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Rabbi Michael Lerner on Upcoming National Interfaith Conference

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My guest today is Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor of Tikkun Magazine and co-chair of The Network of Spiritual Progressives [NSP]. Welcome to OpEdNews, Michael. NSP is hosting a national interfaith conference in June. Can you tell our readers about the network and the conference?

Rabbi Michael Lerner

We are convening a conference in Washington D.C. June 11-14 co-sponsored by The Nation magazine, Common Cause, Code Pink, Peace Action, the Washington Peace Center, Progressive Democrats of America, OpEdNews, the Institute for Policy Studies, Yes! magazine and many more--because liberals and progressives need a new strategy in the Obama years. This conference is a way that activists and those working for social change can come together to participate on the ground floor of shaping that strategy. We'll also be having a demonstration at the White House on June 13 as part of this conference.

What's the basic premise of the conference, Michael?

Progressives who expected to be participating in the process of shaping the national discourse after the election of Obama have found themselves deeply disappointed and experiencing themselves as far less impactful than they had hoped to be during an Obama presidency.

The 2008 election revealed the great yearning of a majority of Americans for a world based on peace, social justice, generosity, environmental sanity, and recognition that our well-being is tied to the well-being of everyone else on the planet. To the extent that Obama and Congressional Democrats have failed to fight for a world based on those principles, and have at times moved in the opposite direction, they have opened up a chasm of despair, thereby creating the space for a racist and potentially quasi-fascist movement led by Sarah Palin and the Tea Party reactionaries.

What is the challenge American progressives face today?

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Joan Brunwasser is a co-founder of Citizens for Election Reform (CER) which since 2005 existed for the sole purpose of raising the public awareness of the critical need for election reform. Our goal: to restore fair, accurate, transparent, secure elections where votes are cast in private and counted in public. Because the problems with electronic (computerized) voting systems include a lack of (more...)

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