Report: How Cities Can Defend Against Anti-Democracy Forces
Thursday, January 6, 2022
It has been one year since the storming of the Capitol in Washington, D.C., and an Oregon-based group has released a report on how local governments can push back on the anti-democratic movement which has grown in the wake of the attack, including in Oregon.
The Western States Center's new report explored ways city leaders can strengthen themselves, especially as white nationalists and paramilitary groups gain traction.
Lindsay Schubiner, momentum program director at the Center, said animus has been directed at local government officials.
"It's really dangerous," Schubiner asserted. "Threats and intimidation and political violence undermine the democratic process and can make it much more difficult for communities to participate in that process."
Schubiner pointed out local officials are on the front lines of countering these violent movements. The report recommended local officials be clear about their rejection of bigotry and other authoritarian movements.
Schubiner emphasized communities need to build broad coalitions against anti-democratic forces.
"That's one of the most important things that local leaders can do," Schubiner stressed. "Build the political will to directly denounce bigotry and anti-democracy movements and work to defend inclusive democratic institutions."
She noted communities should make sure these institutions are more inclusive in the first place, and added other levels of government should help in the effort.
"I'd also like to see much more support for the local level from state and federal institutions committed to defending inclusive democracy," Schubiner urged. "It's important that we not leave local government alone, whether that's from the federal level or the state level or the community level."
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