“If they don't give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.”

Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm - Photo Credit: Thomas J. O'Halloran

Our Vision

At the 1972 Democratic Convention, Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm famously proclaimed, “If they don't give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.”

Yesteryear’s folding chair isn’t enough. Now, we know how to build our own tables.

Our vision is to build a 21st Century caucus that will mobilize resources to recruit, train, and mentor talent for upcoming movement-building races across the country.

As the American Rising Electorate, we need to build and run campaigns, manage legislative offices and coalitions, raise money, and activate non-voters. Shirley’s Table is a byproduct of the movement for the movement.

Shirley’s Table offers a viable alternative to the traditional electoral model--one that creates a more representative democracy, and a bench of movement-building professionals to lead 21st century political and issue-based campaigns and legislative offices.

Our Intended Impact: 2019 to 2021

At Shirley’s Table, we haven’t missed a beat. We’re quickly pulling together a skilled and talented team of movement-building professionals to launch and manage our first cohort in 2019. We’ll be ready for the 2019 municipal elections season and preparing for the 2020 cycle. Over the next three years, we will focus on:

  • Fellows advancing or enabling positive policy change at all levels of government

  • Fellows employed in various campaign roles on municipal, district, mayoral, gubernatorial, and congressional level races, elections in MA, the Southeast and Southwest

  • Fellows employed in various organizer roles in social justice and progressive-focused organizations

Our success will be measured by:

  • A full cohort of talented Fellows for our startup fellowship in 2019

  • Effective placement of these professionals to do the work on upcoming campaigns, and the success of those campaigns

  • Strength and number of leadership circle of movement-building professionals mentoring Fellows

  • Election of progressive elected officials at all levels

  • Enabling progressive policy change at all levels

  • Professional advancement and/or promotion of Fellows