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A voluntary association of members of the United States Congress who share ideological commitments toward economic and social justice. The progressive caucus issues unified policy statements as a body and sponsors legislation.

Most, but not all, of the more left-leaning members of the House of Representatives are in the caucus. There are currently 53 members, which is a remarkable and inspiring figure when one considers the corrupt campaign finance system in the U.S., the non-proportional representative nature of the congressional district system, and the propaganda media system that marginalizes and mocks progressive viewpoints, all of which make it exceedingly challenging for principled people of the left to obtain public office.

The caucus was founded by representative Bernie Sanders of Vermont, now an independent but elected as a socialist. All of the other members are Democrats. The caucus tends to focus on 'bread and butter' progressive issues, rather than on social issues, as evidenced by its official mission statement:

"The Progressive Caucus is organized around the principles of social and economic justice, a non-discriminatory society and national priorities which represent the interests of all people, not just the wealthy and the powerful.

Our purpose is to present thoughtful, practical solutions to the economic and social problems facing America. Our people-based agenda extends from job creation to job training, to economic conversion, to single payer healthcare reform, to adequate funding for the AIDS crisis, to environmental reform, and to women's rights.

Now that the cold war is over, this nation's budget and overall priorities must reflect that reality. We support further cuts in outdated and unnecessary military spending, a more progressive tax system in which wealth taxpayers and corporations contribute their fair share, and a substantial increase in social programs designed to meet the needs of low-and-middle-income American families. We believe that these goals fit within an overall commitment to deficit reduction."

How do progressives get elected to congress? Many of the members of the caucus are from heavily minority districts that are 'safe' Democratic seats. Others are from districts that have a heavy concentration of blue-collar and union households. A few are from liberal enclaves. Both of the openly homosexual members of Congress are in the caucus.

The current chairman is Dennis Kucinich of Cleveland, Ohio. The current members (108th congress) are:

Neil Abercrombie, Hawaii
Tammy Baldwin, Wisconsin (Madison area)
Xavier Becerra, California (Los Angeles)
David Bonior, Michigan (Macomb county)
Corrine Brown, Florida
Sherrod Brown, Ohio (Cleveland area)
Michael Capuano, Massachusetts (Cambridge and Bostion)
Julia Carson, Indiana (Gary area)
William "Lacy" Clay, Missouri (St. Louis)
John Conyers, Michigan (Detroit)
Danny Davis, Illinois (Chicago)
Peter DeFazio, Oregon (southeast)
Rosa DeLauro, Connecticut
Lane Evans, Illinois
Eni Faleomavaega, American Samoa*
Sam Farr, California (central coast)
Chaka Fattah, Pennsylvania (Philadelphia)
Bob Filner, California (San Diego)
Barney Frank, Massachusetts (south suburban Boston)
Luis Gutierrez, Illinois (Chicago)
Earl Hilliard, Alabama
Maurice Hinchey, New York (Hudson valley)
Jesse Jackson, Jr, Illinois (Chicago)
Sheila Jackson-Lee, Texas
Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Ohio (Cleveland)
Marcy Kaptur, Ohio (Toledo area)
Dennis Kucinich, Ohio (Cleveland area)
Tom Lantos, California (Silicon Valley)
Barbara Lee, California (Oakland)
John Lewis, Georgia (Atlanta)
Jim McDermott, Washington (Seattle area)
James P. McGovern, Massachusetts (Wooster area)
Carrie Meek, Florida (Miami area)
George Miller, California (northeast Bay Area)
Patsy Mink, Hawaii
Jerrold Nadler, New York (Manhattan)
Eleanor Holmes Norton, D.C.*
John Olver Massachusetts (western)
Major Owens, New York (Brooklyn)
Ed Pastor, Arizona (southern)
Donald Payne, New Jersey (Newark, Jersey City area)
Nancy Pelosi, California (San Francisco)
Bernie Sanders, Vermont (at large)
Jan Schakowsky, Illinois (northern Chicago)
Jose Serrano, New York (Bronx)
Hilda Solis, California
Pete Stark, California (East Bay)
Bennie Thompson, Mississippi
John Tierney, Massachusetts (northern Boston area)
Tom Udall, New Mexico
Nydia Velazquez, New York (New York City)
Maxine Waters, California (Los Angeles)
Mel Watt, North Carolina
Henry Waxman, California (west L.A.)
Lynn Woolsey, California (Marin county)

The following people should be members:
Russell Feingold, Senator
Paul Sarbanes, Senator
Anthony D. Weiner, my representative!

Someday I will complete write-ups on all of these people.

help from http://bernie.house.gov/pc/

* indicates a non-voting member of congress

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