Meetup

In the wake of the campaign, there has been some astute talk about the way the Democratic netroots unfortunately came to be used as glorified ATM machines. Jakob Nielsen has the most cogent analysis of this problem (emphasis mine): Although I don't actually claim that Bush won because of usability, I do think that wise use of email newsletters contributed to his victory. I analyzed the email newsletters sent out by both candidates in the week prior to the election. The predominant theme of each message was distributed as follows:
                       Bush     Kerry
Give Money               8%       57%
Get Out the Vote        38%       29%
Issues/Events           54%       14%
(I didn't count the message each candidate sent on or just before Election Day asking recipients for their vote.)

As this analysis shows, Kerry supporters were bombarded by repeated fundraising requests, to the extent that many of them probably tuned out the newsletter in the final critical days. Although the Internet is great for collecting money from the masses, there is a limit. Kerry exceeded it.

Bush sent more messages than Kerry asking supporters to get other voters to go to the polls and vote for him. This is a more appropriate use of the newsletter medium because it connects emotionally with subscribers. Being treated as an active participant in the civics process is more motivating than being regarded as an open wallet.

The netroots is at its best when it creates an emotional connection with individual progressives, allows them to connect to other like-minded people, and provides them a forum where they can become active participants in the process. Frankly, this is politics at its best, and it is essential for us to do this if we are going to grow the party nationwide. Personally, beyond the fundraising insanity and strange ossification that began in the Dean campaign near the end of September 2003, the best experiences I had in this election cycle came from Dean Meetups from May to September of 2003. This is also the time period when Dean went from being more or less an asterisk to become the frontrunner. Here is a quick list of just some of the different things we did in Philly for Dean during those five months:

  • Wrote our first letters to Iowa and New Hampshire.

  • Organized rallies, including a big one for 4,000 people on August 11, 2003, which at the time was the largest rally of the campaign.

  • Collectively developed a Philly 4 Dean website.

  • Began organizing trips to Iowa, New Hampshire and Delaware.

  • Held our first House parties.

  • Tabled at least fifteen different event in the area.

  • Took signing up more people to the email list as our main organizing goal.
These were the great days, the creative days, the formative days. All of these activities, very few of which were connected to fundraising, brought us all personally into the campaign. We all felt like we were making a difference, and certainly not just when a bat went up on the website. Fundraising was just one of many activities we were involved in. Best of all, because these events were organized around social Meetups, they all involved meeting new people and making new friends. We were not just involved in the campaign, we were forming a new, local progressive activist organization. It was the height of excitement. Eventually, the addition of the "Get Local" link on Blog for America (one of the best things the campaign did in late September and afterward) brought this activity to even greater heights, as we were all able to become mini-organizers of small campaign events of our own creation. I personally helped organize four separate trips to Delaware before the primary there using the Get Local link. It wsa truly exciting stuff.

For me, the most fulfilling, and invigorating, aspect of the netroots to date has definitely been Meetups and the self-organized mini-Meetups on the Get Local section of Blog for America. This why I found it so sad when, sometime around June, the Kerry campaign decided to discontinue their utilization of the tremendous potential of Meetups. Zephyr Teachout has more on this:

One telling--and I think tragic--clue to this basic approach was that no major group used Meetup. Meetup is an imperfect tool, but it's by far the best tool I've ever seen for creating continuous local political communities.

The Kerry campaign stopped telling people to use Meetup in late spring and stopped listing it on their website. By late summer, it was literally impossible to find a reference to Meetup on JohnKerry.com. The Bush campaign, likewise, briefly flirted with using Meetup and then quickly stopped. While Meetups dedicated to both candidates continued to exist, their respective monthly meeting numbers stopped growing, or at best merely inched forward.

By contrast, in the Dean campaign we noticed a clear relationship between our campaign website and our Meetup numbers. Every time the Meetup icon dropped below the top part of the screen, our Meetup growth dropped in half. Every time we sent an email asking people to sign up for Meetups, growth spiked significantly. It's obvious, but really critical to recognize that Meetups that are not encouraged by their candidate/group will not grow.

These past months, I spoke to many Kerry Meetup attendees who didn't know what they should be doing to effectively help the campaign. Some ended up working for other groups. Kerry's Meetup numbers never topped 130,000. With nearly three million online supporters, they could easily have reached a million members, if not more, and half a million regular attendees. The Dean campaign ended with 160,000 Meetup members and 1,000 regular Meetups. Kerry could have had a Meetup in every county in America if he wanted to.

But not without some central leadership. An unbidden Meetup group--i.e. one that is running on its own momentum with little input from campaign HQ and little lateral contact with its cousins--is less likely to organize a campaign to write letters to the editor about the war, say, if they don't know whether the Meetup 10 miles away is doing the same thing, something different, or at cross purposes. To feel nationally powerful, local groups need a connection to a national campaign -- and to grow, local groups need a constant evangelist.

The great missed opportunity of 2004 was the failure of every major leader and leadership group to embrace and nurture the capacity of local groups of volunteer activists to form ongoing face-to-face organizing cells using the Internet. The Bush campaign did this using churches, but no group embraced the unique power of the net to do the same thing.

It will never be as good as it was in 2003, nor will it be as hopeful. Still, I think we must return to Meetups and rediscover their tremendous and still untapped power. Specifically, helping to grow and organize our two national Meetups, Democratic Party Meetups and Democracy for America Meetups, should become a priority for all major blogs and for all major Party Committees (DSCC, DCCC, DNC state parties). We will never rebuild the party unless we try and rebuild it everywhere. We will never find out who we are as a party unless we meet ourselves. Meetup can help us achieve both goals. Sign up, or RSVP, for your local Democratic Party Meetup and your local Democracy for America Meetup today. Dare not just to hope, but to act.

Tags: Activism (all tags)

Comments

33 Comments

Email fundraising
I agree with the whole idea of what the emailing from the campaigns SHOULD be used for.  

And I saw a little of this on Kos also, but I have to say I think it is a really bad idea to tell candidates they shouldn't do email fundraising.  OK, maybe not so MUCH email fundraising.  

But I think we have to ask ourselves, how else are the Dems going to raise money?  

So 8% of Bush's emails were for fundraising.  So what?  Bush's campaign didn't NEED to raise money by email for crying out loud.  They had 200 mill in the bank without even trying.

With that pioneering bullshit and the corporate money flowing in, there is no WAY the dems can compete.  (By the way, I see implicit in the post the fallacy that says, "well this is what the winning campaign did, so we should do that too."  Not necessarily.  What works for them might not work for us, for lots of reasons.)

Sure inspiration and organization are important, equally so.  But we HAVE to raise money to match the other side.  Have to.  Seems pretty obvious to me.

And so I come back to the question, how we gonna do it?  

We don't have pioneers.  We don't have large corporations supporting us that will shake down $2000 from each of a couple of hundred or so middle managers.  We don't have oil and gas companies throwing money at us.  We don't have investors from Wall Street paying us off in droves.  

But we have the grassroots, and that's our strength.  We have lots and lots of people that will give $20 or $30 a pop.  

So how we gonna get em?

Fellow dems, if we give up the email contributions we have to make up the cash somewhere.  I don't know if we can.

by readcom 2004-11-18 02:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Email fundraising
I think you said it best--just not quite so MUCH fundraising. Also, the fundraising has to be part of a larger variety of ways people can become involved.
by Chris Bowers 2004-11-18 02:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Email fundraising

I DO think there is a much larger question that you are addressing, and that is, how to build the democratic party infrastructure.  As an Ohioan (are you from Ohio also?) I can tell you the party infrastructure here is anemic, and seems to get little help from the DNC.  I also think you and Jerome are DEAD ON when you talk about uncontested races and the effect it has upticket.  The DNC has not credibly funded a statewide candidate here since I don't know when.  And here in Warren County I can't tell you how many local races had NO Democrat on the ballot.  I'm not sure anything below US House had a Democratic opposition.

Absolutely pathetic.  I may run for something in 2 or 4 years just to have a Democratic name on the ballot.

by readcom 2004-11-18 02:37PM | 0 recs
Glory Days
Ah yes, I remember those good ole days of the early meetups. The excitement was palpable. But, I also noticed the drop off in excitement level as the campaign headed into the Fall and the headlines about Dean became more and more about how much money he was raising and less and less about the grassroots organizing effort.

I think you are on to something here. Both Dean and Kerry started to stumble when they became disconnected from the grassroots. Dean was carried forward to Iowa by the sheer momentum of the rock-star nature his campaign had taken on by then. Kerry was carried to election day by the institutional strength of the Democratic party (happy to take the money we gave them, but not really all that interested in what we had to say about the campaign itself).

The question becomes can the kind of grassroots connection and enthusiasm that elevated Dean to national prominence ever be sustained over the long term? The model for doing so has yet to be proven. But that it can be done still remains a tantalizing possibility.

by Chris Andersen 2004-11-18 02:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Glory Days
Our DFA group is one of the strongest activist groups in our town, yet we lost a lot of people once Dean was obviously not the candidate. I never attended the Kerry meetup, because it was just too much meetup (I'm host for the DFA and the Dem party meetups).

What we do have is a core of people who are involved in the DFA.  WE had to come up with ideas and what we could do.  We created a film festival/speaker forum called Democracy Weekend. We have guest speakers come in and talk about their campaigns (I don't know what to do now). We'll continue strong, but that's because we had to think of our mission beyond just this election. We are for progressive/liberal issues and we do three things: educate, motivate, and register voters.

The Dem party meetup needs work. Due to the election we stopped meeting and were volunteering instead. What to do now? How do we work with the local party (easy for me, I've been on the board)? Is this our own local think-tank for Democrats or is it just another way to funnel future PCs and other volunteers to the party?

All I know is that both meetups have people showing a fierce desire to change this country.  We just need to capture that desire and come up with concrete objectives that are worth fighting for.

by Erin in Flagstaff 2004-11-18 02:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Glory Days
Regarding Dean: I think this is kind of a catch 22 for Dean, because you say the excitement level dropped off when he started to really press for money, but at the same time as he looked like the frontrunner and looking ahead needed to match Bush's dollars, he HAD to get the money somewhere.  I mean there is a practical matter of getting the funds to run a national organization and run ads.  
And yet you are saying... and I trust your judgement, because I don't have an opinion or basis for one... that that was what killed his momentum.  

So what the hell is Dean supposed to do?  How do we match the fundraising prowess of the R's without turning off our supporters?

by readcom 2004-11-18 02:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Glory Days
You misunderstand me. I didn't say the excitement for Dean dropped off when he started to press for money. I said the thrill of the race diminished at about the same time the national media began to focus inordinately on the fundraising prowess of the Dean campaign.

In other words, as far as the national media was concerned, the "Dean phenomena" was all about the money and that kind of cheapened the whole effort at a subconscious level.

The money was a direct result of the social phenomena that was the Dean campaign. When the focus became all about the money, the social phenomena began to stumble.

Dean never treated us as just an ATM. But the story of Dean became nothing more than a story about money.

by Chris Andersen 2004-11-19 07:12AM | 0 recs
Wow, this hits home.
Meet up was where I stopped lurking and started acting. Until I went to my first Dean meetup in August 2003 I had only lurked. After I was more active than I ever had been.

You are on to something with this idea, and you've given me my topic to write about tonight!

Thanks!

by michael in chicago 2004-11-18 02:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Wow, this hits home.
Michael, I spent four months in Chciago earlier this year. I went to the DFA meetup at the Exchquer in March. Were you there?
by Chris Bowers 2004-11-18 02:27PM | 0 recs
Nope.
"michael in chicago" was chosen as my handle back when I thought blogging was a regional thing. I'm actually in the western suburbs and went to the meetups out there. I did go to a Dean house party downtown around Christmas. As a someone not terribly social, driving an hour to near Evanston to park on city streets and meet total strangers was really pushing my envelope. But I did it and it is one of the those experiences I will always cherish.

Sorry, probably more than you wanted to know. Sorry we didn't meet.

by michael in chicago 2004-11-18 02:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Nope.
But Michael, aren't you glad you had the chance to meet me? ;)
by donna in evanston 2004-11-18 05:54PM | 0 recs
More on Glory Days
I would use Oregon as proof that it can be done. Despite the drop off in enthusiasm I noted above, we still maintained a strong local organization that generally initiated its own grassroots efforts separate from both the Dean and Kerry campaigns. I would argue, in fact, that the continued work of the local Deanizens went a long way towards Kerry's 5 point boost in Oregon over Gore's 2000 performance.

Perhaps the lesson from the Oregon campaign is that grassroots campaigns can only be sustained from the grassroots (an answer so obvious that that is why we lose sight of it).

The national campaign can provide materials and guidance. But the energy that is needed to carry the campaign across the finish line can only come from the bottom up. This can happen only if those on the bottom feel like they have the power to control their destiny. The national campaign can concern itself with message and money. But it is the local people who have to carry the weight of organization and outreach. Barring the kind of top-down control structure Karl Rove has instituted in the Republican party, a model that is distinctly antithetical to the Democratic spirit, the only sustainable organizational structure that will work for the Democrats is the bottom-up approach we developed through the meetup structure.

Some of the local Deaners have been talking about the idea of bottling up whatever it was we had here and exporting it to other parts of the country. We will be holding brainstorming sessions in the coming weeks to figure out just how to do that.

It should be fun.

by Chris Andersen 2004-11-18 02:34PM | 0 recs
Re: More on Glory Days
The DFA should put up a site for all the different kinds of activities people are doing.  What's successful, what people learned.  If you are doing something in Oregon that would work for us here in Northern Arizona I want to know.

We learned a lot about fundraising (yard sales are the way to go). We learned that it's incredibly difficult to get a keynote speaker, and that getting political documentaries to show is amazingly easy.

I've been wondering what other groups are doing around Arizona. If we could work together for special events we would be mighty powerful.

by Erin in Flagstaff 2004-11-18 02:44PM | 0 recs
Re: More on Glory Days
I wonder if location makes this possible. Here in Flagstaff we were left alone to grow our group without much input from the main offices. When Dean was running we finally were contacted by the field coordinator for Arizona, but anything being done up here was being done by us. This helped us build a strong community.

In Oregon, were you on your own?

by Erin in Flagstaff 2004-11-18 02:48PM | 0 recs
Re: More on Glory Days
Oregon was an interesting phenomena. I don't think anyone at the national level really thought that much about us until the Sleepless Summer Tour. Portland was one of the stops, but I don't think they expected to get the HUGE crowd that we got there (we broke the record for Dean crowd size, but lost the record the next day to Seattle).

Also, Oregon was #1 in fundraising for Dean on a per-capita basis and #1 in house parties. National political organizations really start to notice you when you post numbers like that. Unfortunately, that's the whole "money is the story" phenomena again.

So Oregon may have benefited from the fact that we HAD to be self-starters out here in the first few months. It makes you wonder if maybe Iowa and New Hampshire might have turned out differently if the organizations in those states were more home grown and not organized from the outside from the first day (another argument for eliminating the whole "1st in the nation" primary/caucus system?)

by Chris Andersen 2004-11-19 07:17AM | 0 recs
Ah Meetup
Kerry could have had a Meetup in every county in America if he wanted to.

So damn true. Such a missed opportunity. I can only imagine the machine we would have built with Dean. 10 Million emails, 1 Million Meetups, $500 Million raised. It might be a little far-fetched, but not a lot. The thing is, even if Dean had lost, the turnout in the blue states would have colored blue deep into the states.

Really, with Kerry, we are left with having build very little that's lasting.

by Jerome Armstrong 2004-11-18 03:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Ah Meetup
I think your estimates are conservative. We had nearly 700,000 people registered when Dean was still not a sure thing and openly under attack. Imagine if Iowa went his way. Look how much Kerry rasied and many many of us were not that found of him. Although I grew to respect the guy as a candidate, and don't know if Howard would have won, Meetup and Netroots outreach one area I'm certain would have continued to grow exponentially. Especially if Dean would have won Iowa.

This is one opportunity that Kerry lost out on.

by michael in chicago 2004-11-18 04:18PM | 0 recs
Meetups are our churches!
As Jakob Nielsen pointed out, it was a great failure not to use the net for organizing. I went to several meetups and enjoyed the electric atmosphere.

The Bushies enjoyed the ground organization of their churches.  Democrats need their own church.  Meetup meetings, combining local and national themes, are the way to give our Movement the physical presence it so badly needs.  Properly done, they would have tipped the election our way.

by camilow 2004-11-18 03:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Meetups are our churches!
Wow! What a great way of thinking about this.

Mucho Kudos.

by Chris Andersen 2004-11-19 07:26AM | 0 recs
Evanston Meetup
We're still holding our Evanston DFA Meetup at Prairie Moon, only now it's on the first Monday of the month.  I'm a co-host. So we held our last Meetup right before the election when we were cautiously hopeful.

Meetups have allowed me to make new friends, make new plans, and make a difference.  We go on to take our country back, no matter how long it takes.

by donna in evanston 2004-11-18 03:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Evanston Meetup
I may have to make another trip up to Evanston. Meeting you Donna, and Hypobolic Pants and many others was a great highlight last Christmas season. I'm glad to see you co-hosting these now!

BTW, how's that Republican husband coming along? Converted yet?

by michael in chicago 2004-11-18 04:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Evanston Meetup
Too funny, Michael.  I just responded to your post upthread about having met you last Christmas.  For what it's worth, semi-republican husband Bill did vote for John Kerry.  I don't think he did it for Kerry though; he did it for me.  As you know, that's called true love in DuPage County.

And anytime you're up Evanston-way, let me know.

by donna in evanston 2004-11-18 05:58PM | 0 recs
Meetup
I agree this where we will develop our message for the future, as this was the tool that brought many new volunteers into politics in 2004.  In addition to the organizations you mentioned MoveOn.org is sponsoring meetups and the first one is this weekend.  So checkout their website for an additional group.  

There were questions raised back during primary season about how effective the meetup concept would be during the general election.  There was some comments that it would be to divisive when everything had to come down to one message.   I disagree with this thought as meetups can be a great GOTV tool.  If we develop a list of priorities on the blog, ( good poll question!)this should be at the top.

by ncpatriot04 2004-11-18 04:19PM | 0 recs
Frankly, I don't find this analysis particularly
persuasive.  As others have pointed out, Bush doesn't need internet fundraising when he has corporate donors, pioneers, etc. in abundance.  It's a fallacy to assume that Dems should emulate the techniques of the winning campaign.

In addition, the I find many statements in the analysis conclusory.  In particular, the writer asserts that Kerry exceeded the limits of internet fund raising.  Oh, really?  How so?  Because "many...probably tuned out the newsletter in the final critical days."  Words like "probably" don't consistute hard evidence.  Especially in view of the fact that Kerry ended his campaign with $15 million in the bank.

I'll take a candidate who "bombards" me with fundraising requests any day over one who doesn't and is outspent by the other side.

by vaughn 2004-11-18 06:19PM | 0 recs
Re:
While the Republican Party certainly has its base of large donors and corporate sponsors, it has traditionally been the party of the small donor too.  Until this election cycle and Internet fundraising, Republicans could count on the same people to write the $25, $50, $75 check every year.  

I agree that we must have a candidate who is willing to match his opponent dollar for dollar, however I don't think John Kerry approached this the right way.  During the last mont of the campaign, many people, myself included, were so fed up with emails pleading for money that we ignored many of the things coming from Kerry/DNC.  All the emails bascially said "We need money to beat Bush, blah, blah, blah . . . "  There has to be a better, more personal way to ask for money and keep your email supporters engaged.  

Some congressional candidates/PACS breakdown where money goes to.  For example, if you donate $100, that buys food for x number of volunteers and sends x number of direct mail pieces.  

If I recall correctly, Dean for America at one point gave the option of the person making the donation to choose from a list of 5-10 places what the money is used for.  This let's people see a direct result for their action.

It's great to look back in retrospect and criticize what went wrong, but it's all for not unless we realize these mistakes in upcoming campaigns and elections.

by ply739 2004-11-18 06:53PM | 0 recs
Kerry Meetups in Chicago
First, I don't accept the argument that only the Deaniacs used Meetups in the Campaign.  We had Kerry Meetups in a dozen locations throughout the Chicagoland area.  Have a look at some of our old meetup listings.

I'm sure our list compares favorably with whatever the Dean people -- and after them, the DFA people -- were doing in the same area.

Second, Meetups could only go so far.  Basically we'd use them as entry points for volunteers.  We'd sign the volunteers up and then integrate them into various activities (e.g. phonebanking, visibility, roadtrips, etc.) -- many of which happened far more frequently than the once-a-month meetups.

Third, don't slight the Kerry Campaign as far as outreach to grassroots online is concerned.  Once they got the Volunteer Center together -- June/July -- we could organize events and advertise them on johnkerry.com.  This brought in a whole slew of new people.

Fourth, right when we needed Meetup.com the most -- Sept/Oct. -- they changed format.  This was absolutely the worst timing.  They took our Meetups which were based on city/town/suburbs and broke them into a dozen arbitrary pieces.

It got so bad that we were unable to use Meetup.com as our organizing tool.  Thankfully by then -- Sept./Oct. -- we had set up alternative methods of communication and no longer needed to rely on Meetup.com.

We did this by maintaining our database of names, by an extensive use of Yahoo Groups, by posting events on the Kerry Volunteer Center -- and by our website illinoisforkerry.com.

The point is, there was a tremendous amount of grassroots activity using the Internet in the Kerry Campaign.   Naturally, our attention shifted towards the end in the direction of Roadtrips -- we had 100's going up to Wisc. every week -- but the number of people involved overall continued to increase.

That things tanked after Dean or that it was all about fund-raising is a complete myth.

by patachon 2004-11-18 09:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Kerry Meetups in Chicago
The post does not claim that the Meetup model tanked after Dean. It claims that Kerry meetups stopped growing when the Kerry campain, especially on its blog, stopped promoted Meetups. The campaign did, in fact, stop promoting Meetups in the Spring, and Kerry Meetup numbers stopped growing as a result.

Had the Kerry campaign promoted Meetups, they could have had a lot more volunteers, especially in blue areas like Chicago, California and New York, the places where Kerry lost the popular vote.  

by Chris Bowers 2004-11-18 11:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Kerry Meetups in Chicago
Again, the thing to keep in mind is that by the time spring rolled around, there were other ways of becoming involved -- many of which were available through the Kerry Volunteer Center.

Meetup.com had no monopoly on grassroots organization.  In many ways, it no longer met our needs -- particularly when there were quite a number of alternative outlets.

by patachon 2004-11-19 06:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Kerry Meetups in Chicago
There were many other avenues, and people took advantage of them. Still, we should have used every tool available to us to rbing more people into the campaign.
by Chris Bowers 2004-11-19 08:04AM | 0 recs
What pisses me off!
What pisses me off is that we were used like "ATM Machines" but Kerry didn't use all the money that we gave him...that seems like a friggin' waste of time, energy and capital.  Almost every email said "donate", "donate", "donate" and we did.  Use the money!
by applejackking 2004-11-19 01:21AM | 0 recs
Hear, Hear
I certainly agree to this.  I checked in on the Kerry campaign website regularly to find ways to help.  I was very much hoping to have many opportunities to get together with like minded folks.  That would have been very helpful to me.  The emails I got though were mostly about fund raising.  I ended up doing some phone banking, letter writing and GOTV work, but I could have been more active had there been more get together type activities.
by 8051FSW 2004-11-19 03:30AM | 0 recs
What pisses me off
There were certainly things that the campaign could have done better, but as a group we in better organized and united than any other time after an election when we lost.  We must work to our strength and organize to become the loyal oppostion over the next four years.  We cannot
depend on Democratic Party leaders in Washington
carry on all of the fight for us.  

The neo-cons plan is for Democrats to spend their
time consumed by the last election while they go about dismantling the institutions our party has fought to build over the past 70 years.  We need to have a small group continue to shine the light on voting irregularities, but our main focus should be on organizing a grassroots movement that will voice it's unified opinion in oppostion to the radical legislative changes they have proposed.   I believe we can use the legislative branch in the manner the founding fathers intended in the constituion to fight and imperial Presidency.  Senators Grassley and Specter have already dropped little hints about the legislative branch.  There are a lot of members of Congress who want to be around after Bush leaves office.  

The Bush adminstration has approxiately 18 to 24 months to enact their legislative agenda before they become term limited lame ducks. Despite the media spin, we have 50/50 split electorate and both parties are in a weakened positions.  If we pick our fights and send a united message we can frame public opinion.  They will respond to be re-elected.

The neocons have used devisive langauage as their political tool.  Let's not let them divide us again.  Let's use weblogs such as this and spread the word to other weblogs.  Meetups are also an excellent tool to organize and begin our letter writing and telephone trees.   The fight begins now, not in 2006 or 2008.

by ncpatriot04 2004-11-19 03:52AM | 0 recs
Funny thing...
...is that I never went to one Meetup.  Not one...  until AFTER the election.  I went to my first DFA Meetup a week after the election.  I wasn't the only newbie there either.  There were 50 to 60 people in the room and about a third or more of them had never been to a DFA (or any) meetup before.

I didn't go before the election because I just wasn't all that interested in it.  None of the candidates really inspired me.  At some point though...  I decided to "do" something so I became a MoveOn Precinct Leader.  I know that my efforts helped sway some people who might not have otherwise voted at all... to vote for Kerry.

It was Kerry's defeat that forced me "out of the closet" and into the DFA meetup.  I think there are plenty of people like me out there.  People that are looking for a way to connect now that the election is over.

--sam

by samizdat 2004-11-19 06:21AM | 0 recs

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