Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

NPI celebrates three year anniversary

This month, the Northwest Progressive Institute celebrates its three year anniversary. I know I can hardly believe the organization has existed for thirty six months, but that is indeed how long it's been.

I founded NPI a year and a half after entering politics and setting up Permanent Defense. I saw the need to present a compelling alternative to the worldview of George W. Bush, Rush Limbaugh, and Tim Eyman. I knew that being on defense wasn't enough. I wanted to create something with a more comprehensive mission.

I knew of the importance of infrastructure and envisioned laying the groundwork to build a local, progressive think tank. I had very little in the way of resources, but that did not deter me in the slightest.

I created a framework and then implemented that framework into a very basic website filled mostly with empty space. That website was launched three years and a week ago from today - August 23rd, 2003. Shortly thereafter, NPI stopped being one person's dream and instead became a team effort as additional members joined.

My initial intent was to build an evolving platform of sorts - a base of ideas, solutions, and policy recommendations for creating a stronger, freer, safer, and cleaner America. Three years later, that platform remains unfinished and in development, but we've certainly made progress.

And that hasn't been our only project, either. Later endeavors included this blog, Pacific Northwest Portal, our multimedia section, and the conference for local bloggers held last January, to name a few.

Throughout the last three years I have run into many people who have laughed at or dismissed either me or NPI itself, or both. I have even encountered a few activists who don't take this organization seriously and have displayed hostility. But that has never stopped me.

It hasn't stopped people from joining, either.

I remain aware that we will not be considered a credible operation or organization in the eyes of many people until we have a sizable budget, office space, a paid staff - in other words, hefty resources.

So what?

The political establishment can think whatever it wants, and it's going to anyway whether I like it or not. But looking back, I can say with confidence that we have had three years of unbelievable growth.

We're going to keep growing, and someday in the future, we will have funding, offices, and a payroll. However, we'll never forget our roots. NPI will always be an organization driven by grassroots activists.

I can't wait to see what happens over the next year.

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