Progressives sense the urgent need to develop and support a sustainable progressive movement. They have been losing ground for several years and will continue to do so unless an alternative strategy is developed. There is virtually complete agreement that this task requires a fresh approach and substantial agreement that this new strategy will require significant multiracial and multiethnic coalitions. There is less agreement on what is meant by a progressive movement and how these coalitions are to be created and sustained.
Some suggest that winning the next set of Congressional and Presidential elections is virtually synonymous with the development of a progressive movement. While such victories could contribute to a progressive agenda, they do not in themselves reflect a progressive movement. Without trying to define the content of a progressive agenda, we will make some explicit assumptions for the purpose of this memo. First of all, a progressive agenda requires an effective national government that is responsive to all its members and to the environment. Such a government cannot be captive of business or any other narrow interest. We further assume that such a government must be adequately resourced through appropriate fiscal policies. Such a government must facilitate and support the well-being of its members. Well-being is more than the requirements for survival and extends to that which is necessary to participate effectively both in civic and economic society. The government must also build and support institutions to care for those who cannot adequately care for themselves. A progressive agenda must recognize that even as individuals we have linked fates and responsibilities.