I am in Washington, DC, attending the America’s Future Now!
conference. This conference used to be called “Take Back America” but
they had to change the name. I have been calling it “Took Back
First observation: the conference is much smaller this
year than last. The economy is certainly part of the reason – many of
the attendees are local this year. I flew here by cashing in miles,
not cash, and am sharing a room. I have a media pass instead of paying
a conference fee. Many of the people who are here from out of town are
representing organizations and not paying their own way.
think another reason attendance is down is because, to some extent, we
did Take Back America, so the urgency has dissipated. I think it
didn’t need to be as urgent and doesn’t have to be there next time. A
problem of progressive politics is that people get excited about
elections but not so much about getting ready for every next election
and the one after that. Millions are raised at the last minute because
of the urgency of hard-fought campaigns, but little is donated to the
infrastructure and advance work that would save the same campaigns from
being hard fought and urgent in the first place.
If more work
were done between elections, elections would be so much easier to win.
This is leverage – a small investment of time and resources now leads
to a large return later. This investment includes money: a hundred
dollars given to progressive organizations today lays the groundwork
for passing progressive policies and electing progressive candidates