Local Leaders Nationwide are Building Power by Sharing It

We all know that governing with our communities makes us stronger. That’s why over 50 local leaders and partners committed to shared governing power convened in Nashville, Tennessee last week to strategize and build community at the second-annual Leadership Collaborative!

The Leadership Collaborative is a convening specifically designed for our member leaders – the heart and soul of our network spanning state organizing committees, issue steering committees, and caucus leadership committees. It’s a cross-organizational, multi-state, multi-issue, multi-racial space consisting of four convenings focused on key pillars of our strategic framework:

  1. Racial Justice as a Beacon for All
  2. Collaborative Governing to Build Power
  3. Adaptive Change from the Ground Up
  4. Elected Officials as an Organized Force

Our very first Leadership Collaborative last year focused on Elected Officials as an Organized Force. This year’s convening focused on Collaborative Governing to Build Power! As such, we spent two incredible days learning from one another to make our network’s collaborative ecosystem even stronger. 

Member leaders and partners kicked off the convening by agreeing on a shared definition of collaborative governance:

The shared practice of breaking down barriers between government, advocacy partners, and community groups. This happens by working authentically with historically marginalized communities to build a shared vision and necessary infrastructure to actualize long-term sustainable power. This practice requires elected bodies to proactively convene community partners to advance real transformational policies. We recognize the work of cogovernance is an interactive and continual project that requires deep trust between those with access to power and those without. 

Defining the term, members agreed, gives them a guiding principle from which to approach their governing style. 

We learned of the countless ways our member leaders are modeling what collaborative governance means in practice each and every day with their communities. Whether it’s working with a large coalition to establish rent stabilization, building power with students to remove SROs from schools, or organizing with teachers unions to secure affordable housing for teachers – LP members nationwide are breaking down barriers between government, advocacy partners, and community groups.

It’s hard to put into words just how special this space for our member leaders was, but Nashville Metro Council Member At-large Delishia Porterfield hit the nail on the head: 

“As Local Progress leaders, we lead with care. We are authentic, brave, and bold. We come together to recommit to our collective fight against the gatekeepers and for our communities.”

Our big takeaway from our time together? Collaborative governance helps us build collective power.

We’re in awe of this inspiring group of LP member leaders and partners who are committed to building power by sharing it.

If this makes you want to become a member leader (how could it not!?), you can learn more about leadership opportunities and apply here