What is Progressive?
What does it mean to be progressive? That seems to be coming up a lot lately, and for good reason. Anyone who is old enough to remember what the democratic party was doing in the 1960s and 1970s knows what it means to be progressive. This is not a new way of being, this is a return to our roots of recent history.
Progressives gave us civil rights, voting rights, the creation of medicare, and put a man on the moon. Progressives looked at the world and enacted legislation to make life better.
Progressives have intellectual curiosity. They are keenly aware of history, technology, and they measure those aspects against what could be done. Seeking creative solutions that offer the possibility of making life better for as many as possible. Solutions that promote sustainability. Solutions that make the world a better place than when they found it. Solutions that considers future generations and offers a better future. Progressives do not need to experience a particular hardship, to be able to empathize with the hardship of another.
Some people fear the word progressive. Or rather, they fear the meaning they have attached to the concept of what it means to be progressive. But when you actually start talking to people who express those fears, you learn how progressive we all really are. We really do want to see science and medicine advance. We do want to have enough food on our table. We do want to see our children and grandchildren thrive. We want a place worth living in, with a future that has potential. We do want to be able to breath the air while watching a sunset. All of those wants are within a progressive philosophy.
Being a progressive involves intellectual honesty. Looking at what works, what doesn’t work, and having the courage to acknowledge what isn’t working. In acknowledging what isn’t working, you now have the freedom to address it. Researching, asking questions, finding data, speaking with experts, then making the best possible choice — using data to inform your opinion.
We are now in the 21st century. According to the global scientists, we have 11 years to change how we have been doing things. Broomfield has the chance to show the rest of the Front Range what can be accomplished. We have enough options, enough off-the-shelf technology, and enough of an annual budget, to move the city forward. If we keep doing things as they’ve been done, with some of this ways anchored in the 1880s, we will not make it.
Mediocrity will not win the day. Hanging on to choices from the 1880s will not win the day. Having the courage and intellectual curiosity, to utilize and implement the best choices in technology and information, that’s what is means to be progressive.
Christopher Cleary is a Broomfield resident and candidate for city council in Ward 3.