Bottom-Up Politics

In an era of partisan gridlock and political stalemate at the federal level, pressing challenges are being addressed by state, regional and local actors who are building coalitions across sectors, policy silos, government levels and political cleavages. Bottom-up politics offers a path for local communities to organize, fashion alliances and establish a pragmatic problem-solving approach to issues confronting underserved Americans across the nation’s many divides, such as the opioid crisis compounded by hospital closings, the impact of mass incarceration, and the lack of fair access to credit and affordable housing.

Please join the Urban Sustainability Laboratory, George Washington University Seminar on Bottom Up Politics and the Metropolitan Policy Center of the School of Public Affairs at American University for a symposium that will bring together a panel of experts to identify the processes of engagement by which local groups take up collective responses to community-level problems. Speakers will draw lessons from real-life examples of bottom-up politics, reflecting on modes of governing and action that can overcome partisan polarization to find solutions to persistent social challenges.

Speakers:
Clarence Stone, Research Professor of Political Science and Public Policy, The George Washington University
J. Philip Thompson, Deputy Mayor, New York City
The Hon. Philip Caroom, Retired, Maryland Circuit Court, Anne Arundel County
Jesse Van Tol, Chief Operating Officer, National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC)
Gregory D. Squires, Professor of Sociology, and Public Policy & Public Administration, George Washington University
Moderator: Hilary Silver, Professor of Sociology, International Affairs, and Public Policy and Public Administration, George Washington University 

Background Reading: Clarence Stone, “Cities on a Hill?” Boston Review http://bostonreview.net/forum/cities-hill/clarence-n-stone-search-unum.