Denise Cardinal, executive director of Alliance for a Better Minnesota, speaks at the Bush Legacy Tour Press Conference in St. Paul on Wed, July 16. (Photo: aflcio) "Not everything that comes from D.C. is always better," says Denise Cardinal. At a time when some of the most crucial political battles in America are taking place at the state level, we cannot wait for a progressive communications strategy to come down from national groups. Cardinal, who is executive director of both the Alliance for a Better Minnesota and ProgressNow, is among those working hard to promote an alternative approach. ProgressNow is a network of state-level organizations that, among other things, brings together labor, environmental and reproductive rights groups around a common communications agenda. They bear witness to the fact that when progressives work in isolation or try to import a communications strategy from Washington, their efforts rarely leave behind the kind of grassroots infrastructure in the states that we need to move beyond defensive battles and to build strength for the long term.