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 understand the political process and the impact of reforms that can increase participation in our democracy, as well as develop their own voice and power.
- Identify opportunities for WDN to participate in, and invest in, organizations and activities that help build a real democracy and ensure free and fair elections.
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.
The Circle partnered 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.
In 2015, we are looking broadly at democracy reform across the country, and are focused on providing resources and educational programming on the influence of money in politics, redistricting, voter rights and engagement, and efforts to address the structural barriers to building a reflective democracy.
Over the years, 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., WDN on the Hill, where members learn how to advance their values and advocate for the issues they care about.
Looking forward in time, we remain concerned about the lack of participation in elections, the barriers to effective participation in our democracy, and the increasing influence of money in politics. Our programs will reflect the growing need for the political process to be successful for all Americans, not just the most privileged.