Progressive Political Infrastructure

One of the greatest challenges we face as progressives right now is understanding how all of our issues fit together – and how we can best support common infrastructure in key areas to build a cohesive movement and make change. Quinn Delaney, WDN Member

Our Vision

WDN members are passionate about a wide array of issues, including climate change, reproductive justice, peace in the Middle East, and more. As we advocate and fund solutions to our issues, it is important for all of us to understand how the political process impacts and interfaces with our work. The goal of the Progressive Political Infrastructure (PPI) Circle is to increase awareness of these connections and to help WDN members get exposed to top leaders and thinkers in the progressive movement.

The Circle aims to:

  • Make visible the “playing field,” its key players, issues, and organizing strategies in order to help WDN members become strategic funders and activists.
  • Help members see where and how they might have greatest impact, including developing their own voice and power.
  • Identify opportunities for WDN to participate in, and invest in, organizations and activities that strengthen our progressive political infrastructure, including supporting election integrity work.

WDN Members at the annual WDN on the Hill event in Washington, DC.

Our Current Focus

We help connect the WDN membership with strategic individuals, organizations, and networks that comprise the building blocks necessary to achieve our progressive agenda.

Understanding where the leverage points are in the political system and how to exert influence is important for all the issues we care about. Funding and organizing in the political sphere is a natural and necessary compliment to the other work we all do.

In 2014, we are focused on providing resources and educational programming on the influence of money in politics, redistricting, and voter rights and engagement, and efforts to address the structural barriers to building a reflective democracy.

The Circle is also partnering with Funders’ Committee for Civic Participation (FCCP) in 2014 on a briefing series about what’s at stake in the mid-term elections and highlighting efforts to protect and expand civic participation.

Our Story

The PPI Circle has sponsored several successful in-person gatherings and webinars for WDN members and other allies. Educational calls have addressed the role of movement building in our new political reality, safeguarding the right to vote, and supporting coalition-building strategies. In addition, the PPI Circle has helped organize key strategy sessions and trainings, including WDN’s annual multi-day seminar and advocacy training in Washington, D.C., where members learn how to advance their values and advocate for the issues they care about.

In the lead-up to the 2008 presidential election, the PPI Circle hosted a multi-city symposia in Colorado, New York, and Seattle called “Building a Progressive Majority.” Participants delved into critical topics including understanding the electoral political power of women, the changing face of progressive organizing, the power of collaborative networks, and mapping the progressive landscape.

The PPI Circle has partnered with WDN’s Election Integrity Circle on supporting innovative voter protection and voter engagement collaborations.