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The Next Politics

The ideas of the third way are reviving center-left political parties throughout the industrialized world as people everywhere struggle to put a human face on the global economy. Today, less than 15 years after we started, the ideas pushed by the DLC are literally sweeping the world.

-President Bill Clinton

Al From is the founder and president of the Democratic Leadership Council and Progressive Policy Institute (DLC/PPI). The DLC/PPI was founded in 1985, in the midst of the Reagan presidency. Its purpose was to create and empower a center-left in American politics that would combine progressive goals with practical policy, and focus more on the middle class. The result was "the third way," characterized in the United States by the Clinton Presidency; in Britain by the success of Prime Minister Tony Blair; in Germany by the election of Gerhard Schroeder; and in Italy by the government of Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema.

From was born in 1943, in South Bend, Indiana. He earned a Master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and was editor of the Daily Northwestern. He served as director of Edmund Muskie's U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Intergovernmental Relations for eight years and was executive director of the House Democratic Caucus from 1981 through 1985. In addition to his work at the DLC/PPI, he is the cochair of the Charter Schools Development Corporation and a founding member of The ideas of the DLC and the policies researched and advocated by the PPI played a prominent role in President Clinton's (a former chair of the DLC) 1992 platform. They have also formed the crux of most of his successful proposals. Presently, the DLC membership includes multiple Governors, Senators, and House leaders.

In his Athenaeum lecture Al From, a man who has helped shape modern American politics, will talk about the demographic changes that will shape the next politics, the ideas that will define it, the rules that will govern it, and the challenges it must meet.