February 9, 2023

Among the other speakers at Tuesday’s meeting — which was called Sound Check — were Representative Jamaal Bowman, a Democrat from Westchester County in New York; Heather McGhee, the board chair of Color of Change, a civil rights group; and Zachary Carter, a journalist and the author of a biography of John Maynard Keynes.

In his speech, Carter chided unnamed economists of the Democratic Party’s “old guard,” who he believes misdiagnosed the causes of inflation and essentially prescribed higher unemployment and lower wages as the answer.

“The story we hear from the old guard is not fundamentally convincing in a democracy,” Carter said. “Their criticism is based on the idea that most working people are actually too well off, and attempts to improve their well-being can only make things worse.”

An informal coalition of progressive groups helped set up the event: Way to Win, a donor community led by Ms Hunt-Hendrix; Fight against corporate monopolies, a relatively new advocacy group led by Sarah Miller, founder of the American Economic Liberties Project; the Economic Security Project, led by Taylor Jo Isenberg; and Popular Comms, a progressive strategy group co-founded by Jonathan Smucker.

Smucker, whose background lies in political organization in eastern and central Pennsylvania, gave a presentation on the lessons learned from the 2018 congressional campaign of Jess King, who acted as an inclusive populist in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

King, who called herself a working mom who refused to take “corporate donations,” ultimately lost her race after a court decision left the district firmly Republican.

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