Obama! Phila! May 22! $25? Yes, $25.
by Adam B, Tue May 01, 2007 at 09:31:21 AM EDT
In a typical presidential campaign, the candidates spend almost all of their time in the early primary states, typically venturing outside of those states only for high-ticket fundraising events put together by and for those who don't mind dropping $2300+ for dinner and a handshake.
Barack Obama is not running a typical campaign.
He's coming to Philadelphia on Tuesday, May 22 for a series of events, and the centerpiece is a Community Kick-Off Rally at the Electric Factory at 5pm. This is not a $2300+ per-person event, or a $500 cocktail party, or a $250 "stand in back of the people who attended the cocktail party to watch a speech on tv monitors."
You can join us for as little as $25.
Yes, Obama Goes Electric, standing room only for you and 2,499 (or so) of your soon-to-be-closest friends in the legendary concert room rocked by everyone who's anyone for almost forty years. I suggested the space to the campaign because when the Factory gets loud, it gets loud, and Barack Obama deserves to hear just how enthusiastic the Delaware Valley is for his candidacy.
If you're a student with an ID, you can get in for $25. For the rest of us, it's $50, with the additional option of sitting in the upstairs VIP lounge, off the packed floor, for $100 if you're interested. [Only $100 to be a "VIP": that might be a good option for "old people" like me -- y'know, mid-thirties and up.]
You can RSVP for the event via this link, which you should distribute far and wide to anyone who's interested in contributing $25 or more and joining us. Moreover, even if you can't come, but just want to show your support for Barack Obama and events like this, that option is available on the site.
Philly's own DJ King Britt will be spinning, and a very special guest will sing the national anthem.
* * *
More than any of the other six serious Democratic campaigns, the Obama campaign is based on the power and promise of small-dollar democracy. Indeed, if there's one message I still remember from that small seminar room at 60th and Woodlawn in which I learned election law from Prof. Obama back in 1996, it's that thinking seriously about democratic reform has to start with the effects on the grassroots masses, and not the elites. Indeed, look at what he said back in late 1995, when he first ran for office:
"Now an agenda for getting our fair share is vital. But to work, it can't see voters or communities as consumers, as mere recipients or beneficiaries of this change. It's time for politicians and other leaders to take the next step and to see voters, residents, or citizens as producers of this change. The thrust of our organizing must be on how to make them productive, how to make them employable, how to build our human capital, how to create businesses, institutions, banks, safe public spaces--the whole agenda of creating productive communities. That is where our future lies. ...
"The political debate is now so skewed, so limited, so distorted.," said Obama. "People are hungry for community; they miss it. They are hungry for change.
"What if a politician were to see his job as that of an organizer," he wondered, "as part teacher and part advocate, one who does not sell voters short but who educates them about the real choices before them? As an elected public official, for instance, I could bring church and community leaders together easier than I could as a community organizer or lawyer. We would come together to form concrete economic development strategies, take advantage of existing laws and structures, and create bridges and bonds within all sectors of the community. We must form grass-root structures that would hold me and other elected officials more accountable for their actions."
Obama asked in that 1995 interview "whether in today's political environment -- with its emphasis on media and money -- a grass-roots movement can even be created. Will people still answer the call of participatory politics?"
We can, and we do. Join us for this event, and please, spread the word far and wide. See you at the Electric Factory.
P.S. If you're interested in volunteering during the next month in preparation for the event, email me at throwingthingsblog -at- hotmail dot com, and I will hook you up with the right people.