The Organizing Revival is HERE! More than a thousand of you came from all across the country to join me in Arlington, Virginia for our 2023 People’s Action convention.
We called this convention “Coming Home,” and it truly was a homecoming: a time to meet old friends and new, our first in-person gathering since COVID and the 2022 elections.
And since we are People’s Action, we also took to the streets of Washington, D.C., to let everyone know we won’t wait for change: we will make it happen.
Through workshops, plenaries and celebration, we dug into the elements of what it will take to revitalize every level of our movement for social justice, from the local to the national stage.
Powerful local leaders, like Ken Whittaker from Michigan United, Kim Smith from VOCAL-NY and Vicente Cortez from Down Home North Carolina, took the stage with elected champions like Anthony Joel Quezada and Sen. Robert Peters from Chicago, and key national allies, like Ana García Ashley from Gamaliel and Maurice Mitchell from the Working Families Party, to energize us and share the vision of what it will take to win the changes our country needs.
“Who wants to live in a land of democracy?” said Rev. Alvin Herring from Faith In Action in the closing crescendo of our final session. “We do!” the crowd thundered back.
To achieve this truly multiracial democracy, it will take all of us - and the many more who are not yet with us. So over two days, we dug into the details: how to build base for every one of our local organizations, build a bigger we through new alliances and expanding the tent, how to recruit and support more movement champions as they run for public office, and shift the public conversation about what is possible in our society.
On our last day together, we took to the streets of Washington, D.C. for not one, not two, but FIVE direct actions. We challenged Citigroup and their chairman, John Dugan, to stop funding our climate crisis, and told the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) to stop lobbying against tenant protections and rent regulations.
At the offices of the lobbying group America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), Carly Morton from Beaver, Pennsylvania and others described how they have been denied lifesaving care by for-profit insurers. And at the offices of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), we remembered all of those lost to the War On Drugs and demanded a shift away from criminalization towards policies that save lives.
These powerful moments of shared reflection and action are what help us see that our Organizing Revival is not only possible, it is already underway - in each and every one of us.
Now that we have officially launched the Organizing Revival and it has been approved by our network, there will be events hosted by our member organizations over the next eighteen months about how to implement it where they live. Member groups have made commitments to double their membership and train thousands of leaders and organizers.
I am so proud of all of the member groups that officially ratified our Power Plan at convention, charting this shared course, and of everyone who, in response to People’s Action board co-chair Lizeth Chacón at our closing plenary, shouted “¡Claro que si!” (“Yes, indeed!”) to affirm their full commitment to all four pillars of our Revival: to build organizing infrastructure, run electoral and issue campaigns, inspire millions to join our movement with the story of organizing, and organizing resources from both philanthropy and our own people to support this essential work.
We’ll share much more in coming days about each of these pillars, and what you can do to help make our Organizing Revival real. The first step for many of us will be more training: so each of us, and our organizations, are equipped with the most powerful tools to build the relationships, teams and vision we need to win.
People’s Action is rolling out new in-person and virtual training sessions all across the country. These include sessions for both seasoned organizers as well as those brand-new to our movement, so please check out our training calendar to find the opportunity that is right for you.
The stakes have never been higher. Those who oppose democracy are doing all they can to undermine it. And all of our work will take resources. So please, support us.SUPPORT OUR WORK
I want to thank all of you for all you have done, and all you are committed to do, to make our Organizing Revival real. With your support, we’re going to meet people where they are, then take them to places they’ve never been before.