That was rough. Even if you weren’t watching last night’s Republican debate, you probably know there are a few misconceptions floating around about how our economic and political systems can—and should—work. At least for most of us right now, they don’t: a recent Princeton University study found that Congress overwhelmingly makes decisions with no regard for the preferences of the American people.
While it's easy to fall into despair at the state of our democracy, there is reason for hope. The 2016 race has already illustrated the power of movements in defining the terms of the debate. Candidates on both sides of the aisle are now forced to take sides on whether black lives matter, whether a bank can be too big to fail and whether fossil fuels can have free reign over public lands. Anti-austerity forces abroad, meanwhile, are making successful bids for state power.
This week alone has already seen students under the banner #OurGenerationOurChoice shut down intersections near the White House for racial, climate and economic justice, and fast food workers striking to call for $15 an hour and a union. Tomorrow, a Million Student March will make the same demand for campus workers nationwide, while pushing for debt-free higher education for all. And beyond the stages and streets, a smaller-scale democracy is taking root as well, equipped with innovative tools like participatory budgeting, seed sharing and broad-based methods of community wealth building.
These are trying times, but people worldwide are stepping up to fill the “democracy deficit” left by bosses and elected officials alike. On this third day of #NewEconomyWeek we ask: “How can we advance democracy and self-determination on the issues that impact our lives?”
Today, as on each day of the week, we’ll feature original content from around the internet by NEC members and allies. See below for a few highlights of what you can expect to see today, including a webinar with Millennial Movement leaders starting up soon!
#NewEconomyWeek online panels--register and watch for free!
Wednesday @ 12:00 PM EST - A Democracy for the 99 Percent: Millennial Movements Taking Power, featuring the leaders behind #OurGenerationOurChoice and the Million Student March
Thursday @ 2:00 PM EST - What Is Energy Democracy And Why Does It Matter?
A few of today’s #NewEconomyWeek stories
“7 Paths to Development That Bring Neighborhoods Wealth, Not Gentrification,” by Marjorie Kelly and Sarah McKinley of the Democracy Collaborative (YES! Magazine)
“Acts of Collective Imagination: Notes From the Chief Policy Wonk at America’s Department of Arts and Culture,” by Arlene Goldbard (YES! Magazine)
"Allocation for the 99 Percent," an interview with the Participatory Budgeting Project's Aseem Mulji
"Supporting Coops as Pathways to an Inclusive Economy," by Gloria LaBrecque of the Cooperative Fund of New England
"Democracy, the 1%, and a Caring Economy," by Valerie Young of the Center for Partnership Studies
"Tackling Corporate Power Head-On: The Urgency of Fixing Our Democracy," by Sarah Stranahan
And many thanks to The Laura Flanders Show--one of our media partners--for highlighting not only #NewEconomyWeek, but the work of members PUSH Buffalo, the Working World and the Participatory Budgeting Project in this week’s show. See the rest of the program here!
Some #NewEconomyWeek events to check out
In College Park, the Maryland Food Co-op will host a panel discussion on worker-owned cooperatives, with Steve Dubb of the Democracy Collaborative, Jennifer Bryant of ONE DC, Elvis Guerrero, a rank-and-file worker organizer at IKEA, and Maryland Food Co-op worker-owner Chris Litchfield.
In Bar Harbor, ME, the Cooperative Development Institute will host a teach-in entitled “ Maine and MDI in the New Economy” at the College of the Atlantic highlighting key concepts for ensuring economic growth and stability in the Mount Desert Island area.
Visit www.neweconomyweek.org/events for the full list of events planned by NEC members and allies!