“Where people live is changing very rapidly. When most of us say we organize locally, usually we mean in the central city,” said San Diego-based Kyra Greene, Executive Director of the Center on Policy Initiatives. “But more and more, as we’re seeing all over the country, it means going out to these suburban communities where our people are being pushed as the cities get gentrified. And there’s much less of the organizing infrastructure, and the connections among people are being reconfigured as we do our work.”
Greene joined Detroit Action Executive Director Branden Snyder for Episode 17 of Black Work Talk. In conversation with Steven Pitts and co-host Lauren Jacobs, they examined the difference place makes in the exercise of Black political power. They wrestled with the relationship between mutual aid—so necessary to poor communities’ survival—and building governing power. And they considered the dilemmas posed by neoliberal politicians of color, and the difference between winning elections and co-governance. Both the Center on Policy Initiatives and Detroit Action are affiliates of PowerSwitch Action, a network of local organizations dedicated to building a multiracial feminist democracy and economies in cities and regions around the country. Lauren Jacobs is Executive Director of PowerSwitch Action.