Since the 2016 election, Beyond the Choir has been supporting the new grassroots effort Lancaster Stands Up, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Jimmy Tobias first came to Lancaster in spring of 2017 to cover this effort for The Nation. Now he’s returned more than a year later to profile the progress of Lancaster Stands Up and also the Jess King for Congress campaign.
Here’s a short excerpt:
Soon enough, [they] formalized their efforts by founding an independent political organization called Lancaster Stands Up, whose mission is to spread the gospel of civic engagement and take back politics from entrenched politicians. Led by a 12-person multiracial team of volunteers, LSU started holding monthly mass gatherings in early 2017. It organized rallies against the latest Trump outrages, including a 2,000-person demonstration against the president’s Muslim ban, the largest protest in Lancaster in decades. It trained its membership in the democratic arts of door-knocking, bird-dogging, and story-based persuasion. It spread a message of anti-elite populism, heavy on immigrants’ rights, racial justice, anti-monopolism, and universal health care. And its numbers multiplied.