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Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) is an Americanmarker political organization advocating liberal policies. ADA works for social and economic justice through lobbying, grassroots organizing, research and supporting progressive candidates.


The group was established by prominent Democratic Party leaders in 1947 in order to combat what those leaders perceived to be an acceptance of, or even an alliance with, American communists. ADA's leaders considered communism (especially as practiced in the Soviet Unionmarker) to be both morally wrong and a threat to the United States.

Founding members included:

Over its 60-year history, ADA played a role in many major American movements—civil rights, women's rights, opposition to the Vietnam and Iraq wars—while supporting legislation that resulted from these movements.

Voting Records

ADA is well-known for its rankings of legislators. ADA members identify key policy issues, and ADA tracks how members of Congress vote on these issues. The annual ADA Voting Record gives each member a rating from 0, meaning complete disagreement with ADA policies, to 100, meaning complete agreement with ADA policies. A score of 0 is considered conservative and a score 100 is considered liberal.

Working Families Win

As part of its efforts to promote economic policies that benefit working Americans, ADA created the Working Families Win project in 2004 to organize voters in small towns across the country for fair trade, workers' rights, and universal healthcare. For the 2008 elections, Working Families Win hired 60 organizers in 20 states to build relationships with community leaders and educate voters about how policies in Washington affect their daily lives.


  • Clifton Brock, Americans for Democratic Action (Public Affairs Press, 1962)

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