Philly progressive group to train hundreds to run for office

    (raftel/BigStock)

    (raftel/BigStock)

    As the nation prepares for Donald Trump’s inauguration, a newly formed group of Philadelphia progressive Democrats will gather Wednesday night to make plans to run for grass-roots political offices.

    The Philadelphia Democratic Progressive Committee doesn’t yet have officers or a political action committee, but member Joe Driscoll said the idea is to bring progressive ideas and action to the city Democratic organization — and to start at the ground level.

    “One of our main purposes is run people, or recruit people, or encourage people to run for precinct-based offices,” Driscoll said.

    The group wants progressives to run for neighborhood election boards this year and party committee posts next year.

    Voters will elect two committeepeople from each voting division in the 2018 party primary;  the committeepeople elect the party’s 69 ward leaders. Ward leaders elect the city chair (currently U.S. Rep. Bob Brady), and they have enormous say in choosing candidates for state Legislature, City Council and other offices.

    Driscoll, a 27 year-old political consultant, said if new players and energy surge into the party at the ground level, it’s bound to trickle up.

    “We feel that when people start to take these grass-roots positions more seriously, that will have an effect on the ward, the ward leaders, the county committee, and City Council,” he said. “We could have the most progressive legislation passed in the country, or in this side of the country, if we really wanted to.”

    Driscoll said the Wednesday event will give people practical instructions on how to file for, run and win local offices.

    More than 350 have said they will attend, but Driscoll said it’s open to walk-ins from any political affiliation.

    The event will be at 6:30 p.m. at the Church of the Holy Trinity on Rittenhouse Square, 1901 Walnut St.

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