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Groups Look to Build a Bi-Partisan Populist Movement in TN

June 26, 2008

Nashville, TN – An election year isn't just about picking leaders; it's also about holding them accountable. That's the word from activists who believe real change is in the air for Tennessee and the nation.

Author David Sirota visits Nashville today to talk about how the left and the right can work together on issues of concern that cross party lines, such as health care, education, and immigration. He says problems facing ordinary Americans like rising health care and mortgage costs, along with job layoffs caused by outsourcing, can be traced back to problems in our political process.

"Massive campaign contributions go into the system, go to politicians who then pass laws that disregard the interests of their constituents."

Groups throughout the state are coming together to start what they believe is a new populist movement for the 21st century. Critics of this new populism say it's nothing more than garden-variety liberal politics.

Nell Levin, coordinator of the Tennessee Alliance for Progress, points out that although it's easy for people to get carried away with elections every four years, elections are just the tip of the iceberg.

"The states are the incubators for legislation that will become national legislation eventually."

Levin adds one of the most important things in creating lasting change is for voters to continue to hold their elected officials accountable.

David Sirota will be at Davis-Kidd Bookstore in Green Hills tonight at 7 p.m.

Barbara Dab/Don Mathisen, Public News Service - TN