Sussex Progressives


Defining what it means to be Progressive in Sussex: Who we are, what we want and how we’re going to get there…

On Saturday 2 September people from across Sussex to come together in Brighton to discuss what it means to be politically progressive and what role Sussex Progressives can play in effecting positive political change.

We’re local, grassroots and open to all who share our values. We’re also ambitious and have big ideas about the kinds of political change we want to see.

We can leave tribal politics behind and work together to make positive changes in our local communities – modelling the political change we want to promote more broadly. And we’ve begun to put our heads together to map out how we might go about it:

(1) Engaging with the public:

Sussex Progressives provides a space for people from all parties (or none) to come together and discuss politics and innovative solutions.

We suggested holding more public meetings, engaging with the public in their communities and working with the local and national media to raise the profile of progressive causes and encourage people to identify with progressive values.

(2) Engaging with politicians:

Sussex Progressives encourages politicians and political candidates to commit to progressive ideas and values.

We suggested using our influence as a grassroots organisation to ensure political candidates pledge support for progressive values and initiatives, such as proportional representation, in advance of elections.

(3) Engaging in innovative approaches:

There is never only one way to do democracy. Sussex Progressives can model new ways of collaborating and organising.

We talked about the importance of supporting our local communities on the issues they care about. From opposing PSPOs and the treatment of homeless people to campaigning for the rights of EU citizens in the UK, we know that there are many issues that transcend traditional political boundaries.

We also know that sometimes we need to think more creatively. We suggested the possibility of conducting progressive primaries for candidates in the next general or local elections. These primaries would seek to discover which “progressive” candidate (a) had the best chance of winning; or (b) had the most progressive policies.

We’ve made some great progress, but there’s a lot more to discuss and everyone is welcome. Come along to our next meeting on 18 September 2017 to see how we can put some of our ideas into practice! 

Robbie Hirst