Community Broadband & Community Organizing

The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced we (i.e., local communities and the country as a whole) need to build fiber and wireless "Internet roads," that are technically, economically, socially and politically far superior to what the incumbents offer and will offer in the timeframe it would take to build a fiber-wireless open Internet road system...regardless of whether we win this net neutrality battle.  

I think the widespread enthusiasm for NN is a wonderful mobilization of democracy-enhancing energy and coalition building.  But I also can't help but see it as a stop-gap measure that will slow but not stop the process of choking off the ability to grow of the open Internet we know and love.

I'd like to see the NN coalition transition to a Community Internet/Internet road movement, which offers not only a more complete solution, but  also a political mobilization strategy that has both a national and "local community" center of gravity.  As such, it can help link the progressive grassroots in towns and cities around the country with the national netroots.  

Just imagine (please, really do) what kind of communication tools local activists would have at their disposal if they were in a community that offered 100 Mbps or even 1 Gbps of symmetrical bandwidth to every home (that's the bandwidth range that's cost effective to deliver given today's technology).  Then think about how fired up activists in other communities will be to follow this model when they see what's possible but unavailable in their communities, which would be served only by cable/telco broadband networks that cost more and deliver a lot less.

As Flickr, YouTube, and other sites/tools show, the tech community is busy developing what they call Web 2.0 (or Media 2.0).  I can't think of a population more likely to use those tools in powerful and productive ways than the progressive blogosphere.  If you couple these tools and platforms with a super-fast open-access, standards-based network, you can start to pretty quickly create a qualitatively different level of communication experience. And I'm pretty sure that some Web 2.0 techies with a political bent would just love to jump in and develop politically-oriented tools specially designed to take advantage of 100 Mbps-1Gbps network speeds  

I'd guess that every annual election cycle in a community with ubiquitous 100Mbps-1Gbps capacity would see dramatic enhancements of the democratic process if it had just a handful of dedicated activists, a techie or two, and at least one issue that got people's attention. That would give activists in other communities a good reason to put Community Broadband on their local political agenda, and a model to reference in making the case for it in their community. And the virtuous cycle of expansion and democracy-enhancement would continue, from community to community. And each time another community was "wired up", there'd be another local concentration of gigabit-powered activists able to help displace the MSM and other political "gatekeepers" at the national level with grassroots video and networked organizing tools.

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CO-7: Attack of Lamm's

A few weeks ago, I had a post about the rumors of polls being taken by Democratic candidate Ed Perlmutter. The polls, which are fake/non-existent, are the current hot topic on ColoradoPols.com, which I previously stated. Yet after giving the issue some thought, I came to the conclusion that, well, maybe the poll did exist. And, as i have been told, the poll was paid for by the AFL-CIO and was about a minimum wage increase that the labor union is supporting. So Let's think for a moment.

The AFL-CIO endorses a candidate in the most competitive(WaPo, and National Journal) House race in the nation, and they pay for a poll about a seperate issue. Of course, they will ask their respondents a question about this race. The AFL-CIO is going to put a large amount of money, work, and volunteers into this election. And of course a lot of votes.

"Well, wouldn't they pull out of the Perlmutter endorsement if they now know he is weak?"

NO, because they have already endorsed him and that would look bad on their part if they did so. In addition, they already were aware of the fact that Perlmutter was not weak, he strongly supports unions, and that he can win! But that is simple politics, maybe Politics 101...if that.

What I would assume happened was that the AFL-CIO intentionally targeted an audience that is politically inactive, non-voters, that most likely do not read newspapers. That would be because the AFL-CIO is doing what the GOP did in 2004, using statewide ballot iniatitives to turn out more of a vote.

Just take another look at the Press Release from Celinda Lake, it should be evident.

But, how did Lamm beat Perlmutter in the poll?

Well I have already addressed this but... Lamm is a house hold name in Colorado. And Lamm has been more active than Perlmutter in the last few years. She was the chairwoman of the investigation into rape allegations at CU-Boulder. But honestly, it is only May. We have four months until the primary, a lot will change

Now, all of the pieces are coming together.

More Below the fold...

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CO-7: Lies, Lies, everywhere their is Lies!

ColoradoPols.com is my favorite local political blog. It's everyones favorite local political blog. About a year ago, I began reading ColoradoPols, simply so I could be as up-to-date as some of Colorado's top political operatives. It is a great site with good analysis by anonymous bloggers. It is even famous for giving gambling odds on candidates. Furthermore, one would not believe how much credibility and infamy it has at a campaign headquarters. Everyday, the talk of the office is either what Ed's rating is at coloradoPols or what so-and-so has said about Ed.

But to often what so-and-so said, actually a kid by the name of Way_2_liberal or spacecowboy, is nothing but trumped up charges against the Perlmutter team.

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CO-7; Struble joins the Perlmutter team

Ed Perlmutter, the leading candidate for the democratic nomination in America's most competitive House district, Colorado's 7th CD, has just unveiled new member's of his campaign staff. In addition to his current staff - which includes former Congressional Candidates Mike Feeley and Stan Matsunaka as honorary co-chairs, Rep. Mark Udall's Cheif of Staff Alan Salazar as general Chair, and Danielle Radovich Piper, former Caucus Director for the Democratic Senate Campaign Fund (Colorado) and Chief of Staff for the Senate Majority (Colorado), as Perlmutter's campaign manager - Perlmutter has brought aboard Karl Struble and David Eichenbaum as media consultants, Karen Petel of The Mack Crownse Group is a former Campaign Director at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and Regional Political Director with EMILY's List, and Celinda Lake as his pollster.

The recent announcements, simply, show that Perlmutter has gained control of Washington insiders that will help him win the primary and the general election.
 

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Caucus Day!

March 21st was caucus day throughout Colorado. Democrats and Republicans gathered, albeit in order to avoid a scuffle in seperate buildings, across the state to choose the best candidate for their respected party. As part of my volunteer work with Ed Perlmutter's campaign, I was a "representive" for the campaign to the 41st House District's caucus. Most counties organize caucus' according to voting precincts; for example, in Park County I would have attended the 13 precinct caucus, not the caucus for the 60th House District. Though, Arapahoe county organizes caucus elections by House District's, most likely to concentrate the low number of voter's.

Inside Overland High School's lunchroom, the caucus location, their was a table for every voting precinct. Some tables had 10-12 people sitting debating resolution's that the party will in theory adopt, squabling over the best candidate for the 7th CD or governor: Bill Ritter or some guy named "uncommitted." Yet, other precinct's had only a few voter's, while some had only one voter.

My job last Tuesday was to make sure that every person that walked through the door had in their hands: a Perlmutter sticker, an endorsement sheet, an issues peice that discusses Ed's philosophy of government, and a letter from Ed because he had to visit a dozen other caucus location's in his home turf: Jefferson County. And it was probably good that he and his family spoke at a lot of JeffCo caucus location's because he, according to a straw poll, won with nearly 90% of the vote in JeffCO!!

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