A Place in Austin for Constructive Political Dialogue

A Small Light Bulb: Artists, activists, spiritual people convene

You call yourself a “progressive.” You’ve been down to the Capitol or on the Congress Bridge a time or two, protesting yet another egregious abuse of power by your elected officials. You’re familiar with the pro-choice buttons, the UT kids hawking the Socialist Worker, the honking car bearing an impeachment sticker, and the same six people chanting “Whose streets? Our streets!” You know this is a good thing that everyone is doing, but you can’t help but wonder: Is this really the only way to do it?

Jim Rigby, Robert Jensen, and Eliza Gilkyson hope to offer Austin’s progressive community an alternative to the traditional political response with Last Sunday, a monthly salon where progressives can meet and talk at Saengerrunde Hall, and maybe share a beer next door at Scholz Garten. You know, just get to know each other, exchange ideas, and see what happens.

“One of the things that I think is a hallmark of contemporary America is that everyone is very isolated, very fragmented,” says Jensen, a University of Texas professor of journalism who’s been involved in Austin activist politics for more than a decade. “There’s very little public space for people to just get together to talk. For all the blather about politics on cable news, it’s my experience that most ordinary people don’t feel that they have places where they can really, honestly engage in political dialogue that goes beyond arguing over the next election.”

Read all of it here.

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