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Reset and Renew: Webinar on Learning from Campaign Setbacks

On February 16, advocate leaders from aligned movements came together to share their reflections and insights for recovering and persisting in the wake of political and legislative setbacks. The conversation was refreshingly encouraging and centered on themes of the dynamic nature of political change, the critical catalyst of power building and diversifying our coalitions, and committing to our due diligence in anticipating the opposition.


Barbara Chow, Director, Education, Heising-Simons Foundation

Erica Gallegos, Co-Director, Child Care for Every Family Network; Former Policy Director, Ole’ New Mexico

Christy Goldfuss, Chief Policy Impact Officer, National Resources Defense Council

Fatima Goss Grave, Executive Director, National Women’s Law Center

Maurice Mitchell, Director, Working Families Party

Top Takeaways

Change isn’t linear, change is dialectical.

Without 100% of the power, we cannot expect 100% of our desired outcomes. Any one organization or coalition doesn’t have all the power so compromise will always be required when building coalitions. Politics are never static, and baselines can change. Investing now in grassroots powerbuilding can allow us a larger platform to be nimble and responsive in navigating the ebbs and flows of progress over time.

Wins and losses both have value. Fail forward.

State and local level campaigns prepare us for larger wins down the road. When we lose, we cultivate a necessary resiliency and the ability to learn from our losses to inform our next winning strategy.

Politics are constructed and we are the protagonists.

As active agents in the process of change it is critical to always understand and study the dynamics of power and access to it.  Being expansive in our approach to building diverse coalitions with nontraditional partners – who stand to benefit when we benefit and lend power to our base – is necessary for success. 

Respect the opposition. 

We gain momentum and strength by respecting our opponents and the power of their self-interest. Our victories will elicit a counter strategy that we must be prepared for. Sound and steady implementation is a key strategy for pushing back against the opposition’s efforts to thwart progress made.

Resources Shared

Resetting After Social Movement Setbacks, Derrick Feldmann, Candid, July 20, 2022

Building Resilient Organizations, Maurice Mitchell, The Forge, November 29, 2022


The webinar was jointly presented by the Alliance for Early Success, the Early Childhood Funders Collaborative, and the Raising Child Care Fund.

A recording of the webinar is now available here

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