Thursday, January 17, 2008

A Sound Strategy: Go Local First

I get email updates from an organization called Progressive Majority. They are an organization which puts into practice the ideas that I touch upon in this blog post on the importance of running candidates on the local level and establishing a network of progressives in locally-based offices such as city councils, school boards, etc.

From their web site:
Progressive Majority recruits committed progressives to run for office at the state and local levels. More than 750 people have accepted our call to serve and, as a result, we've elected 259 to office. This work is changing American politics - we've helped flip control of four state legislatures and 27 local governments. Finally, the rise of the right wing is on hold and progressives are in charge!

Progressive Majority was founded in 2001 to serve as a multi-issue political action committee (PAC) by leaders from organized labor, Members of Congress, and progressive donors. Its network has since grown to over 50,000 progressives nationwide. They have programs in Arizona, California, Colorado, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Wisconsin. Their aim is to grow the movement until it is in the top 24 battleground states.

Liberal Arts Dude sez:

Regardless of how you feel about electoral politics (most, if not all of PM’s candidates will run as Democrats) an infusion of progressive candidates and leaders on the local level is sound strategy in building a national, progressive agenda. PM’s approach is long-term in scope and recognizes the principle that to have a viable political movement, the foundation for it must first be in place.

That foundation, for PM, lies in electing candidates in locally elected offices in key geographic areas. Get enough of your people elected in those offices nationwide and pretty soon you will find the progressives competitive with the Republican-corporate backed political machine on a national level. But this time, with an active base of local and grassroots support.

This is an effort that was clearly designed with a long-term goal in mind. The goal is to build a national movement and not just throw support to a big name individual or high-profile candidate in high-profile races. The goal is to build a strong political infrastructure on a state-by-state basis—much like the conservatives did for themselves in the last 40 years.

This is the type of politics which excites me and which gives me hope for the future.

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