The New Politics Convention, held in Denver, Colorado, on August 3-5, 2018, brought together over 1,200 progressive activists, organizers, candidates, and policymakers from across the country to share their ideas, experiences, and strategies for building a more just and equitable society.
Despite coming from diverse backgrounds and perspectives, the attendees shared a common goal: to advance a progressive vision that centers on economic, racial, and social justice, environmental protection, healthcare for all, and civil rights.
The convention was organized by the New Politics Initiative, a coalition of progressive organizations that seek to transform American politics by building a grassroots movement that engages people from all walks of life in the political process.
Throughout the three-day event, the attendees participated in workshops, trainings, panel discussions, and plenary sessions that covered a wide range of topics, including grassroots organizing, voter engagement, running for office, policy advocacy, and media and communications.
One of the most powerful themes that emerged from the convention was the power of collaboration. Participants emphasized that in order to achieve meaningful change, we need to work together across different sectors, movements, and identities.
This means building bridges between progressive activists, labor unions, faith groups, community organizations, and other social justice movements. It means recognizing that we all have a stake in each other’s struggles and that our destinies are intertwined.
Lisa Hymas, Director of the Climate and Energy Program at Media Matters for America, shared her perspective on the importance of collaboration during a plenary session on environmental justice. She argued that in order to address the urgent threat of climate change, we need to build a broad-based coalition that includes not only climate activists but also labor unions, racial justice advocates, Indigenous communities, and others who are impacted by environmental injustice.
Similarly, Cristina Tzintzun, Executive Director of Jolt Texas, emphasized the need for collaboration across different communities during a panel on immigrant rights. She stressed that in order to protect the rights of immigrant communities, we need to work together with other social justice movements, such as Black Lives Matter, the LGBTQ community, and environmental activists.
The convention also highlighted the power of collaboration in the electoral realm. Progressive candidates, organizers, and policymakers shared their experiences of running for office and engaging voters in their communities.
One of the most inspiring examples was the story of Stacey Abrams, who is running for Governor of Georgia. Abrams emphasized that in order to win, we need to build a diverse coalition of voters that includes people of color, young people, women, and working-class families. She argued that by speaking to the shared values of these communities, we can motivate them to participate in the political process and make real change.
Overall, the New Politics Convention demonstrated the power of collaboration in advancing a progressive vision for our country. By working together across movements and identities, we can build the broad-based coalition needed to create a just and equitable society. As one participant put it, “we don’t have to agree on everything, but we have to agree on something.” Together, we can achieve the change we seek.