No Shortcuts

Jane McAlevey, longterm labor organizer and author of No Shortcuts: Organizing for Power in the New Gilded Age, was the guest today on Your Call Radio. Following are my notes from what she had to day.

Need to shift away from deep organizing to shallow mobilizing

The Women’s Marches were incredible, especially small rural towns

How do we translate it?

The Right’s key is to sow division with fear

Trump won because the Democratic Party has failed most working class people in this country, black, brown, and white.

Now is an outsider moment.

To keep the momentum, we must have a longer-term attention span, do power analysis and strategic thinking.

Think globally, act locally.

Must figure out: 1) how to take over locally; 3) elect local leaders

Go to town council meeting, take over neighborhood or union, then town council

Figure out how to actually win

We need a Tea Party-like structure within the Democratic Party

It will take time and patience

Must build real, high-participation organizations and sustain that structural power, which we aren’t doing.

We’re out-strategized by the Right

Not everything is sexy, like taking control of your local Democratic Party

The work is messy and hard

Build power locally and amalgamate it higher up

We can build big, win, and keep it democratic and progressive

Focus on how do I become a precinct leader? Congressional Districts are too big to start with

The Right started at the local level

Take on yes or no campaigns

How do you build a class movement that is intersectional?

We must tackle and overcome race and gender because we have to in order to win

We don’t wake up wondering how to talk about identity

When you do a union campaign you’re not picking who you relate to

It’s structure based, not self-selecting

Most of the people we need aren’t coming to our meetings

You must overcome the complexities of various identities

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