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Americans for Democratic Action is dedicated to promoting social and economic justice domestically and abroad
Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) is the nation's oldest independent liberal political organization. Founded in 1947 by people like Eleanor Roosevelt, former Vice President Hubert Humphrey, labor leader Walter Reuther, economist John Kenneth Galbraith, and historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., ADA is dedicated to promoting social and economic justice domestically and abroad. The organization has led in the development and promotion of the national agenda by taking early, principled stands on a wide variety of issues including civil rights, the Vietnam War, nuclear arms control, apartheid in South Africa, workers' rights, increases in the minimum wage, and federal spending priorities. Recently, ADA has taken part in strong lobbying efforts on behalf of campaign finance reform, the preservation of social security, opposition to the National Missile Defense, and the creation of more inclusive hate crimes laws, to name a few. ADA's more than 65,000 members actively engage in the political process at the federal, state and local levels. Chapters exist across the country working on liberal causes in local communities. Beyond policy advocacy work, ADA is notable for its Annual Voting Records, which have been widely recognized as the standard measure of political liberalism since 1947. Combining 20 key votes on a wide range of social and economic issues, both domestic and international, the Liberal Quotient (LQ) provides an objective, overall picture of an elected official's political position. In recent years, ADA has expanded its scope to include such programs as the John Kenneth Galbraith Fellowship, which brings a full-time scholar into the ADA office to work on innovative, research-oriented approaches to thorny economic and public policy problems.