If you’re not enjoying your democracy as much as you used to, and you are feeling a little powerless and preyed upon, and you’re thinking there’s no way out of your mess, help is on the way. You’ll have to work for it, but you can do it. Yes you can.
Robert Borosage was prominent on a conference speaker’s list for Populism 2015 that included elected officials like Minnesota Rep Keith Ellison, Maine Rep. Gina Melaragno, Chicago alderman-elect Carlos Ramirez-Rosa and former Texas Department of Agriculture Director Jim Hightower and leaders of other national action groups including Larry Cohen of Communication Workers of America and Toby Chow of the Illinois Indiana Regional Organizing network, among others.
What does the next presidential election and a Star Wars Galaxy have in common? They are both far, far away, but it’s never too soon for some candidates to declare they’re in the race, while others wait for a message from above or look for political daylight to jump in. For the audience of organizers attending this weekend’s event, candidates needed worry, because they intend to bring the fight to them.
“Stand up, fight back” and “That Ain’t Right” were favorites for an energized crowd ready to “heat up the street,” as Rep. Ellison suggested may be needed again as he reflected on activities taken by the Rev. Martin Luther King and others that helped build to the long road to the Civil Rights Act of 1965.
I caught up with the director of Campaign for America’s Future, one of the sponsors of the Populism 2015 conference held in Washington D.C. this weekend, and asked him to set the stage for what to expect in the weeks and months to come, as America marches forward to the next presidential election cycle in 2016.
“My name is Bob Borosage, I direct the Campaign for America’s Future, which is a center for progressive ideas and organizing in Washington. We’re here in Washington with a thousand organizers from 30 states, endorsing a people’s platform, on the climate, on economic inequality and on making this democracy work once more. I can’t tell you there is a stirring in this country, people are looking for a different kind of leadership and a different kind of politics, and if they’re not going to get from their elected officials, they’re going to create it themselves. And that’s what we’re about here. I haven’t felt this energy and enthusiasm, we’re going to take a message and a platform we just adopted and drive it into this political debate; we’re going to take it to city halls, statehouses, and over time, you’re going to see this new populist movement transform America.”