The Importance of Progress – [Attend] 2018 Progressive Action Summit by Carlos Contreras

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One-thousand people,  thirty-two presentations that amount to eight hours worth of programming for community artists, activists, elected officials, college students, business owners, non-profit executives and more – all under the same roof! How does that sound? To me, it sounds like one of the most exciting things I will have the privilege and opportunity to organize on behalf of our beautiful city, to date. What is it? The 2018 Progressive Action Summit.

A year ago, I joined the team at ProgressNow, New Mexico, as a Community Engagement Strategist. I don’t have a history in political organizing. Truth be told, short of voting in major elections, my interest and depth of knowledge in the area of politics was at best, “below-average.” My heart for a city on the brink of topping the bottom of every list though, “larger-than-average” – and in a stroke of happenstance and serendipity, I found myself across the desk from, Executive Director, Patrick Davis, discussing a job at ProgressNow, New Mexico.

From the standpoint of “Pat,” and the team and board of ProgressNow, New Mexico, there was a desire to “go local,” to get into the community and do some work that they’d planned on doing for years, but really hadn’t had an event planner on staff to get that job done. The conversation became one of taking the incredibly powerful news outlet that ProgressNow is and was, and turning toward and into New Mexican communities far and wide, North to South – aiming to interface with the supporters who helped build and continue to fuel the machine that is ProgressNow, New Mexico.

A year later, we are poised to host the third Progressive Action Summit while I’ve been on staff. This rendition pulls through the door collaborating partners and is teaming up with more than a dozen community organizations for means of genuinely approaching providing space for conversations around equity, access, fairness, and inclusion in safe and healthy communities throughout New Mexico.

When I think about January 20th, and what it will mean for me – it will mean I have worked with an incredible team of community leaders to stage the largest ticketed event I have ever been tasked with being a lead coordinator on.

When I think about what it will mean for “us,” I think simply about my daughter. I think about her two-year old self, and the helpless and vulnerable situation she wakes up to every day. I think about how days like January 20th in Albuquerque, New Mexico, as an opportunity I have at creating a life for her in this city I love so much, that serves her – so she too can aim to repay that favor.

Working alongside and in step with organizations like Olé, El Centro de Iguallidad y Derechos, Working Families, America Votes, The Center for Civic Policy, Equality New Mexico, Southwest Organizing Project, and more, I am excited about the possibilities, we can create together, beginning January 20th. Join me – and help me spread the word. Think about what it means for you, think about what it means for us, and then show up.