America’s political landscape is shifting in both the global and domestic arenas in ways that threaten the foundation of this country as being a democratic nation. We are witnessing: the shifting of the perception and function of the Executive Branch, the increasing over-reach of Presidential powers, the politicization of the Supreme Court, the intentional reduction of the role of federal agencies in state oversight, an increased polarized Congress based along party lines, and the stacking of the federal courts with conservative ring-wing judges. We are also bearing witness to the passage and implementation of deeply troubling policies, state sanctioned acts and legislation that impact the civil and human rights of immigrant groups, women, people of color and the LGBTQ community. In light of these political changes, we must ask ourselves two critical questions: 1.) How do we implement innovative practices and new political organizing models to reverse this trend? 2.) How do we reinforce and expand America’s commitment to democracy? The answer is we must organize.
In this study session, we will discuss various ideologies and theories about the impact of organizing in securing and advancing democracy. We will also explore the major threats and barriers to American democracy. What are the best strategies that move America towards a more inclusive, just and perfect union? Can community organizing secure democracy and combat corporate control over the national political parties? Is community organizing an effective tool for achieving democracy? If so, what are the best models for forging a new path towards transforming America and achieving democracy?