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We're Doing It Right!
By Jane A Everham
Posted on 2/4/2019 4:52 PM

by Florence Field


Good news at last!  In a review by David Cole (national legal director of the ACLU and professor of law and public policy at Georgetown University Law Center)  of two books on the effectiveness of social movements, he mentions three principal lessons found in these books. It looks like the LWV has been on the right track.  

  First:  “successful  campaigns for national change generally begin at the local and state level, and only build to national change incrementally.”  Second, these books point to the “importance of institutions with strong structures that assign responsibility for decision-making to trusted leaders.  Without organization … movements can founder.” And third:  “seeking reform through elections is critical to success.”  For example, the Tea Party, by focusing single-mindedly on electing representatives with like views – i.e., by engaging in democracy – built up a lasting influence, while a group like Occupy Wall Street, by disdaining  ordinary politics, became a thing of the past.

Of course, there's a difference between a movement and an organization.  What Cole doesn't cover in his review article is how a movement can successfully make the transition from movement to organization. 

Read the entire review: “The Path of Greatest Resistance” by David Cole, New York Review of Books, February 7, 2019.