One of the positive outcomes of the 2016 election is that it has energized ordinary people who were formerly progressive but complacent. A variety of new groups are organizing communities and working to affect public policy or elections; some are a few years in the making and others gelled after November 8, but all are attempts to reinvigorate progressive participation in our democracy.
While it would be easy to say, “Our coalition can do it all,” that’s not really our goal. Our focus is on what you might call embedded activism, shifting public understanding and galvanizing ordinary citizens by working to impact personal networks and local organizations/institutions. We’re not issue-specific or focused purely on policy and elections. We probably won’t be asking you to call your Senator. And we’re not housed in a specific geographic location.
So we are happy to celebrate the breadth of voices and strategies that are starting to emerge, as well as the long-standing organizations that are organizing with vigor. Here is a short list worth exploring:
- Swing Left: a collection of individuals who are organizing and rallying progressives to shift keep Democratic-controlled swing districts in the Democratic Party and defeat Republicans in GOP-controlled swing districts. Thanks to Amy J. (D.C.) for finding this resource!
- She Should Run: a non-partisan 501(c)3 organization expanding the talent pool of future elected female leaders.
- Donuts & Democracy: a nonpartisan, nonprofit effort designed to help busy Americans efficiently and effectively participate in democracy and our communities. Their focus is on applying pressure to elected officials around progressive policy priorities.
- 15Now: organizes communities to fight for a living wage for all workers. They take a very localized approach to organizing and have helped push cities across the country to seriously consider what it means for all labor to have dignity. They’re feisty too 😉
- Planned Parenthood Action Fund: Planned Parenthood was one of the first nonprofits to make their opposition to the incoming administration and they are likely to be one of the progressive organizations to take the most political fire. Their response? “These Doors Stay Open.” Gotta love that fighting spirit.