For me, the highlight of the entire Pennsylvania Progressive Summit was the speech given by WIlliam McNary, President of USAction, on Saturday morning of the conference. Jeff Garis, the gentleman who gave the introduction, claimed that Mr McNary is, 'Someone who you will not forget, a speaker to measure all other speakers' and he was certainly correct. I had never heard of Mr McNary before the summit, but he is someone who I will never forget. The entire speech was amazing and we hope to be able to release it in its entirety soon, but for today, I have isolated 4 selections that highlight his best points.
Trying to explain his words is impossible and my explanation can not do his speech justice (though I'm going to try), so you really have to watch all of the videos. His speech was an impressive impassioned plea for progressives to stand up, 'grow a backbone' as he says, and lead this country to a better future. As he explains in the first video, progressives must win not because they are selfish and want to win, but because they are the ones who are caring for the American people So if America wants to build a future better than its past, progressive policies must reign supreme.
To improve America, we must work together to build a better future for everyone. We can't play politics when there are so many people who need our help, so we must work openly to improve America for everybody. Moreover, we as citizens need to take matters into our own hands because ordinary people are the ones who make change. Though politicians are the figureheads in office, nothing will happen with out us citizens working to make it happen. And especially now, with so much turmoil and so many things in flux, we have to work harder than ever.
Finally, Mr McNary talks about how we must be committed to social justice by organizing for power, democracy, and change. As he says, 'the root cause for social injustice in the country is the inequality of power. Power is unequally distributed along many fault lines in this country along race, income, class, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, [and] immigration status." Only with a solid stable democracy can the needy masses fall on the powerful side of the fault line. And it is only by fighting for and working towards change can we guarantee improvement for everyone.
I hope you all enjoy Mr McNary's words as much as I did. We will have more footage from his speech and the rest of the summit up at www.SumofChange.com/paprog.
To get more info on the summit please go to paprogressivesummit.org and keystoneprogress.org/
--Progressives Must Win
--We Must Work Together
--Ordinary People Are The Ones Who Make Change
--Committed to Social Justice by Organizing for Power, Democracy, and Change