New Progressive Group Commences Activities in Western PA

December 13, 2008

A few days ago, a new progressive group held its first meeting.  To encourage participation by like-minded individuals, group activities will be published, primarily on this web site.  In the interest of openness, the minutes of our first meeting are posted below.  We will continue to conduct our business openly in the future.   Those who would like to be involved are encouraged to attend meetings, be included on our e-mail list, and/or write on our blog.  If interested, contact me by e-mail, 


Western PA Progressives Meeting Minutes


The first meeting of the Western PA Progressives was held on Wednesday, Dec. 11 at the home of Joe and Deb Talarico.  The following is a brief summary of the meeting

Name of group:  the consensus of the group was that “ Western PA democrats who do shit” was probably not the best choice of names. “Western PA Progressives” will be the group’s name.

Meetings will be held at various restaurants throughout the region.  Because there were members present from Allegheny, Beaver, Butler , Lawrence , and Mercer Counties , we will conduct meetings throughout the region to maximize convenience to our members.  The next meeting is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, February 11, 2009 at Rudy’s Restaurant in Grove City .  More information to follow when confirmed.

Group mission:  This group will be primarily a networking group.  There will be no president; for the time being, Joe Talarico will serve as the coordinator by default.  There will be no dues or group fundraising.  The group will be a conduit for progressives to coordinate community action, forums, candidate fund-raising, canvassing, and any other activity that any members propose.

Upcoming events:  Tina Shannon announced that there will be a PDA Buffet Breakfast on Saturday, December 13 at 9:30AM, at Penn Bistro,615 Penn Ave. , New Brighton , PA For further information and RSVP information, go to

Randy Shannon asked that this organization urge local governments, school boards, congresspersons, etc. to support HR 676.  In Beaver County , the economic impact on various municipalities was researched, and a number of government entities have formally endorsed this piece of legislation.  We will research the impact on Butler County , and urge the commissioners’ endorsement (we’ll find out if there is really any such thing as a hopeless cause).  We will also compose a letter to Jason Altmire and Kathy Dahlkemper to that effect.

The Physicians for a National Health Plan (PNHP) is conducting house parties in conjunction with the Obama transition team.  Joe Talarico will look into coordinating an event.  Also, Joe recently conducted a forum at Slippery Rock University on HR 676, and will be happy to address any group, using the PNHP power point presentation.

Finally, formation of a web site and blog was discussed.  Throughout the region, many of the news outlets have a perceptible conservative leaning (i.e. Butler Fascist Times).   By opening our web site to all regional progressives, we hope to become an outlet for information on school board, township, city, and county government meetings, progressive events, and blog posts on local, regional, and national issues. We will close down the butlerdemblog, which has unfortunately degenerated into a forum for anonymous right-wing crazies (Daryl).  The new blog will be open to any progressive with an interest in expressing his/her views, but comments will be limited to those with user names (including dissenters) and will be pre-screened.  Reasonable dissenting responses will be welcome.  The site should be up within the next few weeks.

Thanks to all who made the effort to attend our inaugural meeting, as well as to those who were unable to attend, but would like to be involved with our organization.  The meetings hopefully will merely scratch the surface of our activities.  Involvement by e-mail, phone, web site, etc. is encouraged. 


Disclaimer:  The above minutes were compiled by Joe Talarico.  Their accuracy is limited by Joe’s poor notes, poorer memory, and inherent biases.  Anyone who was at the meeting and has a differing recollection of the events is urged to make appropriate corrections and additions.  Joe’s intellectual deficiencies, in addition to rendering these minutes of questionable accuracy, also limit his ability to take offense to any corrections.