In today's America, the concept of change and the structure ofpolitical parties seem to pull in polar opposite directions. But apolitical party on the progressive left, the Working FamiliesParty, is an interesting case study in how a small group can(slowly) pull once fringe ideas into the mainstream.

Founded in New York in 1998, it is having an impact on local andstate politics around the country. In July, we covered aninnovative pilot project that it's behind in Oregon, which would create a debt-free college of sorts,where students would pay back loans at rates proportional to theirincome after graduation. The state legislature endorsed the freshidea swiftly and unanimously–a rarity for an idea that would bringreal progress to the increasingly pressing issue of crushingstudent debt. And in New York City, which is going through a majorelection cycle, the Working Families Party is at its strongest everand could send a number of candidates to the City Council inNovember.

We spoke with the Working Families Party to understand how ithas built a strong third-party movement.

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