Last modified: August 8th, 2019
In recent years, American society has become ripe for the creation of a competitive Progressive Party. Generally most people have favored progressive policies for decades, but since 2013, as discontent with the two major parties has grown, a clear majority has also come to support the creation of a third major party. And since the Democratic Party’s suppression of the Sanders presidential campaign in 2016, many more progressive activists and voters have become primed to consider third party alternatives.
Yet efforts to build a viable progressive party nationally haven’t taken off, in large part because they’ve lacked a credible strategy for gaining power. They’ve either focused on accumulating endorsements and avoided participating in elections, routinely promoted weak candidates in unwinnable races, or accepted working primarily within the corporate-dominated Democratic Party. In sum, a striking gap has developed between the growing potential for a competitive progressive party and various failed or stalled attempts to build it.
Acutely aware of the problem above, several longtime progressive and third party activists from across the country began working together in 2018 to create a more solid foundation for a new Progressive Party. To begin with, they succeeded in getting the Vermont Progressive Party, the most successful third party in the US today, to pass a resolution in support of national organizing. Next, they approached other state and local groups sympathetic to Progressive Party building. But it soon became clear that a central obstacle to recruiting these groups was a lack of resources for developing their organizations and attracting appropriate candidates. Consequently in 2019 the Progressive Party Organizing Fund was established.