In 2017, the LA Progressive and the Left Forum joined forces to put on the first-ever Left Coast Forum (LCF). Similar to the annual Left Forum held, for decades, in New York City, the Left Coast Forum gathers progressive activists, organizers, non-profit organizations, academics and individuals for a convening in Los Angeles to address the issues that forward-thinking people are most concerned about—issues like immigration, climate change, police practices, universal healthcare, labor, racism, mass incarceration, worker-owned co-ops, public education, public banking, economic equity, civil liberties and more.
The Left Coast Forum Mission
We aim to address progressive issues by first reaching across racial, ethnic, gender, class, religious, generational and sexual identities with intention. Our annual convening is an expression of the Left Coast Forum’s commitment to bringing the progressive community together on social, political, economical, environmental and other issues, while openly acknowledging and addressing the divisions that exist within the progressive community.
Our LCF ’19 Goal
The Left Coast Forum is an experiment in Movement Building. We use the term “left” to reach out to many social movements, all of which are challenging the status quo but not all use the term “left” to describe their work. Many use other terms including “progressive,” “liberation,” “system change,” “socialism,” “communism,” and “revolution” characterizing their worldview. We see building constructive, engaged discussion, debate as critical, but our main focus is on work! Doing the hard work to fight the system and build a movement that is broader and deeper than any one organization.
We encourage you to come to LCF-19 to “promote” your own organization but also to hold up the work of others. We want you to build and promote your workshop or panel but also to attend and participate in the workshops and panels of others. We, the organizers, of this forum want to be change agents. We want to move beyond talking without acting, beyond criticizing the system without self criticism, beyond the perpetuation of white male hetero chauvinism and the interests of the proverbial “white west side,” to prioritizing the issues of the most oppressed — communities of color, Third World people, inside and outside the U.S. We want to bring the left together.
If you are interested in learning as well as teaching — if you want to reach out to others, if you are leading struggles in communities of color, if you want to make concrete commitments to help groups fighting in Black, Latino, immigrant, and other oppressed communities, if the word “left” to you means fighting for the rights of people all over the world, including their right to self-determination against the interference in their internal affairs of the U.S. government, which some call U.S. imperialism, then, yes, this is exactly where you want to be. You are the people already building the LCF, the people who led the “Centrality of Race” conversations and LCF-18 last year, and the people we most need to help us build the Left Coast Forum of the future.