How Do We Escape Trumpism?

By Daniel Crawford

 

The following represents the opinion of Progressive member Daniel Crawford alone and does not represent the view of the larger Licking County Progressives.

 

 

How are we going to escape the madness of this era of Trump? I’m not just talking about Donald Trump himself, but rather I am talking about the despicable brand of politics he leaves behind: Trumpism, if you will. We can’t escape this unless we face our inner demons as a society which Trump has mastered the art of exploiting for his own gain, following the example of the Republican Party and their propaganda allies beyond the party. Bigotry is at the heart of this great weapon possessed and gleefully used by the Republican Party to conquer the working class and thus our democracy. Until we recognize and rectify the carnal things that our culture has instilled in us about our distaste for the “other” we can not remove the greatest and most easily accessible weapon in the arsenal of anti-democratic forces.

 

Here in Licking County, Ohio we unfortunately see the consequences of a sustained assault on our need for hope. While hate is the product of fear, hope is produced by love. In our little corner of the globe the remnants of hope are dwindling and hard to find, and that is by design. Cowardly politicians turn to the divisive brand of politicking when they know their message would otherwise fall flat, and Licking County has been a victim of this for quite some time. Once considered a stronghold of sorts for the Democratic Party, Licking County entered into a steady shift to the “right” as the working class here was left behind with the politics of neoliberalism and the economic consequences of de-unionization, de-industrialization, as well as outsourcing; all of which contributed to our rising poverty and the current upward trend of homelessness.

 

Not too long ago, Newark – our County Seat – was considered to be among Ohio’s fastest growing cities, and it was likewise defined by the numerous good paying jobs you could find here. As recent as the 1990s, a Democratic Mayor made history by winning three straight terms and was immediately succeeded by another Democratic Mayor. Yet, with the national political pushback against public investments – ranging from education spending to infrastructure spending -, Newark’s services began to experience some decay with the most obvious example being our roads and bridges. The story of Newark and Licking County is a tragedy in and of itself, but it is a microcosm of what the rest of this nation’s working class is experiencing.

 

What does one see now when entering Licking County? You see pockets of progress where the privileged few among us have been able to guarantee it thanks to their political connections. You see corruption in elective office with deals made in the dark between local government and contractors as they do the bidding of that same small group of citizens attempting to erect a society wherein the community is replaced by the consumer. You see citizens who’ve lost all hope increasingly forced to live on the streets, as some turn to drugs also in growing numbers to cope with their desperation, all the while our services continue to fail in addressing the root causes of this despair.

Licking County, Ohio is not just a tragedy because of the Democratic Party no longer having a stronghold here. Rather, the Democratic Party contributed to this tragedy by cowering in the proverbial corner decades ago as they permitted the Republican Party to steer this country down a path of deep income and wealth inequality. The working class of Licking County and of America was pushed out of the bus by the Democratic Party – fearing that they would be first cast out into the wilderness – and run over by the Republican Party…repeatedly. The average working family no longer had an ally that they could easily discern from our narrow selection of two major parties. Their desperation grew as they felt their voice become ever more faint, and that is when and where they became vulnerable to the Republican Party’s conquest.

 

Over the course of the past few decades, the Right Wing machine – consisting of the Republican Party and their allies – created a sustain narrative that only the individual could be trusted to his or her own fate. In this narrative, community was worthless because not everyone in your community was worthy of your trust or your time. The common struggle became your own struggle. As long as you are doing ok, who cares how your neighbor is doing. After all, if they are having a bad time, it is because they alone messed up along the way.

 

The icing on top of the cake came with the peddling of bigotry which taps into our primal sensitivity in fearing the unfamiliar. While racism was no longer as evident as it was prior to the civil rights era, it merely retreated into the corners of our mind, being fed by certain undertones in popular culture, and manipulated by crafty politicians who knew exactly what to say to trigger your nods of approval as they ranted on about those “illegals”, “terrorists”, and “welfare queens”. You may not go out and say the “N” word aloud, but you were likely to agree with the notion that there were certain traits and traditions which were reserved for and common among “the blacks”, “the browns”, etc.

 

Today, you see the lingering effects of this cultural angst which festers as the working class struggle continues and worsens. The somewhat hidden tolerance of bigotry was laid open for all to see as Trump came out and started saying everything that you had been secretly saying amongst others who looked and thought like you. He seemed like the champion for whom you had always been waiting as he didn’t hold back and thumbed his nose at “political correctness”. Here in Licking County, Ohio many of his fans became more public with their bigoted views and even one elected official – a Republican County Commissioner, in fact – suggested it might be best to see Trump’s 2016 opponent hang; a comment that was defended by the dominant Commissioner (who also controls local politics throughout the county) and which seemed to dismiss the racist connotations which accompanies such a comment. Worse yet was the lame response offered by the local Democratic Party, which merely condemned the statement instead of demanding the resignation of the two men around whom the controversy had focused.

 

Average working class citizens are not typically inclined to support candidates or parties which appear to be afraid of their own shadow. Actually, what they respect is the determination to stand up for one’s convictions as well as the consistency in doing so. Anything less than that stinks to high heaven of your quintessential politician acting like a snake oil salesman. This prolonged refusal to stand up for the working class while simultaneously pointing out what the Republican Party is doing to try and keep us divided is the reason the Democrats have lost so much ground in places like Licking County, Ohio.

 

It is reasonable for one to conclude that it may be too late to convince Licking County to oppose Trump in 2020 or to elect a Democratic slate in any other election in the near future. However, there is a pathway that we can undertake to rebuild the sense of hope and that path can not be built without a comprehensive plan to educate the working class of Licking County and communities like it around the country about the history of how we got here and how we can get to where we need to be. There are a variety of educational projects which exist at this moment, but their focus is not united. But, what if they were?

 

What if there was one easy recognizable source for working class citizens to learn about the power they have when we work as one? What if there was a single reliable source for keeping the people informed about the various actions of those in political and economic power; including the tendency of those in power to use bigotry against us? What if we had a viable means of getting the people’s message out to their neighbors so as to magnify our collective voice for those at the top to hear? Would it be crazy to suggest that this could reignite the hope within us and help revitalize the working class?

 

As I type this I stand as one of a few working class progressive activists who has been begging for an organized effort to reconnect our fellow citizens with the history and importance of organized labor – which is the foundation for the working class having true power in economics and politics -, and that ambition for reaching out to the people started with a grand goal of creating a “Summer of Labor” series of educational and community events. While I still yearn for that to come true I have been advocating for the creation of a “Labor Paper” or some periodical source of information free and accessible to all working class citizens.

 

Licking County, Ohio is deeply immersed in what I call “Trumpism” because ours is a community long abandoned by the established political and economic forces. This sense of abandonment was ripe for the picking for someone like Trump and the Republican Party. In my strong view, a “Labor Paper” – later with the addition of a “Summer of Labor” as well as some community events wherein people are encouraged to communicate our fears with a diverse group – can provide strong assistance in helping us rebuild a strong working class movement to push back against corruption, strengthen democracy, force the Democratic Party to regain a sense of purpose, and ultimately defeat Trumpism (which is basically neo-fascism by another name).

 

The problem is that I can’t take on this project alone, because I don’t have the resources to make it happen. That is where you come in. My plea to you as you read this is to help me make this come true. I’m largely trying to bring this vision to reality through the “Working Families First Initiative” which was founded by a good friend of mine and a stalwart progressive/working class champion (Garry Goldsmith). He and I started a blog about a year ago and an accompanying podcast earlier this year – which you can follow and register for over at www.workingfamiliesfirstohio.com – the combination of which we hope will help to influence the discussions and collective thinking we need to make a difference.

 

Escaping the madness of Trump and Trumpism is possible, but we didn’t fall into this abyss overnight on November 8th, 2016. As I illustrated throughout this entry – and at greater length in numerous other blog entries -, the conditions for this were set over an extended period of time. It will take time to claw our way back to sanity and back to a system that we can be confident represents and works for all of us. Still, we will not get there by electing candidates alone, but by creating the cultural conditions and political groundswell for compelling those elected officials to actually do something good with the power we bestow upon them. I believe this is possible, even in Licking County, Ohio, because if we can do it here then we can duplicate this model around the country (and maybe beyond) for a true people’s democratic revolution.

 

 

Onward.

June 2019 Progressive Meeting/Update and August Tentative Agenda

Agenda for Monthly Progressive Business Meeting

8/26/19

7-9pm

Location to be determined

Subject to Change

 

  • Introduction (5 Mins. 7:00-7:05)
  • Labor Education/Working Families First (10 Mins. 7:05-7:15)
  • Local Activism (5 Mins. 7:15-7:20)
  • Open Discussion (If Desired) (100 Mins. 7:20-9:00)
  • Adjourn (9:00)

 

 

Minutes for Progressive Meeting

6/24/19

 

  • The update was broadcast via Facebook Live!
  • Daniel played the sole host of the update: noted that he was just returning from a short break away from politics.
  • There hasn’t been a lot of progress with respect to educational efforts or Working Families First, save for the “Issues and Answers” podcast.
  • With local politics/events: there was a recent Newark Pride event, which was seen as a success. City election campaigns are underway, some headway on transit needs with an organization recently stepping up suggesting that they could help provide more reliable transportation. Unfortunately, the homeless issue continues to go ignored with only organizations like “Newark Homeless Outreach” doing much to help.
  • Future meetings may evolve to become more like this one.

Agenda for June 2019 Meeting and April 2019 Business Meeting Minutes

Agenda for Monthly Progressive Business Meeting

6/24/19

7-9pm

Live, via Facebook (Hosted by Daniel)

Subject to Change

 

  • Introduction (5 Mins. 7:00-7:05)
  • Labor Education/Working Families First (10 Mins. 7:05-7:15)
  • Local Activism (5 Mins. 7:15-7:20)
  • Open Discussion (If Desired) (100 Mins. 7:20-9:00)
  • Adjourn (9:00)

 

 

Minutes for Progressive Meeting

4/29/19

 

  • Meeting was broadcast via a LIVE Facebook video.
  • We discussed the ongoing plans for a Labor Paper/Pamphlet/Newsletter. It was noted that our fellow progressive and founder of Working Families First Initiative is supportive of the idea of a labor paper and of using the Initiative as a conduit for such. It was also pointed out that he and Daniel are working on a political podcast (Entitled “Issues and Answers”) via the Working Families First website.
  • It was pointed out that as part of educating local working class citizens, we can look into labor-friendly lawyers, help educate and protect workers struggling for their rights. Help non-union workers, possibly with help of organizations like AFL-CIO, and we can tie this effort into the paper/podcast to call for help.
  • We highlighted the recent incident in Newark City Council (on April 15th) when Mayor Hall was cornered by citizens concerned about the homeless. We discussed how the Newark Homeless Outreach is now consistently serving over one hundred people (not all homeless, but hungry and desperately in need).
  • We brought up the former “Basket” on the far east end of Newark, how this challenge of homelessness is an opportunity for the community to help, and how we need to get local religious institutions more involved in the effort.
  • Above all, we vocalized our frustration with “just talking about” homelessness, without action. It was pointed out how the 99%’s initiative effort was borne out of frustration with inaction, and a similar spirit was emerging now.
  • We discussed the importance of the temporary solution of tent cities, how we need to see a change in ordinances which restrict such, how we might explore using abandoned schools to help, and how the homeless can benefit simply from having an address.
  • We topped off our discussion by emphasizing that we must distinguish between temporary and permanent solutions, if we truly care.
  • Also brought up was the fact that our location for future meetings will be up in the air, as we may not always have the ability to use the church. Moreover, we will be shifting to meeting only on even-numbered months except for December.

Minutes for March 2019 Meeting and Agenda for April 2019 Meeting

Agenda for Monthly Progressive Business Meeting
4/29/19
7-9pm
24 Mill St., Newark, OH
Subject to Change

• Introduction (5 Mins. 7:00-7:05)
• Labor Education/Working Families First (10 Mins. 7:05-7:15)
• Local Activism (5 Mins. 7:15-7:20)
• Open Discussion (If Desired) (100 Mins. 7:20-9:00)
• Adjourn (9:00)
Minutes for Progressive Meeting
3/25/19

• Meeting was broadcast via a LIVE Facebook video.
• We discussed the ongoing plans for a Labor Paper/Pamphlet/Newsletter. Noted that we want it to be nonpartisan since working class issues know no political party. Even so, it should not refrain from pointing out when politicians and parties stray from fighting for working people. We highlighted that the Democratic Party – if it is smart – could benefit from supporting this effort by helping to educate people on labor and helping to boost the power thereof. Want it to be known that we are unquestionably pro-Union. Related to this, we discussed the seeming inevitability about automation, how unbridle automation threatens the economy, how employers use it as a scare tactic, and how it could be used to our collective benefit. It was pointed out that the labor paper can help educate on this as well (while also highlighting the role of outsourcing and insourcing). We discussed how it would be helpful to collaborate with the Think Tank, the Freedom School, Working Families First, and Labor.
• Related to the Labor issue and the role of Working Families First, we dipped into the local politics surrounding the needle exchange – specifically, the recent cowardly vote by the County Board of Health in banning such – and the dominant issue of rising homelessness in the area (stemming from last week’s City Council meeting wherein public support was on display for compassion). It was pointed out the labor paper can help educate here as well. We discussed how the homeless have a desperate need for beds and showers. There are between 500-800 homeless in the area with a study by HUD and Newark City Schools estimating 300 homeless children. Possible locations for homeless to stay: abandoned fire stations, empty schools, the abandoned “Knights Inn”, or even the abandoned “Basket”.
• In our open discussion, we continued our thoughtful review of what socialism is and what it isn’t as well as how we confront the conservative uptick in attacks on the same.

February 2019 Business Meeting Minutes and Tentative Agenda for March 2019 Meeting

Agenda for Monthly Progressive Business Meeting
3/25/19
7-9pm
24 Mill St., Newark, OH
Subject to Change

• Introduction (5 Mins. 7:00-7:05)
• Labor (5 Mins. 7:05-7:10)
• City-Based Activism (5 Mins. 7:10-7:15)
• Working Families First (5 Mins. 7:15-7:20)
• Open Discussion (If Desired) (100 Mins. 7:20-9:00)
• Adjourn (9:00)
Minutes for Progressive Meeting
2/25/19

• Meeting was broadcast via a LIVE Facebook video.
• We discussed matters pertaining to Labor. Noted that the Summer of Labor – except for the Democracy Day event – will be suspended until 2020 at the earliest. Revisiting the need for a Labor paper. We briefly talked about the Freedom School showing “Dark Money” the previous Thursday and how it was well attended with around 50 people. Our discussion branched off into how the proposed tax rates by Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez can help to effectively create a maximum income and how a living wage of $15 an hour should be attached to inflation. We mentioned how workers were essential for the production of wealth, and this then extended into a renewed discussion about socialism and what it really is. We again highlighted the fact that the Local Party has new leadership and will hopefully now be more amenable to progressive ideas.
• We highlighted the current state of local races in Newark, citing the competition for Council and the Mayor’s office.
• We addressed “Working Families First” and how creating this network database can also serve as a launching pad for the aforementioned labor paper – which can start out as a newsletter -, noting that we need to work with the platform’s founder and secure more postcards for distribution.

January 2019 Meeting Minutes and Tentative Agenda for February Meeting

Agenda for Monthly Progressive Business Meeting

2/25/19

7-9pm

24 Mill St., Newark, OH

Subject to Change

 

  • Introduction (5 Mins. 7:00-7:05)
  • Labor (5 Mins. 7:05-7:10)
  • City-Based Activism (5 Mins. 7:10-7:15)
  • Working Families First (5 Mins. 7:15-7:20)
  • Open Discussion (If Desired) (100 Mins. 7:20-9:00)
  • Adjourn (9:00)

 

 

Minutes for Progressive Meeting

1/28/19

 

  • Meeting was broadcast via a LIVE Facebook video.
  • We discussed the Summer of Labor plans. All pre-scheduled events – except for Democracy Day 2019 – have been cancelled. The focus will now shift towards trying to build local interest in these events for future summers, we will also be aiming to inspire themed letters to the editor campaigns each month, and in early promotion of Democracy Day.
  • There are a number of important local elections this year which will allow us to promote the issues affecting the working class, and as part of this it will be the goal to help build the network envisioned by the founding Progressive champion behind Working Families First. Working Families First could be beneficial and a conduit for applying pressure on policymakers without influence from the parties. Part of this initiative involves canvassing and handing people business cards and postcards which they can fill out and return to the circulator.
  • With new Democratic Party leadership locally, we have a renewed opportunity to pressure the party to support working class/progressive causes. One such cause is the promotion of a “nonpartisan” labor paper which could (should) emerge as the product of a partnership from left-leaning parties, organized labor, and like-minded organizations. The goals of this paper could include: stimulating issue discussion, education about actions of elected and unelected public officials, issue advocacy, daily letter to the editor section, provide regular advice on how to organize in the workplace, open a discussion on cooperative businesses and similar workplace experiments where the employees all own a piece of their place of employment, keeping the working class informed about local business practices, can be distributed (at least, initially) as a newsletter and in online format, and it ought to provide a section featuring facts about the history of labor.
  • Under Open Discussion, we touched on a wide array of issues from abortion and State Senator Hottinger to the presidential race and the issue of wealth inequality.

Election 2018: An Opportunity to Regroup

By Daniel Crawford

The following represents the opinion of Progressive member Daniel Crawford alone and does not represent the view of the larger Licking County Progressives.

The time has come for a change in leadership across the board. In Licking County the Democratic Party Chair has already announced her intention to resign, which is the most appropriate thing for every party chair who failed to deliver a victory against the Republicans over the past two election cycles. Yet, we presently hear nothing from the Ohio Democratic Party pertinent to Chairman David Pepper’s future. Pepper not only presided over the loss of Cordray’s Gubernatorial Campaign this year and Hillary Clinton’s campaign in Ohio two years ago, but the only partisan statewide campaign to succeed under his watch was that of Senator Sherrod Brown. If we don’t want Ohio to become a de facto “red state” in perpetuity then it is imperative that new leadership is swept in wherever said leadership failed to stop the Republicans.

What we need to do is have a serious and deeply introspective conversation about the status of the party, how we got to this pathetic state of affairs, and what we need to do in order to actually win elections. From the Progressive perspective the answers to all of our questions are quite clear: we lost the working class and we MUST reconnect with them again. The next leaders of the Democratic Party at every level absolutely must recognize the origins of the party’s failures to convince the working class that voting for the “blue team” is in their best interest. Here in Ohio, Senator Sherrod Brown represents a path forward.

No, Senator Brown is not perfect, but he has an established reputation of fighting on behalf of the working class on key issues, with special emphasis on trade and outsourcing. He won despite having a far more progressive voting record than most of his Senate colleagues, despite his outspoken recent opposition to the highly controversial and conservative-galvanizing nomination of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and despite the fact that he had to run in a state which handed Trump its electoral votes by the biggest margin of any presidential candidate in decades. If Democrats want to win in Ohio (and places like Ohio) again, then a renewed focus on the checkbook issues that working people care about is essential. Moreover, the party leadership ought to more fully coordinate with organized labor to both craft better policy proposals and messages as well as to help strengthen the presence and clout of unions (there will be more on this in the weeks and months to come).

Furthermore, in connecting with the working class more directly, we should do as much to educate them about the origins of their conditions as we do to help address the challenges presented thereby. Helping to encourage and support organizing in the workplace is a crucially active part of addressing the condition, but we must connect the dots for a citizenry who’ve forgotten or been kept blind to why they suffer at all. In this respect, the party – in connection with labor – ought to help create and circulate a network of labor newspapers in print and online to counter the anti-worker narrative propagated by corporate America. Supported, promoted, and complemented with regular, smaller informative literature – such as leaflets, postcards, posters, electronic ads, etc. -, we ought to point out that there is, in fact, a class war raging on and that the Republican Party has long spearheaded the assault on the working class and democracy on behalf of the wealthy.

Another key set of changes which is long overdue is that the party must come together and soundly reject corporate PAC money and reject any temptation to interfere in primary campaigns. New ideas and voices are vital to the future of any organization and attempting to silence dissenting views serves to hinder further growth; especially when said dissent emanates from the supposed base of the Democratic Party. By reaching out to and embracing those whose critique make us reflect on our failures, we improve our condition and perfect our approach. The path to victory for progressivism is in front of us, but we have to recognize the steps that must be taken in order to seize said path.

Let this election as well as 2016 be teachable moments lest we revisit this nightmare in 2020 and beyond.

Onward.

Minutes from October 2018 Meeting and Tentative Agenda for January 2019 Meeting

Agenda for Monthly Progressive Business Meeting

1/28/19

7-9pm

24 Mill St., Newark, OH

Subject to Change

 

  • Introduction (5 Mins. 7:00-7:05)
  • Summer of Labor (5 Mins. 7:05-7:10)
  • City-Based Activism (5 Mins. 7:10-7:15)
  • Working Families First (5 Mins. 7:15-7:20)
  • Open Discussion (If Desired) (100 Mins. 7:20-9:00)
  • Adjourn (9:00)

 

 

Minutes for Progressive Meeting

10/2/18

 

  • We had our first LIVE meeting (video available here).
  • We reviewed our 2nd Annual Democracy Day, noted where we thought it went well, and how we may do better next time around.
  • We had a brief discussion – stemming from the reference made to it at the Democracy Day event – on the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court and what it means for the future.
  • We highlighted a few local-based activist points: Daniel’s upcoming remarks before Newark City Council pertaining to the Gazebo on the 7th anniversary of the 99% of Newark and East Central Ohio’s founding (October 15th). Recent anonymous letters have been forwarded to Daniel and each have come with some important questions for officeholders, also noted the upcoming prayer vigil – as led by the Public Transportation Advocates (a spinoff movement inspired by the Freedom School of Licking County) – advocating for public transportation on Sunday, October 14th, and we addressed the potential local impacts of the recent decision by Amazon to raise the pay for their workers.
  • We addressed the continuing need to help generate a discussion amongst the local working class via the Working Families First Initiative: organizing and starting conversations, dealing with apathy, and using examples of how collective power can generate change.
  • We reviewed the upcoming Midterms, looked at the County and State Races and pondered a series of endorsements for local candidates. We decided to leave that vote up to those following the page, since there were so few of us in attendance at the physical meeting.
  • Under open discussion, we noted the need to move our meeting time. The location that we use is convenient for one of our longtime members, as she is disabled. However, a conflict in scheduling has emerged. So, we have tentatively decided on meeting every 4th Monday at the same time and place, except we will no longer be meeting in November and December due to the holiday season.

Minutes for the September 2018 Meeting and Tentative Agenda for October’s Meeting

Agenda for Monthly Progressive Business Meeting

10/2/18

7-9pm

24 Mill St., Newark, OH

Subject to Change

 

  • Introduction (5 Mins. 7:00-7:05)
  • Summer of Labor (5 Mins. 7:05-7:10)
  • City-Based Activism (5 Mins. 7:10-7:15)
  • Working Families First (5 Mins. 7:15-7:20)
  • Midterms (5 Mins. 7:20-7:25)
  • Open Discussion (If Desired) (95 Mins. 7:25-9:00)
  • Adjourn (9:00)

 

 

Minutes for Progressive Meeting

9/4/18

 

  • We discussed plans for Democracy Day: noted that there have been some trouble getting word out through the newspaper but will try to get something on the community bulletin board via the website and try to get a letter to the editor in by the Sunday prior, planning on having pizza, ice, glasses/cups, water, and soft drinks, will look at the major issue of the day (Supreme Court nomination) and how the increasingly partisan process surrounding such came to be partisan through the influence of money in politics, possibly planning to swing by Council meeting as a group, including some postcards from Working Families First, promoting the notion that this is a call to organize and that the solution to labor’s problems is a global labor movement, and celebrating the power of democracy.
  • We highlighted the importance of helping Working Families First gain momentum as the effort has not had enough help getting the word out.
  • We briefly discussed the upcoming introduction of live-streaming our meetings to through the Licking County Progressives facebook page with the help/acquisition of a tablet.
  • Finally, it was noted that the Freedom School of Licking County will begin the 2018-2019 film series season with a theme centered on labor.

August 7th Meeting Minutes and Tentative Agenda for September 4th

Agenda for Monthly Progressive Business Meeting
9/4/18
7-9pm
24 Mill St., Newark, OH
Subject to Change

• Introduction (5 Mins. 7:00-7:05)
• Summer of Labor Update (5 Mins. 7:05-7:10)
• City-Based Activism (5 Mins. 7:10-7:15)
• Working Families First (5 Mins. 7:15-7:20)
• Live Meetings (5 Mins. 7:20-7:25)
• Open Discussion (If Desired) (95 Mins. 7:25-9:00)
• Adjourn (9:00)
Minutes for Progressive Meeting
8/7/18

• We discussed how some of our members are continuing to do their best to engage in local politics through activism and in attending local government meetings. Noted the importance of our continued participation.
• We noted that local progressives who are frustrated with the direction of local politics – or politics in general – should seriously consider running for a central committee seat in the Democratic Party to steer the party in a more progressive direction.
• We discussed how utilizing the Working Families First Initiative can be very helpful in spreading the word about progressivism and helping citizens connect the political dots between the fight against social angst and the need to improve/save our democracy.
• We pondered the future of our group – which has existed since October 2011 with the founding of the “99% of Newark and East Central Ohio” -, and considered whether the lack of consistent attendance by fellow progressives suggests that it is time for this phase (the physical meeting phase) needs to be folded. Attending members did not want to see that happen and insisted that we keep meeting monthly where we have met since 2014.
• We discussed trying to show “Dark Money” (something which has since been discussed and approved by the Freedom School of Licking County for their labor film series), but under the “99%” subgroup.
• Before we adjourned, we discussed the possibility of having future meetings using “Facebook Live” so as to permit those not physically present to still “attend”/participate.