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Norman Lear: Reclaiming Our Country, the Smart Way




(The Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy has just released its guide for policy activists in the form of a graphic novel and anthology of case studies. Here is veteran television producer Norman Lear’s forward to They Said It Was Impossible! How to Win Progressive Change When the Odds Are Against Us.)

I frequently meet people who love this country and worry that it is in deep trouble, but don’t know what they can do about it. It’s hard for them to see how an individual can make a real difference when our problems are so big.

But our history tells us that when individuals get together, we can create real and lasting change. And this publication tells us how LAANE is successfully taking on the challenge of building a new economy, one that is fair, sustainable, and humane.

It has been 30 years since I co-founded People For the American Way. For many of those years, I have also watched and learned from LAANE’s smart approach to transformative activism.

Over the past two decades, LAANE has figured out a way to win. Its approach has produced the L.A. Living Wage law, the L.A. Live Community Benefits Agreement and the Port of Los Angeles Clean Truck Program. These are not only transformative local victories; they are also road maps to change that have been used all across the country.

It’s not that LAANE always wins – no one does. But they are always learning – from their defeats as well as their victories. And with this publication they are giving all of us the chance to learn from their experience.

I believe it will make me a better activist. I hope it does the same for you.

Norman Lear
People for the American Way

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