It’s hard to keep up – Obamacare lives on, for now. Gone are Spicer, Priebus, & Scaramucci. Sessions next? AWOL: the State Department, the budget, infrastructure investments, environmental protection, reason, and judgment. Will the center hold? Amid all this national chaos, I want to share two encouraging words about an exciting new local effort I am helping initiate and fund, with our Monroe County Democratic Party:
After the 2016 election, so many people were motivated to stand up, dig in, and get involved in progressive change, to protect our values and our people. New groups and renewed efforts sprang up all over our community: Indivisible. Call to Action. Hoosier Action. A local NOW chapter. Mom’s Demand Action. A Black Caucus for our local party. The Democratic Women’s Caucus. Hoosier for a Commonsense Health Plan, Coalition for Public Education. Democracy for Monroe County. UndocuHoosiers. That’s just a sample list of local groups focused on health care, education, climate change, immigrants and refugees, economic justice, racial justice, LGBTQ rights, reproductive health, gun violence, and more. And new candidates arise seeking office.
With our local Democratic Party, I worked to figure out how we can learn from 2016, and from the diverse, creative, innovative efforts growing from our grassroots. We decided thata vibrant local party should tangibly support these emerging and growing progressive efforts. That our party’s future depends on new people and new ideas colliding and collaborating and shaking up our old systems and challenging our thinking.
So we created DEMOCRACY LAB: a co-work space and set of services, to encourage progressive groups to co-locate and co-create. To push the envelopes of change and to innovate in our political world. To show our local Democratic Party supports new creative people and ideas and approaches. (Perhaps it helps that our top party officers are “Four under Forty” – young and creative themselves.)
I am excited to announce my commitment to help support Democracy Lab, through funds that I hope that you will continue to help me raise. I’ve offered to underwrite up to 10 local groups to join Democracy Lab – paying 2/3rds of their monthly costs so they can easily join this co-work space and help chart the future – focus on progressive change and inclusion and creativity.It’s exciting to picture progressive change agents colliding with each other, challenging each other, teaching each other, as we move into the 21st century and all the demands ahead. I hope you’ll check out DEMOCRACY LAB – offering shared space, and media services, and printing and publicity, and training – to help build momentum with a bigger, bolder vision being developed by a big open tent of people. Thank you very much for your past support for my work, and if you like what we’ve been doing, I hope you will consider a contribution at this special time to help build DEMOCRACY LAB.
PS You can learn more about DEMOCRACY LAB at http://www.monroedems.org/democracy_lab. And if you can help support this exciting local effort, please send in a contribution here.
PPS And don’t forget to hold 4-7pm Sunday afternoon, Sept 10th, for our third annual Hamilton Friends and Family Picnic at Bryan Park!!