I keep looking for hopeful ideas that might promise a path out of the political morass I think we’re in, and here’s one: a new movement called A Metropolitan Party, made up of those of us who live in thriving urban centers.
Urban centers in the U.S. are often hotbeds of innovation, creativity, and economic vitality. They are diverse, with people living in close proximity. Of necessity, we develop the skills to get along. We learn to cherish the great things about being different, like terrific ethnic restaurants, cultural celebrations, parties, parades, clothing shops, nail salons, exhibits, lectures, art. We love our abundance of Uber and Lyft drivers, often immigrants. We love our multiple transportation options, available because of the critical density of people. Walking next to people or sharing a restaurant or a movie theater or a religious service with those who come in all shades and colors is natural, because it happens every day.
Here’s how the CityLab article describes this new movement:
“The United States desperately needs a new political force that resists the nationalization of partisan politics and, instead, infuses both establishment parties with the pragmatic, problem solving modus operandi of leaders at the local and metropolitan level.
There is clearly a set of issues that sane metropolitan leaders across the red-blue divide can agree on: investing in modern regional transportation that connects people to jobs and goods to markets; boosting the economic competitiveness and innovation capacity of local industries; or policy reforms in housing, education and workforce programs. And new challenges should breed new pragmatic coalitions, whether around the rise of the elderly share of the population, the growth of suburban poverty outside major cities, or the current opioid crisis engulfing metros across the country. When policy is localized, rather than nationalized, ideology gives way to problem solving.”
I can readily sign on to a movement like this. It’s the first hopeful political idea I’ve seen since Trump’s election. How about you?