Our efforts outside of Washington, DC have helped elevate concerns in our communities, while also raising the profile of the Truman brand. Truman Chapters reflect the geographic diversity that is unique to the US, which also reflects the social and economic realities that are so often a factor in how foreign policy is perceived. Holding meaningful events that allow Chapter members to tap into the security concerns of local communities presents the Chapter and its members as trusted, credible validators of progressive national security and foreign policy. These engagements make national security and foreign policy accessible for the surrounding community when they otherwise might -- and often do -- appear removed from everyday life outside of the Beltway.
After the onset of the novel coronavirus, members working in local government in various cities across the country came together to form the COVID-19 Response Working Group. Together, they shared resources to assess phased reopening metrics. Members also shared tools such as interactive scorecards and a frontline guide for operational decision-makers, and discussed inter-state collaboration initiatives.
Several Truman Chapters held events highlighting white nationalism as a national security threat. Our Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco Chapters co-hosted a combined event highlighting the racist rhetoric directed toward the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community in the wake of the coronavirus. Panelists discussed the security implications of racism and the demonization of minority groups to a wide audience of attendees listening in from all over the country. The Truman Seattle Chapter hosted a notable event marking the 3rd anniversary of the violent “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville. The event featured Congressman Adam Smith and Truman members.
Truman Headquarters (HQ) also denounced white nationalism and the violent rhetoric directed toward protesters demonstrating in response to police killings of Black Americans. Notable actions include: our declaration that racism is a national security issue; a public statement against the use of military force on American civilians; and the unlawful presence of unidentified federal law enforcement officers in Portland, Oregon.
In August 2020, Truman co-produced its first ever podcast in partnership with Truman member Bunmi Akinnusotu, host of the What in the World? podcast. The episode took a deep look into the world’s reaction as the US grappled with protests and racial injustice, its own democratic values, and the management of the COVID-19 pandemic.