What’s Next for Democracy After the Election? (In DC, a Panel and an Audience)
“Election Debrief: Next Steps for the Progressive Movement,” it’s called. It’s a Wednesday, November 9 event held at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington DC, and its goal is to figure out how to invigorate democracy and progressive social movements in the wake of Election Day 2016.
The question posed by the event is, “how do we maintain our collective momentum and what are our next steps to positively transform our nation after the ballots are counted?” However, the structure chosen for this discussion is curious: a panel discussion with organizational leaders on the stage and everyone else in the audience. Panelists are:
- Steve Cobble, Institute for Policy Studies Associate Fellow
- Flavia Jimenez, Advancement Project Senior Attorney and Project Director of Immigrant Justice
- Alan Barber, Center for Economic and Policy Research Director of Domestic Policy
- Jonathan Hutto, Prince George’s County Maryland People’s Coalition Coordinator
- Phyllis Bennis, Institute for Policy Studies New Internationalism Director
- John Cavanagh, Director of the Institute for Policy Studies
I have the sense there will be a lot of telling going on, and I get the feeling that the Institute for Policy Studies will be playing a central role in the panelists’ plans. Not that there’s anything exactly wrong with that. Movements need to be organized, and people look for leadership.
Still, the last year and a half have been mostly about choosing between leadership alternatives that have been provided to us. It’s been a long top-down election season. It seems to me it’s time for a little bottom-up.
So sitting here at the bottom, you and I (and you over there, too), let’s talk it out. What ought to come next? Share your thoughts in the comments section. We don’t have to wait for a panelist with a title to tell us what comes next. After the election, we can decide for ourselves.