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07/30/2018 | Local Progress: A National Network of Progressive Local Elected Officials

Local Progress Takes Back Power at Largest Convening Yet

From July 12-14, 150 elected officials from over 30 states and 90 jurisdictions joined Local Progress in Minneapolis, Minnesota for their seventh annual convening. Throughout the weekend, Local Progress members shared with each other about their challenges and experiences as elected officials, as well as strategized about how to work toward “Taking Back Power: Reclaiming Government by the People,” which was the convening’s theme. Local Progress has grown bigger over the last year as well as more diverse and cohesive as a network, all of which was on display in Minneapolis. Check out #LP2018 on social media to hear directly from the elected officials in attendance.

The convening began at Minneapolis City Hall, where Council President Lisa Bender grounded the group in amazing, recent, local victories and Local Progress Vice Chair and Philadelphia Councilmember Helen Gym detailed a year of growth and success in the network. Congressman Keith Ellison challenged the group to build a local movement so strong it transcends to the national level. CPD affiliates Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en la Lucha and Take Action Minnesota also welcomed Local Progress to the North Star State and helped inform or lead programming throughout the conference. Read more on our blog.

Breakout discussions over the course of the event ranged from protecting immigrants to winning good jobs, from building worker power to strategies to create and preserve affordable housing, and to reforming and transforming public safety in our cities. Other inspiring sessions featured CPD Network President and Co-Executive Director Jennifer Epps-Addison, Local Progress founding director Ady Barkan, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, Amalgamated Bank CEO Keith Mestrich, AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre, SEIU Executive Vice President Heather Conroy, and Senator Amy Klobuchar among others. Watch the livestream here to see Ady and Jennifer ignite the room with hope in the closing plenary panel, knitting together our racial, economic, and immigrant justice work, the origin story of Local Progress, candidate recruitment, and strategy all in one discussion about how we save our democracy and build power in our country.