Monday, February 23, 2009

Creeping and Leaping

"The Obama campaign was more than a political campaign; it was a powerful upsurge, an incipient new progressive populist social movement."

"..[A]n elected leader cannot move anything in a progressive direction without a strong and savvy mobilization effort on the outside...A smart 'inside/outside' strategy is critical to moving any policy forward."

Torie Osborn,"Can Hope and History Meet? Thoughts about Movements in the Age of Obama,"NFG Reports, Winter 2008.

This article is a great reflection on the Obama moment and what has been learned from the social-change experiences during other progressive administrations--in this case, the mayoral administration of LA's Antonio Villaraigosa.

Osborn offers good ideas for next steps. "We all need to be engaged in a collective process of upgrading our community organizing infrastructure, naming our intention to build scale, and clarifying our social vision."

Housing meetings for the economic stimulus is probably not the model to follow. Here I hazard to distinguish the Democratic Party apparatus -- which hopefully still has a ground game -- from the grassroots energy and leadership of the Obama movement.

"Replicate Camp Obama." Good idea!

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