The forum was held at Columbia University before a multiracial, predominately African American audience of about 65 people. The panelists were: Chet Whye, ED of Jarlem4Change; Gregory T. Angelo, Chair of Log Cabin Republican of NY State; Cathy Stewart, Chair of NY County Independence Party; Thomas Basile, founder of a tea-party organization in NY State; Bernard Whitman, Democratic Party pollster and author of 52 Reasons to Vote for Obama.
Full disclosure: My first thought when I heard the name of the event was 'Great! The election is over and now we can get back to the important work of building a progressive grassroots movement that can change our partisan political culture and is reaching out to youth, to independents, to the full spectrum of the American electorate.'
The dialogue was intelligent, active and thought-provoking.
Cathy Stewart is remarkably skillful at hammering away at the structural issues facing an American electorate that tips 40% and growing.
Enjoy this clip from her opening statement: