Origins of the Radical Bureaucrats

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Following the 2016 General Election, a group of masters students of public affairs from across policy areas came together out of a belief that the implications of Donald Trump’s presidency required an active response.

If the election taught us one thing, it is that we live in an age where expertise, in government, other organizations, or journalism, is not trusted by a large portion of the electorate. We formed the Radical Bureaucrats because we believed that those of us that had policy expertise that also believed in a progressive vision for society failed to articulate that vision to a large portion of the populace in a meaningful way. We believed we could address that problem by becoming a bridge between the wealth of policy knowledge that exists at the university, and the needs of everyday Americans.

To that end, between January and May 2017, we organized two teach-in events that were open to the public, where policy professors as well as community leaders led dialogues on a variety of issues, how Trump's administration might impact those issues, and strategies to effectively resist his agenda. On top of that, the Radical Bureaucrats were involved in a number of local community organizing efforts as well as fund-raised to support the refugee resettlement efforts of a local nonprofit. Our goal is to democratize the policy knowledge that we have access to as graduate students to empower citizens, and in turn, rebuild trust between the populace and civil society so that we may work together to develop solutions to the most pressing issues we face today.

Today, most of us that founded the Radical Bureaucrats have scattered to all parts of the country, and even the world. However, we remain committed in our varied professional careers to the progressive vision that brought us together in the first place. Now, we seek to expand that vision beyond our local community and establish a broad movement dedicated to positive social change.