The 2016 Progressive Honor Roll

The Nation
December 20, 2016
John Nichols

Yes, the election results were generally awful. But the untold story of 2016 is that grassroots activists, bold campaigners, and the movements they embraced frequently prevailed—and their successes showed progressives how to press forward even in the most frustrating and difficult of times. Our 2016 honor roll of the most valuable progressives is a chronicle of the fight that has already begun, and a road map for the resistance yet to come.

Most Valuable Activist Campaign of 2016:

#WeveSeenThisBefore

The hashtag on the “Jews Reject Trump” signs was stark and haunting, and the Bend the Arc Jewish Action campaign made sure that it was seen outside Trump Tower, at the Republican National Convention, and at events across the country, where activists announced: “We have seen this kind of hate and political violence before. And we won’t let it happen again.” An offshoot of the movement’s broader work on social justice, Bend the Arc Jewish Action developed the “We’ve Seen This Before” campaign in 2015 to sound the alarm “about Donald Trump’s hateful anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, anti-woman, and violent agenda.” The campaign did not end on Election Day: In November, Bend the Arc Jewish Action CEO Stosh Cotler and Muslim Public Affairs Council president Salam al-Marayati circulated a joint letter urging Trump to withdraw his appointment of Steve Bannon, because “Hate has no place in the White House.”