The Blueprint for American Democracy: Ezra Levin
September 13, 2019
“The only way we're going to change our democracy is if we participate in our democracy.”
Ezra Levin is the Co-Executive Director of Indivisible, whose mission is to cultivate a progressive grassroots movement. We discuss the urgency of democracy reform, structural issues that relate to our nation’s history, and how we can achieve a democracy that truly reflects the will of the people.
When American democracy was conceived, the US was comprised of 13 states on the Eastern Seaboard, with a population of just over 2.5 million. The 18th and 19th century version of our democracy was meant for a smaller, less populous, and overwhelmingly whiter nation than the America we live in today. In order to preserve and strengthen our democracy for the future, we must engage in progressive reforms. One example is removing outdated and arbitrary procedures like the filibuster, which enables a slim minority to hold up meaningful policy changes for all.
Grassroots Organizing is Key
Representative democracy ultimately means governmental power is held by the people, not just those elected to represent them. The most effective way to get your voice heard is to organize like-minded individuals, or join groups that share your values, and set out to make a difference on national, regional, or local issues. When many voices join together to demand change, it’s often impossible to ignore. Organized, grassroots activism has the power to sway elections and elected officials in ways that individuals do not.
From Anti-Trump to Pro-Democracy
At its inception, Indivisible was a direct response to the 2016 election: it was an anti-Trump movement that gained widespread support around the country as a platform dedicated to defeating the Trump agenda. Since then, Indivisible has evolved into a wide-ranging pro-democracy movement. Defeating the Trump agenda is now seen as a facet of progressive democratic reform. The goals have changed into a well-rounded effort to stem anti-democratic practices throughout our government and ensure progressive reforms are made to safeguard a fair and free future.
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Ezra Levin is the Co-Executive Director of Indivisible, which he co-founded with Leah Greenberg in the wake of the 2016 presidential election. The Indivisible Project’s mission is to cultivate a grassroots movement of literally thousands of local Indivisible groups to elect progressive leaders, realize bold progressive policies, rebuild our democracy, and defeat the Trump agenda.
Previously, he worked as an Associate Director of Federal Policy for Prosperity Now, a non-profit, anti-poverty organization. Before that, he held the post of Deputy Policy Director for Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), and served in the Congressman’s election campaign.
He is the co-author of We Are Indivisible: A Blueprint for Democracy After Trump, which hits stands on November 5, 2019.
Follow Ezra Levin on Twitter @ezralevin.