Protect the Squad

Last month, Solidaire Action proudly co-hosted the Protect the Squad Funder Briefing in collaboration with the Working Families Party (WFP), Justice Democrats (JD), Resource Generation Action, the Donors of Color Action, the Women Donors Network Action, and the Movement Voter Project. This is a critical part of our ten-year strategy to expand the electorate and bolster our movement partners’ work to build grassroots political power.

Congresswomen Pramila Jayapal and Summer Lee joined us to address the challenges to the progressive movement posed by influential organizations like AIPAC and conservative donors. These forces are determined to undermine the efforts of Congressmembers of color, including the Squad, who have demonstrated remarkable courage in addressing critical issues such as the conflict in Palestine while serving in office.

Part of this is a backlash to the successes we’ve had as progressives. We would not have an Inflation Reduction Act without the Progressive Caucus. We would not have gotten checks in peoples’ pockets without the Progressive Caucus. We would not have gotten so much of the work that has been done to reshape the conversation around the economy without the Progressive Caucus and our progressive allies.

- Rep. Pramila Jayapal

WFP and JD have undertaken a strategic initiative to safeguard Congressional champions Summer Lee, Jamaal Bowman, Cori Bush, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar from primary challengers. They have set an ambitious $10 million goal for independent expenditures aimed at preserving the integrity and influence of the Squad. The strength and popularity of these incumbents in their respective districts create a formidable challenge for opposition forces, requiring substantial financial investment to sway each voter. In contrast, the Squad and their supporters can deploy a more efficient and targeted defense.

For Solidaire Action and co-sponsors, this moment is about more than just safeguarding the Squad. The re-election of Squad incumbents is a critical piece in the larger goal to expand long-term governing power by, for, and with working-class people. 

They know in our working-class communities, we don’t have $100M or $5M to just spend on elections… If/when we win this one, we show them that their money is not more important than the people. That we are on the right side of history.

-Rep Summer Lee

As a strategic imperative, progressive funders dedicated to building governing power by, for and with working-class people must prioritize supporting the defense of these champions and our democracy in their giving strategy. The potential loss of these champions would not only weaken our movement partners' ability to shape the narrative and policy agenda for working people but also embolden the corporate and authoritarian right's political agenda. Equally significant is the fact that the efforts of progressive organizations to defend these champions will fortify us for crucial work in the upcoming general election.

Solidaire Action is committed to challenging one-year electoral funding cycles and instead focusing our strategic work on resourcing the long-term infrastructure needed for movements to contest for and win governing power. For this reason, Solidaire Action is guiding our membership to resource JD and WFP as they protect the Squad from GOP-funded attacks and build the progressive base for election cycles to come. 

You can contribute to this essential work in two ways:

  1. Up to $5,000 Donation: Support the five candidates facing competitive races by contributing directly at wfpus.org/jdsquad.
  2. Beyond $5,000 Donation: If you can contribute beyond $5,000 to the five candidates, consider supporting WFP and JD’s independent expenditure programming. Access the recording of our meeting and the Independent Expenditure plan, including information on how to donate directly to both JD and WFP, at wfpus.org/jdsquadplan.

As we enter the bustling primary season, we urge you to make gifts to the Independent Expenditure by March 31st.

 

Photo by MIKE STOLL on Unsplash