Header Image Mobile Header Image


08/29/2019 | Local Progress: A National Network of Progressive Local Elected Officials

Local Progress Convenes Elected Officials to Build Power

In July, more than 250 local elected officials, community leaders, and policy and labor partners from across the country gathered in Detroit for the largest, most diverse, and most powerful Local Progress (LP) convening to date. Detroit Councilmember Raquel Castañeda-López and Detroit Action Executive Director Branden Snyder welcomed LP with open arms and were instrumental in ensuring that the convening was rooted in partnership between the people of Detroit and their local government. 

Local Progress, a network of progressive elected officials and a project of CPD, gathered to discuss “Equity. Justice. Power.” This wasn’t just a theme. It was a call to meet the challenge of moving local policy and action that dismantles systems of oppression designed to exclude people of color. This year’s convening focused on building power, courage, and creativity to tackle the crises of our time—homelessness, mass incarceration and disinvestment, targeting of immigrants, or runaway inequality.

In every plenary, breakout workshop, Detroit site visit, and interaction, elected officials grappled with how to overcome political, structural, and institutional barriers to an agenda of racial equity. For each of the topics—from the 2020 U.S. census to local government budgets to media strategy—moderators, speakers, and participants reckoned with the past and present of how localities have entrenched racism and exclusion, as well as how to take them on and win. Participants had tough conversations and made a plan to support each other as they all headed back to their own jurisdictions.

Local Progress also honored two LP members for their work in the last year. LP proudly awarded Balsz School District Board President Channel Powe of Arizona the "Network Builder Award" for her tremendous leadership in bringing new members into Local Progress, building deep relationships, and helping shape LP’s school board and racial justice work. Local Progress members also voted Seattle Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda the "Ady Barkan Progressive Champion" for her commitment to building progressive power through the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights, her cross-city leadership around corporate accountability, and her leadership on progressive housing policy.  

The Local Progress network wouldn’t thrive without the commitment of members across the country who make it a space where people learn from each other, collectively take on the greatest challenges in our communities, and develop an agenda that we know will impact both state and federal policy. Together, we can build a world in which all of our communities have the freedom to thrive. Please consider making a donation to support the critical work of Local Progress and our affiliates today.