The Capacity to Change (Politics)

Suspension foot bridge in mountainous terrain with left side in winter and right side in summer. Images from Unsplash users @samscrim (https://unsplash.com/photos/x8zEeH7euQI) and @lastly (https://unsplash.com/photos/5krgkKmeiMI); edited by Robert Beets.

America is divided both politically and socially. If we ever hope to establish truth and civility in public life, and be able to have respectful conversations with neighbors and friends, our organizing efforts and the way we practice politics must work to bridge the divide, not deepen it. Political parties are not designed to mend

Letter to Senator Kyrsten Sinema

Photo of a letter to Senator Krysten Sinema on a bamboo desktop with bright blue overlay;

Dear Senator Kyrsten Sinema, I am very disheartened to see that you have been unwilling — thus far — to do all that is necessary to pass voting rights legislation. The ‘Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act’ represents our best, immediate hope to affirm and protect electoral democracy in America. For those of us

American Evolution

Flocks of birds over marsh at dusk; James Wainscoat / Unsplash https://unsplash.com/photos/b7MZ6iGIoSI

America means many things to many people. It can elicit hope, and pride, and pain. It represents what it seeks to accomplish, and it embodies the true impact of its actions. It is a nation atop a vast countryside, formed around grand concepts, and continuously built anew over a checkered past. In a place so

No Shortcuts

No Shortcuts book propped on wood and cloth-backed modern chair

In ‘No Shortcuts,’ Jane McAlevey provides contemporary success stories of American workers forming new unions and securing significant gains in working conditions, policy and pay. All the examples are from the past 20 years and place those campaigns and their effective tactics within the larger trends of America’s labor movements over the past century. The

Untying Our Knots

With Thanksgiving upon us, I have been thinking back to my earliest memories of family gatherings. Around my grandparent’s dining room table, as what was left of dinner was slowly replaced with coffee cups, the conversation always turned to the politics of the day. The conversations would get intense and the rhetoric sometimes heated, but

The revolutionary power of a virtuous populace

Crowd in Washington DC after Biden announced winner of 2020 election

Division and anger so thoroughly dominate today’s political discourse that a distrust of parties may be the only sentiment most Americans share. That gloom lingers forward despite the passion and enthusiasm it took to mobilize record turnout during a pandemic. Few people at this point expect anything but four more years of overheated rhetoric and

Saving the Legitimacy of the Supreme Court

With the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court, questions of Barrett’s qualifications have been dramatically overshadowed by the impact this nomination will have on both the court and the health of our institutions. It is clear — barring an incredible event — that this nomination will be successful, but the

The First Presidential Debate: A Mess of Our Own Making

Ladies and gentlemen, make no mistake, what we saw on the debate stage last week is a direct reflection of the American political conversation that we have created. It did not happen overnight, or even over the last 4 years. We have let two parties boil down the views of millions of voters into two

The Choice is Yours

As millennials become the largest generation and begin to fill more leadership roles, we find ourselves in a unique, disquieting situation. Although we have become an ever more connected society, with the knowledge of ages at our fingertips, we have lost the ability to agree on even basic facts of the disasters of epic proportions

Politics is for Power

Politics is for Power book on earthtones braided rug

Politics is for Power lays out an underlying sickness with how many of us engage in politics, while also sharing examples of how to move forward in a meaningful way. If you feel frustrated or angry about our current political situation, we recommend this quick read. It provides numerous strategies, ideas, and organizing principles for

Madison

City park lagoon and pavilion in summer bloom

Modern Populace is a nonpartisan organizing effort to increase civic activity, build independent power, and advance better leaders. We believe no single party can fix problems. Progress will be made through common understanding and solidarity. We are looking for people who are tired of partisanship and want to create a modern political union. We want

We voted stickers

Page of yellow stickers with black 'we voted' inck

Stickers to commemorate civic participation. ‘We voted’ means that no matter our political differences, people’s individual actions to support democracy are in service to the whole community. This template uses 1.5-inch circle labels. Full letter size sheets for printing are available from SheetLabels.com (SL125-TY). Download the following package for a PDF and source file.

The Abolition of White Democracy

The Abolition of White Democracy aperback book on natural patterned quilt

In this book, Joel Olson explains that a truly transformative evolution of American democracy must focus on breaking white privilege. Political and social reforms that don’t address racial discrimination directly, Olson contends, do little to counteract the power structures of the majority and allow for a narrow vision of citizenship and democracy to persist in

Wisconsin 2nd

Wisconsin’s 2nd congressional district includes the counties of Dane, Iowa, Lafayette, Sauk, and Green, as well as portions of Richland and Rock. The largest municipalities include Madison, Beloit, Sun Prairie, Fitchburg, Middleton, Stoughton, Waunakee, Monroe and Verona. Wikipedia Census Reporter U.S. House Representative Mark Pocan Serving 2013–Present (House website) Member, Democratic Party Co-chair, Congressional Progressive

Honor the game

Brewers baseball hat with blue M

Growing up the hill from the Milwaukee Brewer’s ball park, County Stadium, I have always had a special spot in my heart for the Crew. From standing in lines for autographs as a child, to cheering on their playoff runs later in life, my loyalty does not waver. Cracking that first beer, standing around a

Myths of the finite pie

Pie with stars crust, half color and half black, white

There is no conservative America and liberal America. This is just a concept perpetuated by political parties to scare people into action. It’s peddled by candidates trying to secure votes and by pundits profiting from conflict. We certainly have our differences and that makes for convenient ammunition as we fight over shares of the pie.

Commonality in disagreement

snarling foxes lunging at each other

Among the many pressures of modern life, people seem pretty darn upset about politics. Mention things considered innocuous just a few years ago — red hats, polar bears, the Justice Department — and you’re bound to hear grunts or grinding teeth no matter who you talk to. Some of the most anxiety-producing issues, however, are