Organizing Upgrade

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Organizing Upgrade is a website closely affiliated with Freedom Road Socialist Organization/Liberation Road.

It is a forum for innovative progressive and left organizers to engage in dialogue about big-picture political strategy.

We aim to promote a strategic approach to left organizing that is truly mass in character and that aims to win.

Towards that end, Organizing Upgrade hosts feature essays, strategy analysis, high-profile blogs, and news aggregation on today’s pressing issues and questions.

Initiated by Sushma Sheth, Harmony Goldberg and Joseph Phelan in 2009, Organizing Upgrade began by asking three key questions:

Current Conditions: What do you think are the most significant shifts happening right now, and how do they change the context of our work?

Strategic Priorities: What are the key interventions that community organizers should make in this moment? Are there particular contributions that left organizers should be making?

Changing Orientation: What are old strategies that organizers should turn away from? What new tools and ideas are you experimenting with?

After two and a half years of great thinking by left organizers around the country, we decided to take the conversation to the next level by going deeper within different movements and sectors: the labor movement, the immigrant rights movement, the Black organizing community and more.

So we invited in an incredible team of new editors, bloggers and news collectors who are rooted in these different parts of the social justice movement. These new members of the Organizing Upgrade team have taken up the responsibility of soliciting and developing regular content within their sectors of the movement in order to deepen the strategic dialogue, to promote big-picture thinking and to keep you up-to-date on the latest developments in politics and culture.[1]

Attacking Biden

Organizing Upgrade "Sanders and Warren: The need for a progressive front" September 25, 2019 by The Organizing Upgrade Editorial Collective.

We urge all left-progressive forces to take seriously what will be required to create a united progressive front capable of defeating Biden and going on to expand its influence even as we unite in an even broader coalition to defeat Trump. And to remember that we not only need cooperation on the electoral battlefront, but cooperation at scale in building mass direct action, revitalizing the trade union movement, and organizing large numbers on a host of urgent issues. After all, even if Sanders or Warren wins the presidency and the GOP loses control of both houses of Congress, it will take massive pressure from below to win a Green New Deal, Medicare for All, end mass incarceration, close the border concentration camps, change US foreign policy and begin the new cycle of progressive advance that is an existential imperative for the world’s most vulnerable and the entire human race.
We have to quickly establish sufficient political unity to uphold a progressive front, so that we may develop the technical capacities and infrastructure to allow this progressive front to work together (regardless of whether they have endorsed Sanders or Warren). Though preserving space for constructive debate over left electoral strategy and tactics will be critical, we urge doing so in a way that does not detract from the important task of reaching outward, engaging the unconvinced and unorganized social forces we will need to win.

To that end, Organizing Upgrade will be publishing a number of pieces in the coming week from left organizers of varied perspectives that discuss the WFP endorsement, the DSA’s “Bernie or Bust” resolution, and other developments related to the 2020 elections. Our goal is to continue engaging left organizers in strategic dialogue during a pivotal moment in history and we welcome you to join the conversation. The stakes could not be higher.

The Organizing Upgrade Editorial Collective.

Rishi Awatramani, Calvin Cheung-Miaw, Julie Chinitz, Kim Diehl, Max Elbaum, Harmony Goldberg, Maria Poblet, Eric Robertson, Stina Rose Marie, Jacob Swenson-Lengyel, Claire Tran, and Bob Wing.

Organizing Upgrade personnel

The Organizing Upgrade Editorial Collective, April 2020:

Whitney Maxey, Stephanie Luce, Luke Elliott-Negri, Claire Tran, Jacob Swenson-Lengyel, Julie Chinitz, Max Elbaum, Rishi Awatramani.[2]

The Organizing Upgrade Editorial Advisors, April 2020:

Calvin Cheung-Miaw, Stina Janssen, Bob Wing, Kim Diehl, Harmony Goldberg, Maria Poblet, Eric Robertson.[3]

The Organizing Upgrade Editorial Collective, August 2019:

Calvin Cheung-Miaw, Claire Tran, Harmony Goldberg, Jacob Swenson-Lengyel, Julie Chinitz, Kim Diehl, Max Elbaum, Rishi Awatramani, Stina Janssen.[4]

Organizing Upgrade Editoral Collective, 2018;[5]

As of December 23, 2017, personnel on the Organizing Upgrade website were;

Lead Editors

News Collectors

Beyond Capitalism Editors

Black Organizing Community Editors

Communications Editor

Culture Editors

Environment & Climate Editor

Gender & Sexuality Editor

Immigrant & Migrant Rights Editors

Copy Editors

Labor editors

Bloggers As of December 23, 2017, Bloggers on the Organizing Upgrade website were;

References