Gayle McLaughlin, Dr. Muntu Davis, Cassie Toner, Julie Nelson, Glenn Harris

Advancing a Progressive Agenda - Cities and States as Sites of Resistance and Power

By: Ethan Floyd

A regressive and reactionary agenda is playing out at the federal level: already the federal government has revoked guidance under Title IX advising schools to permit students to use bathroom facilities associated with their gender identity, issued travel bans that discriminate against Muslims, proposed drastic cuts to the budget that will mean life or death for many, and ramped up deportations of undocumented immigrants, breaking up families and communities.

But local governments are fighting back, not only resisting proposals that will cause significant harm in communities, but also maintaining a strong commitment to an effective democracy that advances social and racial equity. Panelists on the “Advancing a Progressive Agenda” breakout session shared their visions for best practices in resisting dangerous federal mandates and how local and state governments can act as pillars of resistance and power in this regressive era.

Speakers discussed how an inclusive policy agenda must both resist the excesses of a radically regressive agenda as well as organize and build power to advance an inclusive and progressive agenda at the state and local level. Fundamentally, strategies that build skills and capacity within local government mean that public sector employees are uniquely situated and further empowered to advance the collective good.

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