The Nitty-Gritty Beginnings of a New Political Party

A couple of weeks ago, I said that we can’t start just one new party to replace the dying Republican/Democrat system; we have to start many new parties.

Every area needs its own grassroots-driven, nimble, flexible new party, led by locals, fighting wherever they can to claim state legislative seats, mayoralties, commissionerships, and any other low-level political offices from the incumbent machine that has given us Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

In the Twin Cities, we’ve started the Solidarity Party of Minnesota (as of today, we have a website!). Solidarity Minnesota is tied to the American Solidarity Party (a national group), but the national party has very little infrastructure, so we are basically starting from scratch.

Many of you have written to me looking for a little more direction about how to actually start a new party in your local area. Well, here’s the best advice I can give you. This is what we did to get a new party started in our area.

Our founder and current vice-chair, Rob Bruening, made a Facebook page and mailing list for the party. Various people joined or were invited to join. After a few weeks, he announced the first official working meeting, to elect officers and set goals.  We held the meeting on a Tuesday night at a library, and about a dozen people came. Some were just there to listen; there was no pressure. One was a local elected official sympathetic to our cause, whom we had made a special effort to invite. He offered a lot of guidance to us on the nitty-gritty of getting into politics.

After 90 minutes, the meeting ended. We had elected four officers, had some great discussions about our priorities, and started laying plans for expanding the party and winning elections. The details of what we talked about are all in the meeting minutes, which I have posted below. For now, it’s just a start… but it feels to me like a promising start indeed.

As you read that PDF, you’ll realize something very important:

There’s no special sauce to this.

You don’t need millions of dollars and big-name endorsements to start a political party. We’re just a dozen concerned citizens who came together because (for various reasons) we are through with the Party of Trump and the Party of Clinton. We face a very large and complex problem — winning political power in the state of Minnesota — so we broke the problem down into smaller pieces and started working on them. And we had some terrific conversations with people who come from all walks of life.

We aren’t all on exactly the same page about everything. No political party is. But we recognize that we agree on the most important things, and we recognize that, if we don’t join forces and fight for an electoral alternative, nobody will.

Nothing stops you from doing the same thing in your city. Political parties don’t start because think tanks in Washington theorize them into being. Political parties start because people like you get so fed up with the current system that you band together to fight back.

And then the world changes.

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  • James J Heaney