What is the Next Left?
Publisher: Against the Current
Date Written: 01/07/2016
Year Published: 2016
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21447
I think it is going to be very difficult to build national organizations that function under the control and as an expression of grassroots movements at this point; however, I think there is some real possibility for accomplishing this at the local level.
An organization capable of mounting an effective and principled electoral campaign will not be built overnight. It will not be built through immediately going out to run individual candidates for office.
Instead, we on the left could help to establish urban coalitions that are based in existing grassroots organizing, where activists from the base run for election not as individuals with the right politics but as representatives of a platform that they pledge to implement in office.
There are several efforts we can learn from. Just two are Richmond Progressive Alliance in Richmond CA, and Guanyem Barcelona in Spain.
Richmond Progressive Alliance was formed in 2004 as a collaboration between the local Green Party and progressive Latinos from the Democratic Party. Since then, RPA has organized to elect members to the city council and organized many successful issue campaigns that span environmental, social and economic justice. At the moment they are organizing a ballot measure campaign for a rent control/just cause eviction ordinance.