New York City is often considered the epicenter of progressivism in America. With a population of over 8 million people, the city is a melting pot of different cultures, religions, and ideologies. It’s no surprise, then, that there’s a lot of debate about what it means to be a progressive in New York City.
For some, being progressive means being a liberal Democrat who supports policies like universal healthcare, free college education, and a living wage for all workers. Others might define progressivism as a more radical form of politics, advocating for revolutionary change to the current social and economic system.
At its core, progressivism is about promoting social justice and equality, which is why the term is often associated with movements like civil rights, feminism, and LGBTQ+ rights. In New York City, this means supporting policies that ensure equal access to housing, education, healthcare, and employment opportunities for all residents, regardless of their background.
But the question remains: what does it really mean to be a progressive in New York City? To get some answers, we spoke to several experts and activists who are working to promote progressive values in the city.
According to Jasmine Burnett, the co-founder of We Imagine, a New York-based organization that works to build power in communities of color, being a progressive in New York City means “putting the most marginalized communities first.”
For Burnett, this means advocating for policies like affordable housing, criminal justice reform, and accessible healthcare. It also means supporting grassroots organizations that are working to empower communities of color and create real change on the ground.
For others, being a progressive in New York City means taking a more radical approach to politics. Andy Ratto, a member of the Socialist Alternative party, believes that progressivism is about fundamentally transforming society in order to achieve true equality.
Ratto acknowledges that this view may be seen as extreme by some, but he argues that it’s necessary in order to truly address the root causes of inequality in New York City and beyond.
Ultimately, the definition of progressivism in New York City is complex and multifaceted. It can mean different things to different people, depending on their background, experiences, and political beliefs. However, at its core, progressivism is about fighting for social justice and equality, and promoting policies that uplift those who have been historically excluded from power.
Whether you’re a liberal Democrat, a socialist, or something in between, there’s no doubt that New York City will continue to be a hotbed of progressive activism and political engagement in the years to come.