Philadelphia’s justice community has now had two victories following the November apocalypse. First we nominated Larry Krasner for D.A., signaling a monumental turn in the philosophical underpinnings of our criminal justice system. Then, at the national level but built on a base of tremendous local activism, we stopped Trumpcare.
These two victories show the twin faces of what the Resistance must become: first, a fight to stop the worst abuses of the most repellant President in memory, and second, just as important, a continuing fight to advance a positive agenda of social and political justice.
On Sunday, September 24th, with Larry Krasner as our keynote speaker, NN members will gather at our Fall Membership Meeting to focus on the second of these struggles under the banner of: BEYOND THE RESISTANCE: BUILDING A JUSTICE AGENDA FOR PHILADELPHIA. The meeting will be from 2:30-5 PM at the First United Methodist Church of Germantown (“FUMCOG”), 6001 Germantown Ave.
Of course, NN supports the ongoing resistance to just about everything that our repulsive President and equally repellant Republican Congress have on their agendas. But we can’t let the need to resist cloud the imperative to solve problems, not merely keep them from getting worse. Racial injustice, income inequality, continuing lack of access to health care, housing and a decent education for millions, and the very existence of our planet, cannot be left for later. We have a two-fold strategy to attack these problems now.
CREATING A PROGRESSIVE PLATFORM FOR SOCIAL & POLITICAL JUSTICE
First, we need the Party that most of us belong to, the Democratic Party, to step up its game. It needs to begin standing strong for transformative change, not the Band-Aid kind. But it won’t do that on its own initiative. It needs to hear from us, the ones upon whose votes its power ultimately depends, on what it needs to do.
That’s why NN and other progressive partners have begun to work on a platform of specific proposals for remaking our city, state and world. Soon you will find a draft of that work in your inbox. We hope you will send us your feedback because without all of us standing behind a powerful new vision, it will never see the light of day. At our September 24th event, we will unveil the latest draft at which time we will seek additional input from you.
We need new leadership for the Philadelphia Democratic Party, leadership that is directed and driven from the bottom up in order to advance a bold new vision for our city, state and country. We recognize that the local Democratic Party is unwilling and incapable of acting on behalf of any platform that challenges the status quo on behalf of the majority of Philadelphians. We’ve seen all too graphically over recent months how thoroughly its leadership is committed to promoting its own welfare over the people’s welfare.
That’s why, in partnership with other progressive groups around the City, NN will be seeking to elect hundreds of new Committeepeople in the Spring 2018 election. Committeepeople are the key mobilization force working to elect Party candidates in every election cycle, and all too many of them are there only to do what they’re told. We need a Committeeperson force that is there to do what is right. We will devote significant time at our meeting to unveiling our plan for creating a new force for good right inside our Party.
Our plan can only be successful with your engagement in it, whether you wish to take an official position within the Party or help progressives who are doing so from the outside. But whichever it is, none of us who want real, meaningful progress in the world can ignore the role that our Party, starting here in Philly, plays in obstructing it. With the Committeeperson election coming up in May next year, we can change that distressing reality very soon.
JOIN US ON SEPTEMBER 24 TO BUILD A JUSTICE AGENDA FOR PHILLY
We have seen an enormous and inspiring outpouring of citizen activism over the past six months, much of it involving you our members. Now, as we move to the next stage of the struggle, we know that we’re all ready to up our game. In a very real sense, the fate of the planet depends on it. And we are not going to fail this test on which our very lives, and the lives of our children, depend. We look forward to seeing you on September 24th as we begin.