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Americans For Democratic Action

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Americans For Democratic Action

This page is about Americans For Democratic Action.


Americans for Democratic Action is a group that was created to preserve the ideals of the New Deal, continue to uphold American values, and fight the spread of communism. ADA has influenced many major American movements such as the Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam War, women’s rights, and the Iraqi war. It was founded by after the death of Franklin Delano Roosevelt by Eleanor Roosevelt, Arthur Schesinger, Reihold Niebuhr, John Kenneth Galbraith, and Walter Reuther all of whom were key members of the Democratic Party.


ADA was founded in 1947 in Washington D.C. which remains the location of its headquarters. It has played a key role in American democracy with its involvement in elections, social reforms, and key issues. The ADA began with its support of the Civil Rights movement in the 1940s. It guided the movement in its early stages by gathering national democratic support and continued fighting throughout the 1950s. In the 1960s ADA helped establish anti-poverty programs and social equality. During the 1970s they helped create programs to protect the environment and fought hard against the social policies of Ronald Regan during the 1980s. In the 1990s they battled along side the labor force for trade and worker’s rights. Today ADA has addressed issues such as Health care reform, immigrations, tax reform, employee free choice act, education, poverty, fair trade, and environmental policies. However its key focus is fixing the problems caused by the Bush Administration and past Republican administrations.


ADA view are based on democratic action and focuses on incorporating democratic and liberal views in American policy.

Barack Obama

Since the election of Barack Obama the ADA has regained support from the White House. This will allow the group to expand nationally and gain more support towards current issues.


(From 1947 to 1973, ADA's top elected officer was called National Chairman; the title was later changed to National President.)

1947-1948 Wilson Wyatt
 1948-1949 Leon Henderson
 1949-1950 Senator Hubert Humphrey
 1950-1953 Francis Biddle
 1954-1955 Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. 
James E. Doyle (co-chairs)
 1955-1957 Joseph L. Rauh, Jr.
 1957-1959 Robert R. Nathan
 1959-1962 Samuel H. Beer
 1962-1965 John P. Roche
 1965-1967 Rep. Don Edwards
 1967-1969 John Kenneth Galbraith
 1970-1971 Joseph Duffy
 1971-1973 Rep. Allard K. Lowenstein
 1974-1976 Rep. Donald M. Fraser
 1976-1978 Senator George McGovern
 1978-1981 Rep. Patsy T. Mink
 1981-1984 Rep. Robert F. Drinan, S.J.
 1984-1986 Rep. Barney Frank
 1986-1989 Rep. Ted Weiss
 1989-1991 Rep. Charles B. Rangel
 1991-1993 Senator Paul D. Wellstone
 1993-1995 Rep. John Lewis
 1995-1998 Jack Sheinkman
 1998-2000 Rep. Jim Jontz
 2000-2008 Rep. Jim McDermott
 2008-Present Richard Parker


<Americans for Democratic Action - Home. Web. 25 Sept. 2009. <>.

Carson, Richard T., and Joe A. Oppenheimer. "A Method of Estimating the Personal Ideology of Political Representatives." The American Political Science Review 78.1 (1984): 1-16. Print.

Peltzman, Sam. "An Economic Interpretation of the History of Congressional Voting in the Twentieth Century." The American Economic Review 75.4 (1985): 656-75. Print.

"Project Vote Smart - Americans for Democratic Action Rating." Project Vote Smart - American Government, Elections, Candidates and Voting. Web. 24 Sept. 2009. <>. />