The Opportunity Agenda

A Bold Democratic Plan to Grow the Middle Class

On paper, New York business and civic leader Winston Fisher and former Kansas City mayor Sly James seem to have nothing in common. They come from different generations, backgrounds, geographies, and professions. Despite their apparent differences, they share one central belief: the Democratic Party is overdue for major disruption.

In The Opportunity Agenda, Fisher and James propose a new path forward that focuses on what really matters: appealing to the people. The 2016 presidential election revealed the extent of the deep economic anxieties felt by working- and middle-class Americans across the country—an insecurity that reshaped American history with the election of Donald Trump. Democrats failed to make a compelling case to promote their vision for the future. Equipped with a refreshing arsenal of bold ideas to expand the middle class, Fisher and James offer a plan to grow the party’s base, win over moderates and independents, and explain in no uncertain terms what Democrats will do for you, the American voter.

In this era of increasing political turmoil, old habits, stale messaging, and a “get even” mentality, any momentum the Democratic Party once had has stalled. It will take innovative solutions to shake up the Democratic establishment and energize voters across the political spectrum. That’s where The Opportunity Agenda comes in. Insightful, accessible, and compelling, it outlines tangible strategies the Democratic Party needs for long-term success. This is a must-read for anyone invested in the future of our country and the forgotten middle class.

ISBN: 978-1-64543-081-0
SKU: 08-610-01
Categories:Amplify Publishing, Politics and Current Affairs, Policy, Political Theory and Ideology

“For far too long, the Democratic Party has relied on stale ideas, big government solutions, and uninspired messaging. Fisher and James show us that we can do better, proposing realistic policy changes with widespread voter appeal. This is the call to action the party needs.”—Heidi Heitkamp, former senator (D-ND)

“The economic system in America used to reward hard work and generally provide for families. Now, that promise has completely evaporated. As Washington grapples with how to react, Winston Fisher and Sly James issue an urgent and needed warning: the Democratic Party is due for disruption. Now is the time to go big, go bold, and advance an agenda that spreads opportunity to everyone, everywhere.”—Jonathan Cowan, president, Third Way

“I’m often asked what Democrats need to do to broaden our appeal and win more elections. The Opportunity Agenda helps provide that answer. It shows the power of being proactive and how we need to continue to capture the economic agenda. Anyone looking for the path forward should read this book.”—Jim Messina, CEO, Messina Group; campaign manager, Obama for America 2012

“The central premise of The Opportunity Agenda is that to be successful as a party and a country, we need to offer a bold and innovative new policy agenda that appeals to a broad swath of Americans. NewDEAL works with forward-looking, pro-growth progressive state and local elected officials across the country. For them, and for every policymaker out there who believes that ideas matter, this book, and its actionable policy framework, will be both a breath of fresh air and an important resource.”—Debbie Cox Bultan, CEO, NewDEAL (Developing Exceptional American Leaders)

“Sly is known for speaking plainly and helpfully about how public policy can improve people’s lives. I’m not at all surprised to see he and Winston teamed up to push Democrats to look beyond today’s news cycle and toward tomorrow’s challenges. Agreement with every part of Sly and Winston’s agenda is not required, as this book is the definition of thought-provoking. I suggest reading it with a pen in hand.”—Jason Kander, former Missouri secretary of state

“Sly James and Winston Fisher have a compelling message for Democrats in this critical election year: the key choice isn’t between left and center, it’s between old and new. To a party whose big government agenda has grown stale, The Opportunity Agenda offers a timely infusion of fresh ideas and a new approach to governing from the ground up.”—Will Marshall, president and founder, Progressive Policy Institute

Sly James

Former Mayor of Kansas City

Sly James is the former mayor of Kansas City, Missouri, and responsible for overseeing the city’s renaissance. Throughout his tenure, Mr. James moved the needle on universal pre-K, spearheaded the construction and expansion of a streetcar line, and successfully passed an $800 million infrastructure package. He has also served on numerous boards and commissions, including the Missouri Board of Law Examiners, the Economic Development Corporation, and as president of the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association.

Winston Fisher

Real Estate Developer and Civic Leader

Winston C. Fisher is a partner at Fisher Brothers, a real estate firm based in New York City, and CEO of AREA15, an experiential retail and entertainment company. Mr. Fisher also serves as cochair of Governor Cuomo’s New York City Regional Economic Development Council and is active in civic and policy organizations and higher education institutions, including the Center for an Urban Future, the Real Estate Board of New York, and Syracuse University.

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