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Sweet Victories: Lessons for 2012 (January 5, 2012)

By Katrina vanden Heuvel
The Nation

"But even when the moral argument is clear, one lesson from both the Seattle and Connecticut victories is this: only hard, savvy organizing can overcome the entrenched corporate interests and Big Business lobbies with their rote arguments that reform will “cost jobs” or create a “competitive disadvantage”, “now isn’t the time”, etc. As Connecticut Working Families Party (CT WFP) executive director Jon Green puts it, “There are no shortcuts” when it comes to prevailing in these campaigns.

For the CT WFP that meant four years of work prior to passing the legislation. It meant forming a diverse coalition that included labor, women’s groups, doctors, nurses, antipoverty groups, retirees, and enlightened business owners. There was an aggressive and creative media campaign, and canvassing that knocked on tens of thousands of doors, generating thousands of testimonials, letters, emails, and phone calls. The coalition relied on smart research and advice from the likes of the National Partnership for Women and Families, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, the Economic Policy Institute, Family Values at Work, and others."

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