A diverse group of activists, organizers, artists, educators, students and elected officials from around the U.S. is gearing up for the 2017 Democracy Convention, being held in the Twin Cities this week.
It’s the third time the convention has met, and Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap, national director with the group Move to Amend, said this year’s theme is about standing up to inequity in the U.S. She said many people feel resistance is needed – not just to Trump administration rollbacks of health and environmental protections, but to the growing clout of corporations over individuals.
“We also need to be thinking proactively about what’s the vision that we want to put forward?” Sopoci-Belknap said. “And really that vision is democracy, which means that the people have the power.”
The Democracy Convention will be held August 2-6 at the University of Minnesota. Organizers say the gathering is made up of ten smaller conferences, with topics that range from voting rights and accountable government to peace, democracy in education, the economy, and the media.
Sopoci-Belknap said the goals of the conference are to help people find ways to improve racial justice and protect the rights of immigrants and women, as well as protecting the environment.
“All of this really is about, ‘Do we actually have the power to implement our vision, or not?’ And right now, we do not,” she said. “And when I say ‘we,’ you know, I mean the public. I mean everyday Americans.”
Groups sponsoring this year’s event include Liberty Tree, The Alliance for Global Justice, Fair Vote, the Energy Justice Network, Law and Democracy, and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.