Today CCC and USAction are pleased to announce an exciting new partnership. A partnership to meet the challenge of our times.
For more than three decades, our country has witnessed a conservative-corporate assault on an America that works for all of us, with liberty, justice and prosperity for all. Two complementary forces have driven this assault: the rise of a mass conservative movement that has dominated much of national politics since 1980 and the shift of American corporate power away from an emphasis on wealth creation based on our national economy to wealth creation based on a global economy, with little regard for the American middle class or for those who aspire to join the middle class.
The social compact has been shredded. The conservative-corporate agenda threatens the integrity of essential New Deal/Great Society programs and blocks new programs to once again expand American opportunity.
And yet: we have made important gains. Health care reform happened because progressives built a visionary, powerful, well-resourced coalition. Millions – transcending class, race, and urban and rural areas, suburbs and exurbs – elected and re-elected the nation’s first black president. We are increasingly optimistic that this year, we will establish a pathway to citizenship for 11 million Americans-in-waiting. More and more, we have worked together on critical issues and elections. America and the progressive movement have benefited from this collaboration.
For the past year, USAction and the Center for Community Change have discussed how we might take the idea of collaboration to the next level – from issues and particular elections to long-term structured work. We decided the logical next step for both organizations is to focus on a long-term strategic partnership. The idea driving the partnership is that progressivism demands movements and coalitions whose sums are greater than their parts.
Toward this end:
- USAction will work closely with CCC and appropriate coalition entities like the Alliance for Citizenship to be fully invested in the campaign for immigration reform.
- CCC and USAction will work with key labor and other partners to identify three to four states in which we will work together to build, as quickly as possible, a stronger state community organizing infrastructure.
- CCC and USAction will monitor other campaign activities to explore whether we can jointly engage partners and funders. We both want a much more powerful and effective movement for jobs and opportunity, soon.
USAction brings to the table a strong affiliate infrastructure (21 states); coordinated action and common standards such as messaging; national campaign experience; rapid response capacity; the ability to mobilize thousands of activists at a moment’s notice; and strong partnerships with labor.
CCC brings to the table a field partnership infrastructure (25 states); success elevating local partners to participate in the national debates; deep investment in field experiments to develop new organizing methodologies; growing capacity to foster political education at multiple levels, from movement-building training for grassroots leaders to seminars on economic theory for senior organizers; and relationships with a broad array of organizations, networks, think tanks, public intellectuals and donors who influence strategy and resource allocation within the progressive movement.
We can meet the challenges that confront us – USAction and CCC specifically and the progressive movement overall – in part by building sensible, creative and effective new partnerships. We believe this new partnership is but one example. We believe that the sum of CCC’s and USAction’s collaboration will, we believe, be greater than our parts. And we fervently hope that our work will be part of a great transformation of our movement to organizations with greater power and sustainability.