al Franken (D-MN), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Bill Nelson (D-FL).
In 2009, critics of U.S. trade policy, who had already helped to stall three pending trade deals, were taking aim at a lower-profile piece of the trade regime -- bilateral investment treaties.
The treaties, which are distinct from trade deals, are designed to protect American companies' investor rights in countries where the United States does not already have a commercial relationship. The agreements also guard the rights of companies in those countries when they invest in the United States.
Negotiated by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and the State Department, the treaties are a key element of U.S. trade relationships abroad and are important to American corporations doing business overseas.
But they generally receive less attention -- and less legislative scrutiny -- than free-trade agreements. Trade pacts require approval by both the House and the Senate, but the bilateral investment treaties, known as BITs, require only Senate ratification.
Labor and environmental advocates -- who argue that U.S. efforts to open markets have sent jobs overseas, reduced worker rights and circumvented environmental standards -- were trying to draw greater attention to the treaties on the Senate side.
"Obviously, this is part of a larger debate," Sarah Anderson, director of the global economy project at the Institute for Policy Studies, said at a December, Washington DC briefing on BITs.
The briefing was sponsored by Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, a labor ally who is one of the Senate's staunchest opponents of recent trade agreements. Groups including the AFL-CIO, Sierra Club, United Steelworkers of America, Center for International Environmental Law, Earthjustice, Global Development and Environment Institute, Tufts University, Institute for Policy Studies, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, organized the briefing.
With little progress being made in global trade talks due to disputes between developed and developing countries -- and trade agreements with Colombia, South Korea and Panama stalled in Congress -- Anderson argued that the U.S. investment treaty framework should be a pressing matter of debate. "If you're looking for where the action is . . . the BITs is really where it's at," she said.
The briefing "U.S. Investment Treaties and the Public Interest", was held Thursday, December 10, 2:30 – 4 pm Russell Senate Office Building, Room 385, 1st and C Streets, NE.
- Labor standards: Owen Herrnstadt, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
- Environmental protections and conflicts with U.S. law: Matthew C. Porterfield, Harrison Institute for Public Law – Georgetown Law
- China and state-owned enterprises: Linda Andros, United Steelworkers
- Financial stability: Kevin Gallagher, Boston University
- Moderator: Sarah Anderson, Institute for Policy Studies
High IPS rating
In 2012 “Congressional Report Card for the 99 Percent" , the Institute for Policy Studies examined 40 different legislation actions in the House and Senate—votes and legislation introduced—to ascertain the real allegiances of sitting members of Congress. These include votes to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, levy a Wall Street speculation tax, invest in infrastructure, and protect workers and student financial aid.
The Report Card also graded politicians for their commitment to reducing inequality and boosting the 99 percent. The report’s “Honor Roll” gave an A-plus grade to 5 members of the U.S. Senate, including Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Al Franken (D-MN), Bernie Sanders (VT-I), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).
Lynn Raskin, a Washington D.C. realtor, and her husband, Marcus Raskin, a cofounder of the Institute for Policy Studies, contributed to progressive candidates in several tight congressional races during the 2012 election cycle. They donated to Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), and Elizabeth Warren, the Democrat running for Senate in Massachusetts. They've also given money to Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).
A delegation of American lawmakers led by Senator Patrick Leahy arrived in Cuba on Monday, Feb. 18, 2013, in order to gauge the island's economic changes and to lobby on behalf of Alan Gross, an American whose detention has chilled relations between the two countries. The trip was the first to the Communist-run island by high-level US politicians since President Barack Obama's re-election in November.
The delegation also included, Republican senator Jeff Flake, the Democrat senators Sherrod Brown, Debbie Stabenow and Sheldon Whitehouse and the Democratic congressmen James McGovern (Massachusetts) and Chris Van Hollen from Maryland, Gross's home state.
"New Deal" event
The Main branch of the Cleveland Public Library has been hosting a display of labor and New Deal (visual) art from January 18 - March 24,2013, and on February 23 was host to Laborfest: a multimedia celebration from videos and powerpoint presentations to live drama and music.
Audience members were warmly welcomed by Leonard DiCosimo (President, Cleveland Federation of Musicians), who introduce Harriet Applegate, (Executive Secretary of the North Shore Federation of Labor), who introduced Patrick Gallagher (USW).
They were followed by three speakers: Prof. Ahmed White, Colorado School of Law; Prof. Patricia Hills, Boston University; and Dr. M. Melissa Wolfe, Curator of American Art at the Columbus Museum of Art.
Mr. White covered the infamous 'little steel' strike of 1937, ranging from the Chicago Massacre, in which ten strikers were killed, through actions in Ohio, to the eventual, inadequate settlements, concluded in 1942. (he used the phrases 'class struggle' and 'class consciousness' positively and freely, and observed openly contributions made by Communists and 'fellow travelers').
Ms. Hills spoke on Art and Politics in the Popular Front: The Union Work and Social Realism of Philip Evergood. She displayed works and covered the life of several other labor/New Deal artists, including William Gropper, Louis Lozowick, and Hugo Gellert. Many artists of the period gravitated to the CPUSA, and to the John Reed Clubs.
Her talk emphasized the Popular Front era of the Party in the late 1930's, which focused on stopping fascism and expanding union organizing.
Ms. Wolfe presented the life and works of Joe Jones - a worker/artist. Joe - who started out as a house painter - said he wanted to make art that would knock holes in walls, rather than merely make them pretty. Ms. Wolfe: "What did it mean to be a Communist artist, as Jones clearly decided he would be?...To be a Communist artist during the Third Period of the Communist Party - between 1928 and 1935 - meant that you were a class-conscious worker whose production - art - acted as a weapon to incite a revolution that would end Fascist structures of power and give workers control of their production..."
21st-Century Green Industrial Transformation
December 10, 2013, Sherrod Brown, joined leaders from the BlueGreen Alliance, the Institute for America’s Future and the Center for American Progress to release a new report that "offers a bold strategy to lead a 21st-century green industrial transformation".
The report, “The Green Industrial Revolution and the United States: In the Clean Energy Race, Is the United States a Leader or a Luddite?,” proposes maximizing the national strength of U.S. manufacturing by employing a region-focused strategy for clean energy manufacturing.
“We need solutions now to ensure that America competes at the highest level of the global clean energy manufacturing sectors,” said Sen. Brown. “This report is a valuable tool to help ensure that we take advantage of the strengths of our country, like our regional diversity and our ability to innovate at all levels of government...We need to capitalize on America’s competitive advantages—like our skilled workforce that lends itself to advanced manufacturing—to ensure a vibrant domestic clean energy manufacturing base.”
“The green industrial revolution has already begun. It will inescapably be a leading source of jobs, innovation and dynamism in the next decades. The countries that forge the lead here will reap the benefits in good jobs, expanding markets and global leadership against the threats already being posed by catastrophic climate changes,” said Robert Borosage, Founder and President of the Institute for America’s Future and a member of the BlueGreen Alliance Advisory Board. “This report outlines a strategy that builds on America’s strengths—combining a regional approach with proactive national policies that provides a sensible way forward.”
“We’ve seen great clean energy successes here at the national level in the U.S.—including the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act—but our real strength will come from bottom-up regional action,” said Kate Gordon, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and board member of the Apollo Alliance Project of the BlueGreen Alliance. “Energy is an inherently regional issue, and a top-down, one-size-fits-all approach won’t cut it. It’s time for Washington to step up and promote regional clean energy strategies as part of an overall national commitment to taking action on climate change.”
“Backward-looking ideologues have pitted good jobs against the environment for far too long. Even some of their erstwhile allies in the energy sector are waking up to the reality that we need a different set of policies to address the undeniable reality of climate change,” said Derek Pugh, co-author and Senior Fellow at Campaign for America's Future.
Equal Opportunity for All Act
Job-hunters are increasingly being asked to agree to allow potential employers to view their personal credit information, a development that Sen. Elizabeth Warren says is unfairly keeping people out of the job market who've had financial setbacks or have reports that contain inaccurate information.
December 17, 2013 Warren introduced The Equal Opportunity for All Act in Congress, which would outlaw such credit checks in many cases except in areas such as national security. Warren told reporters in a conference call sponsored by the Demos Foundation, a liberal think-tank, that the legislation was long overdue.
"This is about basic fairness," said the first-term legislator, adding that many people have had their credit records tarnished during the recent economic downturn. "There is little to no evidence of any correlation between job performance and a credit score."
JStreet endorsement, 2012
In 2012, the the JStreet PAC endorsed seven Senatorial candidates, all of whom emerged victorious. The Senate slate, which has more than doubled in size since 2010, included pro-Israel leaders Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein (CA), Sen. Maria Cantwell (WA) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (RI). The PAC also backed winning candidates in some of the most competitive Senate races in the country, raising more than $100,000 each for Sen. Sherrod Brown (OH), Rep. Tammy Baldwin (WI), Governor Tim Kaine (VA) and Rep. Martin Heinrich (NM).
On Thursday, May 23, 2013, U.S. Senator Cardin (D-MD) circulated a Senate sign-on "Dear Colleague" letter to Secretary of State John Kerry addressing deepening concerns about Human Rights and the Rule of Law in Honduras.
The letter states that violence and impunity for state security forces in Honduras has reached intolerable levels and cites concerns related to extrajudicial killings, linkages to death squads, and increasing militarization of civilian law enforcement. The letter also raises the concern that State Department certifications intended to ensure that U.S. foreign aid supports the rule of law in Honduras may contradict the reality on the ground.
The letter asks State Department to:
- provide Congress with a detailed assessment of the efficacy of current Honduran government efforts to address this issue as mandated by FY12 Appropriations language;
- conduct a detailed review of specific State Department actions to help ensure that no U.S. funds are being used to support police implicated in human rights violations; and
- make every reasonable effort to help ensure that Honduras' upcoming November 2013 elections are free, fair and peaceful.
In addition to Cardin, the letter was cosigned by Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Jack Reed (D-RI), Mark Udall (D-CO), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-PA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Michael F. Bennet (D-CO), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Chris Coons (D-DE), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Al Franken (D-MN) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH).
The White House Commission on Aging (WHCA) was set up, funded, under the ERISA Act in 1974, part of the Older Americans Act. It meets only once a decade in D.C. to set government policy on seniors/retirement security, and is supposed to be non-partisan in its approach. For 40 years, the WHCA did just that, with both main national political parties generally cooperating in this task. All that has now ended!
The Republican Party has openly declared war on retirees. As soon as they achieved a majority in congress they defunded the WHCA, refused to continue to support the Older Americans Act and every GOP candidate running for top office has announced that they'll support cuts in Social Security. Legislation attacking Social Security and pensions was the first thing passed by that majority. Many Democrats haven't been much better, looking for some type of 'grand bargain' to cut retiree security.
In this difficult situation, the Obama administration held hearings of the WHCA at various locations across the nation in 2015. While receiving little media coverage, regional hearings were held in Tampa, Phoenix, Seattle, Cleveland (Apr. 27) & Boston.
For a wide coalition of retirees, unions and supporters of retiree security, this was just not acceptable and it was felt that there needed to be a public event, alongside the WHCA Cleveland hearing, to assure that those impacted by government/corporate policies are actually held. The United Steelworkers, their retiree organization, SOAR (Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees), the Ohio AFL-CIO, Alliance for Retired Americans (ARA), the Cleveland Union Retiree Council & Senior Voice, a retiree based coalition in Cleveland), and others came together and have called a rally for 1:00 on 4/27 at the Old Stone Church in that city, on Public Square, just a block from where the WHCA hearings are being held.
"We need to make sure that we are seen, and heard," stated Cleveland SOAR President Jim Reed. "We earned our pensions, they aren't anyone's 'entitlements.' Those pensions, and Social Security, support our families and the communities we live in. They are our lifeline and we intend to stand up and defend them."
Sen. Sherrod Brown, congress reps Marcy Kaptur & Marcia Fudge are scheduled to speak at the rally. The main speaker is to be Fred Redmond, USW Vice President. Todd Smith, local union musician, is providing entertainment and the coalition is videoing stories from retirees and others. Senior Voice is providing speakers on how policies have affect people in that community.
"Ohio ARA has to be part of this coalition, so that we can help raise, to the public's attention, how congress has helped corporations destroy retiree security for people in Ohio and elsewhere. Pensions, Social Security, are the only way retirees can life, pay medical bills, provide for their families and this idea of some that stealing from widows and retirees to enrich the wealthiest in our nation is just plain wrong! We need real retiree security again for all, not tax cuts and bailouts for billionaires!"
Secret Meeting/Progressive Agenda
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio held a closed-door meeting at his mayoral residence on April 2, 2015, to create the Progressive version of the 1994 Republican “Contract with America.” De Blasio called his update the “Progressive Agenda” and its stated purpose was to address “income inequality” in the U.S. A dozen far-left leaders attended the closed-door meeting, including George Soros’ son Jonathan Soros. Jonathan claims to support removing money from politics, yet hypocritically serves on several boards at the Open Society Foundation (OSF). OSF has given more than $550 million to liberal organizations. Other liberal leaders at the April 2 meeting were Katrina vanden Heuvel of The Nation, “disgraced” former Obama advisor and 9/11 Truther Van Jones, Marian Wright Edelman, and liberal economist Joseph Stiglitz. In an April 6 interview on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, de Blasio confirmed that key elements of the Progressive Agenda included: a progressive tax (driven by the Buffett Rule -- which argues that wealthier individuals should have to pay higher taxes), universal free pre-kindergarten, and a $15 minimum wage. De Blasio said the full Agenda would be unveiled at the May 12 event in Washington, D.C. 
According to Rolling Stone, other attendees included Sherrod Brown, the populist senator from Ohio, and Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy. The novelist Toni Morrison showed up, delighting de Blasio and McCray. Other attendees included Arizona Congressman Raúl Grijalva, chair of the House Progressive Caucus.]
Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act of 2015
By May 20, it had accumulated 33 co-sponsors, including 26 Democrats - Sheldon Whitehouse, Tom Udall, Dick Durbin, Thomas Carper, Amy Klobuchar, Barbara Boxer, Jack Reed, Debbie Stabenow, Jeff Merkley, Chris Murphy, Benjamin Cardin, Chris Coons, Dianne Feinstein, Jeanne Shaheen, Sherrod Brown, Mazie Hirono, Brian Schatz, Tammy Baldwin, Ed Markey, Heidi Heitkamp, Jon Tester, Claire McCaskill, Ron Wyden, Tim Kaine, Al Franken, Elizabeth Warren, Michael Bennet, Martin Heinrich . 
Voted against Iran sanctions
In February 2015, with 18 votes for and four against, the US Senate Banking Committee approved the plan to intensify sanctions against Iran. The plan was presented to the Senate Banking Committee by Robert Menendez and Mark Kirk. However, the execution of those sanctions was postponed until 24 March 2015. Senators Sherrod Brown, Jack Reed, Jeff Merkley, and Elizabeth Warren of the Democratic Party voted against the draft of that plan.
The Farm Bill
The "Jihad" Caucus
In May 2015, a group of 14 U.S. senators, led by Illinois Senator Dick Durbin and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, wrote a letter to President Obama urging him to allow 65,000 Syrians into the United States as refugees. This would require a dramatic expansion of the refugee program, and virtually guarantee that a sizable number of ISIS fighters would slip in among them. Frank Gaffney's Center for Security Policy called these Senators the "Jihad Caucus" because practically speaking, Jihad is what this request will bring.
The 14 senators demanding this massive influx of Syrians were: Dick Durbin, Amy Klobuchar, Al Franken, Patrick Leahy, Dianne Feinstein, Patty Murray, Robert Menendez, Sheldon Whitehouse, Jeanne Shaheen, Chris Coons, Tim Kaine, Ed Markey, Sherrod Brown, and Mazie Hirono.
These same 14 had sent another letter in April Demanding action on the Syrians.
“CAIR is an important and influential organization in Ohio and throughout the country. For two decades CAIR has brought together people of all faiths, along with members of the community, to encourage compassion and understanding between all Americans.” - Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) (September 2014).
Cleveland Jobs with Justice connection
Cleveland Jobs with Justice 18th Annual Spring Celebration were held May 2015 at the DoubleTree Downtown.
Award winners were:
Louis Stokes Award: US Representative Marcy Kaptur
George Smilnak Legacy Award: Maria Wilkinson
Rev. Bob Strommen Activist Award: Jose Mendiola
All of the award winners also received Special Recognition from US Senator Sherrod Brown.
- Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry Committee
- Subcommittee on Energy, Science & Technology
- Subcommittee on Production, Income Protection & Price Support
- Subcommittee on Hunger, Nutrition and Family Farms
- Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs Committee
- Subcommittee on Economic Policy
- Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation and Community Development
- Subcommittee on Securities, Insurance, and Investment
- Select Committee on Ethics
- Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (H.E.L.P.)
- Subcommittee on Children and Families
- Subcommittee on Employment & Workplace Safety
- Veterans' Affairs Committee
The following have worked as staff members for Sherrod Brown:
- Jennifer Parsons
- Christopher Aslin
- Douglas Babcock
- Randolph Barkacs
- Diana Baron
- Michael Beckerman
- Mary Ellen Benko
- Max Blachman
- Angela Blackburn
- Paul Bradley
- Jayson Braude
- Bradley Carlson
- Nancy Castillo
- Colin Cranston
- Carli Cichocki
- Timothy Daniels
- John Bradley Deane
- Eleanor Dehoney
- Gordon Jack Dover
- Roberta Downing
- Meghan Dubyak
- Laura Englehart
- Nkolika Erokwu
- Elizabeth Farrar (Liz)
- Bridget Fisher
- Daniel Elliott Flave-Novak
- Rejane Frederick
- Arlan Fuller
- Jesse Gannon
- Eileen Gallagher
- Kristen Gentile
- John George
- Brett Gibson
- Marjorie Glick
- Karen Hammon
- Courtney Hansman
- James Heimbach
- Christopher Hickling
- Brooke Hill
- Travis Hines
- David Hodapp
- David Howard
- Olwen Huxley
- Patrick Jackson
- Kristen Jackson
- William Jawando
- Shana Johnson
- Katy Kale
- Michael Kanick
- Elizabeth Kelley Kanick
- Matthew Kaplan
- William Kelley
- Jessica Kershaw
- Connie Krauss
- Joanna Kuebler
- Lauren Kulik
- Christine Lamberti
- Moira Lenehan-Razzuri
- Bethany Lesser
- Lara Levison
- Laura Lynch
- Leon Mason
- Pamela Ann Mays
- Debra McAfee
- Miles McClelland
- Jonathan McCracken
- Elizabeth Weir McLean (Lisa)
- Jessica McNiece
- Diana Milete
- Rachel Miller
- Theodore Miller
- David Mitchell
- Margaret Molnar
- Haley Morris
- Danielle Nameth
- Paulanne Dobran Oakes
- Jason Packer
- John Patterson
- Laura Pechaitis
- Donna Pignatell
- Robert Pina
- Ngozi Trent Pole
- Katherine Porter (Katie)
- Mark Powden
- Ayris Price
- Tonya Rawe
- Vinay Reddy
- Laura Richards
- Edward Roberts
- Patricia Rogala
- John Ryan
- John Sawyer
- Charles Scotch
- E.L. Seely
- Nicholas Semanko
- Joseph Shultz
- Sara Sills
- Judy Skillicorn
- Lauren Slaiman
- Christopher Slevin
- Tanya Somanader
- Robert Spencer
- Graham Steele
- Ari Strauss
- Kuna Tavalin
- Elizabeth Thames
- Elizabeth Thomas
- Benjamin Tipton
- Mary Topolinski
- Meredith Turner
- Kristin Vennekotter
- Pamela Walker (Pam)
- Edward Walz (Ed)
- Nicholas Watt
- Ben Weiss
- Caroline Wells
- Mike Westerberg
- Joseph Wieder
- Diane Wilkinson
- Kenneth Williamson
- Jeanne Wilson
- Sylvia Wu
- Mark Yakub
- Judith Zamore
- Official senate bio, accessed August 15, 2011
- 21st Century Democrats bio, accessed Jan. 15, 2012
- About Brown
- Official senate bio, accessed August 15, 2011
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- DSA website: Members of the Progressive Caucus (archived on the Web Archive website)
- CSN, Letter of US Congressman Sam Farr and 19 other Representatives tob U.S. State Department over Colombian Human Rights Abuses
- FOR February 2006 Peace Presence Update
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- CAF News Release, CONGRESSIONAL ELECTIONS DELIVER A PROGRESSIVE MANDATE, November 4, 2008
- PDA website, accessed 2009
- Saturday, 10 December 2011 20:01m PDA History Written by PDA National
- PDA May 2013 Educate Congress Digest Letter drops (191 in total – 105 in April )
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- Mother Jones, How Google Mixed Up Sherrod and Scott Brown—By Deanna Pan, Thu Aug. 30, 2012
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- Cleveland Laborfest & Forum, and labor exhibition,by: Charles Pervo, February 25 2013
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- Street Blog, JStreetPAC Scores Big in 2012 Election NOVEMBER 7TH, 2012
- J Street The political home for pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans
- JStreetPAC 2016 Endorsees
- SOAWatch, Ask your Senator to sign onto the Cardin Letter about Honduras
- Cardin Press release, Cardin Leads Senate Call For Accountability In Honduras For Human Rights Violations Tuesday, June 18, 2013
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- Peoples World. Retirees, allies rally at Cleveland hearing by: Bruce Bostick April 20 2015
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- MRC Newsbusters, Earth to Chuck Todd: George Soros Backs New 'Progressive Agenda' with $159 Million By Alatheia Larsen | May 12, 2015
- MRC Newsbusters, Earth to Chuck Todd: George Soros Backs New 'Progressive Agenda' with $159 Million By Alatheia Larsen | May 12, 2015
- [http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/mayor-bill-de-blasios-crusade-20150506?page=2 Rolling Stone, Mayor Bill de Blasio's CrusadeBY MARK BINELLI May 6, 2015
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- [%22S+299%22}, Congress.Gov. S.299 - Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act of 2015114th Congress (2015-2016) | G]
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