Friday, November 28, 2008

Liberals Ready to Hold Obama to his Promises

For many years, progressive groups and their causes have been out in the political wilderness. No longer!

-- From "For Obama, many liberal wish lists await - Stymied for years, groups see chance" by Mike Dorning and Jim Tankersley, Chicago Tribune Washington Bureau 11/28/08

Now, with President-elect Barack Obama preparing to take the White House and Democrats firmly in control of Congress, the party's liberal constituencies can see their way to a promised land.

For progressives, that means a nation where it is easier for unions to organize workers, where federal laws ban job discrimination against gays, hate crime laws are expanded and public lands are shielded from logging and oil drilling.

Instead of waging the defensive battles they have fought for years, liberal groups—labor unions, environmentalists and others—are eagerly preparing for new confrontations with business and conservative interests. This time, they feel secure in having allies within Washington's power centers.

While advocates express a willingness to allow the new administration space to pursue its agenda on its own terms, they are determined not to be thwarted.

A top priority for civil rights and gay-rights groups is an expanded federal hate crimes law, which was vetoed by President George W. Bush.

Gay-rights activists want to make sure gays have equal job access and protection.

"It feels like there's an air of transparency," said Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. "As people are appointed [by Obama], and progressive people, the word spreads. And the word is, 'I look forward to talking with you.' ... It is this different feeling, that the door is not closed—the door is opening."

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.