Friday, December 12, 2008

Meta Talk Time. How do we build a grassroots progressive coalition in the Crescent City?

I don't think we need to get into too much detail when describing what is meant by 'progressive.'

For me, it means demolishing the notion in this city that people who care about social justice and people who care about tax dollar efficiency must be in mutually exclusive groups.

Barack Obama just won the Presidency on a general platform that combined transparency, competence, and social justice.

We can replicate that on the municipal level and I think we have to.

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Cliff gets at something good in the comments portion of this post.

I think it's hard to organize the big picture. I got myself pretty frustrated at times trying to figure out ways to get the big picture message across. Ultimately, I decided that I could be a more effective advocate for the kind of change I believe in by actually engaging in an issue, by injecting a progressive perspective into the repetitive back-and-forth "discourse" that has characterized the political arena.

But Cliff is right, the big picture is what is ultimately important.

The question I've been struggling with all along is how do we get there.

At some point, you've just got to dive in.

By engaging a variety of singular issues, we can build loose coalitions that can be tied together to form a cogent vision for progressive change.

That is why I'm anxious to see how I can now contribute to the fight against the destruction of Lower Mid City.

And there will be plenty of others after that too.

One key, I think, is to figure out how to translate our online communities and our online tools into live direct action. New Orleans progressive bloggers have had some very notable successes, but now is the time to push forward.

5 comments:

GENTILLY YARD ART said...

just saw you on the news.

was reluctent to sign your petition because of backlash from my local pols.

after seeing you on the news i said fuck it.

thanks for taking the lead on this and also for the dialoges you are encouraging on your web site.

the web could be a web for commen local good if i'm reading and perceiving your site correctly.

also i have spell check turned off on purpose so dont get all up tight about spelling.

i like the hunt and peck raw feel .

is that so wrong?

E said...

fucking sweet. love that comment.

GentillyGirl said...

E,

We have the groundwork laid. We have the Rising Tide, the Bloggers and our various other connections. We have inroads to standard media... we email and dial our phones when something is going down and it doesn't smell right.

Look what you did with the Trash Queen petition. Look at Karen and Loreen and their efforts. Look at those of us who founded neighborhood associations in order to give people a voice.

The next step is taking this to the streets, to engage folk who are not of our ilk in a dialogue (like me last night at the Bywater BBQ). To speak truth to Power.

This really is the Third Battle for New Orleans. We must NOT lose this fight for the soul of our city.

I'm a veteran of over 30 years of fighting for LGBT rights, anti-nuclear campaigns and the rights of women. I know what taking it to the streets means.

We could muster 5 to 7 thousand people in 2 hours in S.F. for a rally. I don't see where this is impossible in NOLA. We can control the vertical and the horizontal...
isn't this what we have been doing for 3+ years?

I'm ready when you are.

Angelique said...

I agree with the Gentillies. So many locals and residents are just aching to throw their weight behind any of the movements you discuss on your blog. There are tons of networks of like-minded and ready-to-mobilize groups in the city who are just an email or phone call away. Perhaps you don't realize the scope of your audience.

swampwoman said...

I signed an online petition sponsored by National Trust for Historic Preservation a couple weeks ago, and today received a snail mail letter from the governor's office stating thanks for the opinion, but Louisiana is forging ahead with the new Charity Hospital and subsequent demolition of lower Mid City. That machine will take many "cranes" to block the demolition process.