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An Exciting Democracy Movement Arises in Chicago

February 19, 2015 in Blogs

By Jim Hightower, AlterNet

“Reclaim Chicago” has a bold progressive plan to reclaim the Windy City from the one percent.

       Chicago! City of broad shoulders. Plutocratic hog butcher. Toolmaker for progressive change. Stacker of the wheat of grassroots power, wheat separated from the chaff of corporate politicians. Stormy, husky, brawling. Planning, building, breaking, rebuilding. Under its wrist is the pulse, and under its ribs is the heart of the people. Laughing! Proud to be hog butcher, toolmaker, stacker of wheat.

        Apologies to Carl Sandburg for my butchering of his 1914 poetic paean to the rise of this colossus of a working-class city — but I see a promising new movement of broad-shouldered populist change for all of America arising today from the heart of Chicago's workaday people. Under the banner of “Reclaim Chicago,” a dynamic, politically savvy progressive coalition has emerged, engaging thousands of grassroots Chicagoans in a people-led democratic movement to reclaim their city from the cabal of corporate elites and corrupt politicians now reigning over them.

        These are not just mad-as-hell ranters, but mad-as-hellers with a bold agenda for moving their city toward fairness and justice for all. They're mad-as-hellers who have a shared vision; a long term plan; a democratic organizational framework; a range of trainers to provide movement skills and tools for all involved; a network for developing, electing and holding accountable their own office holders; and — most important — both a strong sense of purpose and an energizing sense of fun. After all, battling the bastards is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on!

        And the people of Chicago are about to have some fun. They're grappling with a big question that nearly every urban place in our country faces: Can anyone really govern such a sprawling, brawling city?

        Reclaim Chicago says the answer is a great big “NO.” Moreover, asserts this grassroots group, no one should. Rather, the many should, and if they're organized through a democratic network, the people can be their own government, producing …read more


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