Monday, February 1, 2010

What is Progressive?

Last weekend was the first PA Progressive Summit in Harrisburg.  More than 500 people gathered from varied perspectives to talk about how to better solve serious issues.  It was an amazing mix - labor, education, women's rights, LGBT rights, environmentalists, interfaith community... all feeling we shared much common ground in our desire to make our communities better.
What I love about the experience is that the focus was solutions.  While the issues and stumbling blocks were discussed, there was an overwhelming sense of focus on overcoming the issues and removing roadblocks.  There was no name calling or character assassination regarding those on opposing sides.  There was no talk of protests and attack strategies.
We talked about building bridges, communicating more effectively, building strong social relationships, and supporting those in our communities with similar vision.  I also heard great wisdom about dealing with those who may seem to oppose the issues we may raise.  It was very much an overall message of lifting one another up and lifting our communities - finding common ground through which we can make progress.
It was wonderful to see people I crossed paths with before - from Harrisburg, DC and in other gatherings.  I walked away feeling great about a growing network across the state and feeling great about the positive people I've grown to admire in Venango County.
In my mind, being progressive means working for solutions.  It's about seeing things that need done and finding ways to do them.  
1. Moving forward; advancing.
2. Proceeding in steps; continuing steadily by increments: progressive change.
3. Promoting or favoring progress toward better conditions or new policies, ideas, or methods

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