Progress Starts with Us

Do you feel like your elected representatives are listening to you? Americans from all walks of life are concerned about whether those in Washington will reach a bipartisan agreement to raise the debt ceiling. There’s only 12 days left, and yet we’ve seen the same old partisan games and political posturing. The negotiations in Washington can make the debate seem miles away from your hometown, but the lawmakers in D.C. were elected by us to work for us, and we at No Labels believe they should be held accountable for their actions. So, amidst war, a debt crisis and high unemployment weighing us down, who should be steering our lawmakers toward progress? In our dynamic democracy, it’s important to remember that viable change comes ultimately and thankfully from the constituents – real people, back home, speaking up for what they believe in and making their voices heard.

Those that make the most noise nowadays tend to be on the far right and the far left, and that’s reflected in the behavior of our politicians. They’re constantly bashing the other side, issuing an ultimatum here, signing a pledge there. Rampant hyper-partisanship is impeding the bipartisan solutions our nation so desperately needs right now.

It doesn’t have to be that way. The vast majority of Americans are tired of the petty partisan gridlock. They want their leaders to work together to find bipartisan solutions and know that compromise is essential to progress. We at No Labels want to amplify those voices so our elected officials begin to hear them loud and clear.

It’s going to take people at the local level to clean up this toxic political atmosphere. Change happens from the bottom up, and since we launched in December No Labels has been working everyday to grow our citizen-led movement.

We’re organizing in all 435 congressional districts in all 50 states, and we’ve made great progress. No Labels is 100,000 members strong, and we have 350 grassroots Citizen Leaders in 230 unique congressional districts. These Citizen Leaders are building support for the bipartisan No Labels approach — from Lisle, Illinois and Bowling Green, Kentucky to Oakland, California and Boston, Massachusetts. Each day, new No Labels Citizen Leaders join the movement to advocate for compromise in their own communities.

This Monday, July 18th, No Labels hosted a National Citizen Leadership Meeting where over 150 leaders from 35 states traveled to D.C. for a day of empowering citizen leaders to organize and energize their communities around the nation. This was a chance for No Labels founding leaders and staff to meet face-to-face with the individuals who are working to make change happen at every level of the political spectrum by speaking up and speaking out. The day culminated with a demonstration against hyper-partisan gridlock and in support of a bipartisan solution to our debt crisis.

If politicians are hearing from enough voices at the local level, they will listen and they will react. In order to get compromise, politicians must see that there is a constituency for compromise. That’s what the leaders in our citizen-led movement are building towards with the support of other like-minded people in their area.

No Labels Citizen Leader Carol Dietz of Lisle, Illinois, put it well, explaining that she joined No Labels as a grassroots leader “because we are at a critical juncture for the future of our country. We can no longer let the extremes of either party block the rational compromise we need to solve our problems. We can no longer be silent bystanders – we must make our voices heard!”

Reviving our political process may seem an impossible task, but think about it – most Americans already want their lawmakers to work together, just like they work with others at their jobs every day. In the end, we elect our representatives in Washington — it’s up to us to step up and make our voices heard. The real power lies with us.

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