Unmasking the Hidden Power of Cities


We are in an unprecedented moment in U.S. history. It is a time of resurgent racism and inequality, but also of newly energized and ambitious activism. We propose that the most effective way to take advantage of that momentum and reclaim American democracy is through investment in progressive organizing in the nation’s cities. Throughout the country, cities provide the diversity, social bonds, union strength, coalition relationships and experience necessary to achieve governing power in the interest of the common good.

Despite deep investments by right-wing interests to diminish government and promote a radically pro-corporate agenda, city-based organizations continue to win an extraordinary range of policies that improve people’s lives, from wage increases and public school improvements, to affordable housing funding and climate resiliency solutions, to immigrant protections and criminal justice reform. Support to expand organizing in cities can drive and implement a new forward-looking vision for the country as a whole.

We assert that a modest and focused investment—far less than is spent on a state ballot measure—in the top 50 cities and their metro regions can become the seed. of American renewal. Expanding organizing resourcest o the metropolitan regions that encircle cities allows us to target the myriad of institutions that determine local policies—including counties, school boards, and air quality and water districts—and, ultimately, to drive statewide changes.