Even as Iowa's Republicans seek to shut down dissent at their caucuses, its citizens are organizing on multiple fronts to open up the caucuses of both parties, and in so doing open up American politics so that it responds to the 99%. This is change to believe in.
More democracy, more people-powered politics, more diversity in our discourse: It's what's needed to move beyond crisis and complacency and build the America that can be.
Reverend Jesse Jackson has for decades campaigned for open and inclusive politicsâ€”outlined a quarter century ago by his "Rainbow Coalition" campaigns of 1984 and 1988. In 1988, Jackson showed the possibility of this new politics with his bold decision to campaign in the Iowa caucuses. It was a redefining moment in American politics, and it laid the groundwork for progress that would eventually see Iowans provide Barack Obama with the 2008 caucus win that led to his presidency.
Now, Reverend Jackson is returning to Iowa to argue for open caucuses, open politics, and democracy. He will be joined in Des Moines by national and Iowa progressive activists in a discussion on how to assure that the caucuses provide a real signal of sentiments in Iowaâ€”and an opening for a different and better politics in 2012.
Nation magazine political writer and MSNBC contributor John Nichols will facilitate the forum, which applies PDA's inside/outside strategy to the real-world immediacy of the Iowa caucuses and beyond.
This will be an unscripted moment that celebrates the politics of reform and renewal from Rainbow to Occupy. Though I don't expect you to join us in Des Moines, we'll be taking what we learn there to our membership and using it across the country during the election season.
In peace and solidarity,
Tim Carpenter, National Director