CT Progressive Democrat

News and Views from CT State Representative David McCluskey / Democrat - West Hartford

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Need for a new Progressive Coalition

When I first became involved in progressive/Democratic politics in the 1980s, there was a vibrant coalition of progressive organizations called LEAP - Legislative Electoral Action Program.

It began, I recall, as a reaction to the election of Ronald Reagan as President and the ascendancy of the conservative movement. For a mulititude of reasons, LEAP is no longer with us. As a result, it is much more difficult to move a progressive agenda both in elections and in the General Assembly. There are very real legal and other limitations for 501Cs like the Universal Health Care Foundation or One Connecticut to build the kind of grass roots activism statewide needed to pass difficult, broadsweeping legislation like Health Care for All.

Many of the leaders of LEAP are no longer in charge of their respective organizations - we lost Gerry Springer from the AFT CT, Jerry Brown & Merilee Milstein are no longer in charge of 1199, Phil Wheeler retired from UAW and Steve Perruccio just left CEUI. We need to think of rebuilding the progressive coalition. It may not end up being a formal organization like LEAP. Our culture, workforce, politics and technology have continued to change/evolve. We need to tap into the energy of the internet/bloggers, we need to involve the Lamont campaign volunteers.


Greetings from former CT State Representative David McCluskey (Democrat-West Hartford). I am now Vice Chair of the West Hartford Democrats. I am a long-time Vice President of the Greater Hartford Labor Council.

At the end of 2010, I completed my 6th and last term from the 20th District which is in the southern section of the town including Elmwood. I served on a number of committees including: Environment, Finance, Human Services, Planning & Development, Public Health and the Transportation Committees. I was also co-chair of the Transportation Bonding Subcommittee, which has worked to rebuild our public transportation system,focus on "fix it first" not new highways, roads and encourage bike and pedestrian travel, and coordinate land use/economic development/transportation development.

I am a progressive, pro-labor Democrat and thought I would use this blog to pass along news and views.

I will try to keep the site fresh with news/information and try to offer more commentary/observations on CT Politics &Government.