MyDD Interview with Tim Daly

I wrote a little earlier about SEIU's popular media organizing program, reaching out to progressives within the performing arts -- actors, musicians, writers, etc. -- to harness the great talent available to help forward a progressive agenda. Part of this effort includes the Guess Who's Knocking initiative through which SEIU brings these artists out to knock on doors and meet with actual voters on a one-on-one basis. As I explained on Sunday, "The program is a great way to get organizers even more motivated to knock on doors, and it also is a great way to spread a message quickly in a non-traditional way (voters might call some of their friends to let them know Daly or someone else came by their door to ask for their vote)."

On Sunday, Josh and I had the chance to sit down and speak with actor Tim Daly of "Wings" and "Private Practice" fame, who came out to Nevada to canvas door-to-door. I have cut down the conversation from about 35 minutes to about five minutes, and you can listen to it below.

Josh and I are up in Las Vegas through election day blogging about the campaign, and our coverage has graciously been sponsored by SEIU.

There's more...

A Union Member For Change

Jonathan and I are out in Nevada for the election, and on Sunday we sat down with Courtney Errington, an SEIU member here in Las Vegas who works as a property manager for Clark County.

photo

She's been organizing with SEIU for a while. And even though members got out the vote for Kerry here in 2004, she says nothing compares to the excitement people are feeling this year for the Democratic ticket.

So just as she has for years, Courtney's out knocking doors and making calls.

She's been in Obama's corner for quite some time - back before SEIU even endorsed. But as an executive board member, she had to keep her preferences private. So the last months have been fun:

When [SEIU] finally made the endorsement, I said "oh my goodness, thank God, I can come out of the closet!"

And just because things are looking good doesn't mean Courtney's letting up:

As far as my part: nobody's safe. Even if I'm in the grocery store in line. See, the people in front of me will walk away eventually, so I turn to the people behind me and say 'have you early voted?'

Well, have you?

There's more...

Popular Media Organizing

One of the real interesting developments I have learned about here on the ground in Nevada is what SEIU calls "Popular Media Organizing" -- or finding innovative ways to use the skills of those within the creative arts to forward a progressive agenda.

This afternoon, Josh and I had an opportunity to speak with Tim Daly, an actor probably best known for his starring role on the NBC show "Wings", who was in Las Vegas as a part of the Guess Who's Knocking initiative within the Popular Media Organizing effort. What this particular program does, and why it stood out to me, was that rather than using celebrities to merely draw crowds and fire up the already decided -- a task, by the way, which is important -- it facilitates progressive entertainers canvassing efforts.

Today, Daly hit the pavement like the dozens of other canvassers here in Las Vegas, going door-to-door to spread the message about not only Barack Obama, but also congressional candidate Dina Titus and even state legislative candidates in the area. According to SEIU's Wyatt Closs, others participating in the program around the country include Jason Ritter (of "The Class") and Martin Starr (of "Freaks and Geeks") in Ohio; Danny Glover (of "Lethal Weapon") in North Carolina; Gloria Reuben and Laura Innes (both of "ER") in Western Pennsylvania; and Malcolm-Jamal Warner (of "The Cosby Show") in Philadelphia. The program is a great way to get organizers even more motivated to knock on doors, and it also is a great way to spread a message quickly in a non-traditional way (voters might call some of their friends to let them know Daly or someone else came by their door to ask for their vote).

Beyond this, there are other possibilities on the horizon. One includes working with progressive writers, directors and producers to advance a progressive message through their works. Yes, there have been union-focused films like "Norma Rae" or films that speak to problems with healthcare in the country today, such as "As Good As It Gets". However, more could be done -- not just in creating movies dedicated to a particular topic but even writing story lines in television series that compellingly explain, for instance, how stronger workers' rights could solve particular employment problems or how real change is needed in the healthcare system today.

There's a lot of talent and creativity that could be put to bear to help create a more progressive country, so it's good to hear that there are efforts underway to harness these capabilities in a thought out way.

Josh and I are up in Las Vegas through election day blogging about the campaign, and our coverage has graciously been sponsored by SEIU.

There's more...

On The Front Lines With SEIU

Jonathan and I are at SEIU's office on Sunset Road in Las Vegas getting a feel for the organizing work going on.

photo

Teams of canvassers just hit the street - for a 6 hour shift into the evening. We're in Nevada's 3rd CD, so folks are out talking about more than just Obama - Dina Titus is in a tight race to unseat Congressman Jon Porter, and a couple crucial State Senate wins would give power to state Democrats.

Members out of this office hit 2,100 doors yesterday (a good showing given how early people woke up to see Obama yesterday morn), and plan to hit even more today.

The DCCC has Titus' back too - they just spent another $778,963.56 in CD-3 last week, bringing the grand total spent here to a whopping $2,388,141.45 compared to $262,263.27 the NRCC's spent to defend Porter.

So there's plenty of optimism here - and a few chuckles about NRSC chair (and Nevada Senator) John Ensign's off-message comments about Sarah Palin:

"Well, I do not think that Barack Obama or her are experienced enough to be president of the United States--neither one of them."

I mean, he's technically half-correct, right?

A couple more photos after the jump...

There's more...

UHW members file lawsuit against Stern for suppression of free speech

United Healthcare Workers West's rank-and-file leadership has filed a lawsuit against Andy Stern and Anna Burger for their campaign of systematically trying to silence the members ­of UHW who are spe­aking out against Stern and Burger's power ­grabs. The lawsuit notes several actions taken by Stern's inner circle--including threats of a politically motivated trusteeship and dismantling of UHW--which are intended to chill dissent within SEIU.  

UHW is the largest west coast local of SEIU. It has criticized Stern and his associates for undemocratic actions and corruption.

There's more...

Diaries

Advertise Blogads