Progressives have launched the left's version of the Tea Party movement.
Dubbed "One Nation," it's a grassroots coalition of 170 liberal and civil rights groups that organizers hope will help the progressive cause regain its voice two years after the election of Barack Obama and "counter the Tea Party narrative," The Washington Post
"Having been confronted with the specter of the Tea Party . . . we felt it urgent to organize the majority of this country, which voted in 2008 and has gone back to the couch," said Benjamin Jealous, president of the NAACP, one of the movement's members. "We've been split off in different directions."
Among the groups involved are the National Council of La Raza, the Service Employees International Union, the NAACP, the AFL-CIO, and the United States Student Association.
As its first major goal, One Nation is planning a march in Washington Oct. 2 that will push for progressive ideals including more government spending on job creation. The march will "demonstrate to Congress that these agenda items have support across multiple demographics," said Jealous (pictured, left, with SEIU Local 1199 President George Gresham).
The coalition came together out of political necessity, Paul Starr, a professor of public affairs at Princeton University, told the Post.
Liberal leaders see "much of the progressive agenda at risk in this election," said Starr, who also edits the American Prospect, a liberal magazine. "There is no choice but for these groups to get together. The historical pattern is that voter turnout falls disproportionately among minorities and young people at these midterm elections, so they are fighting a historical trend."