We Love Cities
From the way they connect, transport, sustain, give, create, and support, cities have the ability to change the world. Yet all we hear about is what Donald Trump tweeted about today. So many of us focus on the biggest news stories of the day, we call our congresspeople and make our voice heard, we march on Washington half a million strong. But Washington won’t listen to you. Washington won’t change from your phone call. Washington might as well be a million miles away.
The goals we work toward, environmental sustainability, climate change, poverty alleviation, immigrant justice, criminal justice, community building, these can all be done at our city level much more effectively than anything coming out of Washington. There are nearly 40,000 cities and over 3,000 counties in the United States. This is where the real power lies in our country, where our representatives are our neighbors and the policies touch our everyday lives.
But in our conversations about advocacy we glaze over the moment local policies are brought up. The idealistic pontifications of stopping deportation on a Dreamer who grew up in this country meanders into long reads on Wikipedia about what exactly a “sanctuary city” is again. Local policies are no more complicated than federal ones, and they’re no less impactful, they’re just not as widely reported. As local newspapers tighten their staff and national digital brands like Buzzfeed and Vox become media behemoths we slowly lose the knowledge and connections of what our local policies mean, and what we can do.
Our Story Starts With a Simple Idea
What if the energy we put towards fighting for change at the federal level was shifted to making our cities and counties more sustainable, equitable, and just? Imagine what that would do. What if we fought for local affordable housing solutions as hard as we fight for healthcare? What if we fought for discrimination protections in our local counties as hard as we do for civil rights in Washington? How many lives would be impacted? How many people could we save?
Where We Fit In
We seek to make advocating for progressive local policies simple, engaging, and fun. If we want people to make real change in their communities, local policy change can’t be enigmatic and byzantine. The good new is it’s not, we can solve the problems we care about at the city level through straightforward, common sense policies that you don’t need a masters in urban and regional planning to parse through.
<iframe src=”https://embed.ted.com/talks/benjamin_barber_why_mayors_should_rule_the_world” width=”640″ height=”360″ frameborder=”0″ scrolling=”no” webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe>