Since I had the opportunity to work on President Obama’s 2012 campaign, it may be taking me longer than most to process the fact that the inauguration of the 45th president has just taken place. I’m trying to buy in to President Obama’s optimism about the future, but as he said, the future is in our hands only if we work for it and only if we organize for it.
With this in mind, since election day Genevieve and I have worked with a team of amazing volunteers to build RISE. Our goals are to create coordination among groups with an agenda of resistance to the most toxic incoming policies and to address many Americans’ real economic insecurity. We know that the country benefited hugely under President Obama with 8 years of economic growth, wages which are finally rising, a government budget in primary surplus, and so much more. But we also can see from the fact that the 45th president was elected that there’s a long way to go.
People no longer feel like the American Dream is working for them. Though wages are finally growing, middle class incomes have stagnated for a long time. We have huge issues around the impact of automation, climate change, and globalization. But we need answers that take us forward, not ill conceived ideas that try to take us back to a nostalgic history that wasn’t real, sustainable, or good for many groups of people like women and minorities. RISErs have many ideas for this and will work to engage new voters and persistent non-voters as well as the progressive base on these issues. We will do it by engaging thought-leaders and by listening to people’s individual concerns by building a permanent grassroots movement. We are also a political organization and will work directly to support like-minded candidates and policies as well as to oppose regressive ones. Our structure is a hybrid of tech startup and permanent campaign.
If you are as disturbed as I am by the direction the country has taken, please come and check out what we’re doing. RISE is only 60 days old so it’s a work in progress, but to be successful we need your support, your contributions, and your ideas. We need you to help us spread the word. Help us shape RISE and help us be a powerful voice for both resistance and change.
Genevieve is also touring the country to build support. Sign up to find out when she’ll be in your area (Cleveland, Philly, Milwaukee, Detroit, SF, and Denver are all coming soon.)