I’ve come to the conclusion that people have a lot of opinions about Real Progressives, but I wonder if they realize what it actually means to be a part of this organization? To BE a Real Progressive?
For starters, we aren’t just a Facebook group or a page. We aren’t “The Steven D Grumbine Show.” We aren’t a cult, or even just a band of activists. Or at least, not by trade.
We are simply people who learned that much of what plagues today’s society has much to do with economics and Neoliberalism. It’s not just politics and politicians, though they are to blame for their economic policy.
When we learned this, we answered the call. A call to teach, to speak out, to fight, to learn, to grow as individuals, to represent, and to work day in and day out for an organization with a vital mission and purpose.
But what does that mean, really?
While I have only been part of Real Progressives for a few short months, I have followed the page for over a year. I spent countless nights learning about things I never realized were in my realm of knowledge. I learned about federal spending practices, about the public purpose, deficits, inflation, and what possibilities fall under the phrase “Federal taxes do not fund spending.” I learned what our reality could look like if the federal government had no excuses and was forced to spend on making the lives of Americans better.
This past August, I decided that I wanted to help these teachers, these activists, and I started with a bang. I was so curious (which is typical of me) I asked no less than 50 questions a day. I very quickly found my niche in helping organize the day to day operations of the organization. Someone saw to it that every question had an answer, and every time I was given a task I would say, “I’m the Jon Snow of this” (You know nothing Jon Snow!) and they’d say, “You’ll learn,” as if every task was the easiest thing in the world. They weren’t all easy, as I found out, but I did eventually learn most, if not all of them, just as they said I would.
Looking back, I can’t help but laugh because I remember saying, “If I’m going too far, tell me to stop!” They never did. I would get excited for meetings, and relish the chance to have my say about all the new and exhilarating things being discussed, because, even if it didn’t work, even if there were better ideas, my opinion always mattered.
For the last couple months, I have been part of the project management aspect of the organization, where all ideas and areas are discussed and managed. I’ve made sure things run as smoothly as possible and I keep learning more every day.
One of my favorite quotes by Steve is, “You can be an activist, while sitting behind a desk, filling out a spreadsheet.” You can speak out with your actions, not just with your words.
So what does it mean to BE a Real Progressive? It means we don’t accept hero-worship, we don’t accept economic misconceptions or conspiracy theories, and our actions speak louder than words. It is a commitment to the mission, a dedication to a feasible dream.
Though many of us have day jobs, kids, school, husbands and wives; we pitch in, check in, and show up, not for the boss, but for each other. We know our mission can’t be accomplished if we’re not there. We know our dream isn’t reachable when we struggle to take on more or when our teams don’t show.
While we may disagree and probably are a little rough around the edges, we’re also fiercely loyal, dedicated, and driven. We are a family. A family of people who learned to work, to strive, to dream, and to succeed or fail together. A family of people who answered a call.
Thank you, Real Progressives, for all you’ve taught me, for all that you are and ever dream to be; for being family, and friends, and being there when we need you the most.