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Greetings Supporters and Friends of the Tallahassee Progressive Center,

As most of you have probably heard by now, the South Gadsden St. building that has been home to the Tallahassee Progressive Center for almost 4 years has been sold to the Bond Community Health Center. We are somewhat disappointed that the building we have called home for so long - a place where we have been able to support thousands of groups and individuals and their work for world change – will not be able to be purchased by TPC for the community. However, that the building is going to an incredible organization like Bond is a big comfort.

When we started the Progressive Center, we did so with complete community input. One of our goals was to explore new ways of organizing that relied less on corporate models of operation and more on community involvement, consensus based decision making and a commitment to the collective good of everyone. In keeping with that spirit, in the next few days and weeks we will give everyone an opportunity to help us chart a new course to keep the TPC alive and growing. Make no mistake - we consider our efforts thus far to be, on the whole, a great success. When we started this project, we were told “it will never work” but for almost four years it has worked. There have been challenges and many of the things we hoped to achieve did not pan out as we would have liked, but we accomplished so much thanks in large part to you…our friends and neighbors. We have been the home to some amazing organizations doing incredible work. Groups like ACORN, Move-On, Code Pink, the Florida Immigrant Coalition, the Innocence Project, Common Cause, the Big Bend Labor Chapter, the No Coal campaign and many others have conducted successful campaigns at the Progressive Center. We have hosted thousands of community meetings, hundreds of films and speakers, art shows, music performances and fundraisers.

We are proud of these accomplishments and are happy that we have been able to touch so many lives – all with your help and support. We did not get the organizational support from the large, established non-profits in Tallahassee that we would have liked. Many were just too comfortable in what they were doing and how they were doing it to seek the long-term, lasting collaborations and partnerships we were advocating. It was the smaller, more grassroots groups and individuals that joined the effort and made it a success, which will certainly guide us as we move forward – and we will move forward. The following should answer many of the questions people have about where we are goring next and how they can get involved.

The Tallahassee Progressive Center is alive and kicking! The building we occupied has been sold but the 501c3 organization is still operating and ready to take the next steps.
The Bond organization is currently working with many or our tenants and the TPC organizers to see if a long-term partnership can be worked out. 30,000 square feet is a great deal of space and they may have some to spare.
We are also looking at other spaces to re-locate. Our goal is something smaller and more centrally located, two changes that could mean long-term success for the effort.
Many groups and individuals have expressed an interest in joining our effort. Sometimes traumatic change is the best thing for an organization, and this is shaping up to be one of those instances.
We want you to be involved. This situation has developed rapidly and we are running to catch up. We expect to announce a schedule of community meetings soon where everyone will have equal input in how we proceed. Ton find out more email Rich at rtemplin@flaflcio.org.

The bottom line is this – news of our demise has been greatly exaggerated! This is not the end of the Tallahassee Progressive Center, only a new beginning. We hope we can count on you and yours to make it a good one.

Rich Templin

Communications Director

Florida AFL-CIO

(850)224-6926 / (850)5664348 cell

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