I started my day yesterday in a bit of a funk. I had woken up early and was unable to go back to sleep, for the second night in a row.
The first thing I did was check Twitter, where I read more grim news from Japan: it looked like a meltdown of one or more reactors was imminent. The Japanese people are trying to deal with this on top of the devastation from the earthquake and tsunami.
Meanwhile the battles in Libya are being forgotten by the media and international community, the media barely takes note of the continuing protests of workers in Wisconsin and elsewhere, and the right wing in this country has begun making inroads in its all-out assault on everything we care about -- everything that matters in the lives of working Americans.
I wasn't in the best state of mind to deal the challenging and hectic day ahead--we were running a big organizing/training event, one we'd been working on for the past few weeks. But on my way to the event, I reminded myself of something I've learned over the past few years:
Getting out and getting to work with other volunteers can completely change your mood.
And that's exactly what happened.
In the photos that follow, I think you'll get a sense of how this works. It's just not possible to spend the day with so many dedicated, interesting, enthusastic people and not come away feeling better.
Today was the third annual MLK Day of Service. Organizing for America volunteers around the country held events for people to honor the memory of Dr. King by giving back to their communities.
Our event in Brooklyn was extraordinary. Thanks to the efforts of one of NYC's best organizers, BrooklynWeaver, and the amazing Sue Rock of Sue Rock Originals, volunteers had the chance to do something to make a difference in the lives of others. They worked together to create warm quilts and afgans for victims of domestic violence living in New York City shelters.
Well over 100 volunteers showed up to work with us today. They came not only from the neighborhood, but from all parts of the city.
I'll admit it -- the midterms kind of sucked.
Many of us out there working our butts off for months to help Democrats win their races, and it was painful to see candidate after candidate go down in defeat. Yes, there were bright spots -- like the Senate, where we held seats we didn't expect to -- but overall it was a depressing and frustrating election.
So did our efforts matter at all? You bet they did. Follow me below the fold for the tale of NY-1.
I spent the weekend out on Long Island working to get Congressman Tim Bishop reelected. I had to return to NYC last night to be at work today, but am taking the train back out soon with my organizing partner and fellow kossack brooklynweaver.
I don't have time to write much, but wanted to share a few on-the-ground photos to hopefully inspire everyone to Get Out the Vote tomorrow. Please, just walk in to a campaign office or sign up for an OFA event near you and do something to help.
Um, yeah, so we had a special guest at the OFA-NY office phonebank tonight.
A really special guest.
Kind of a big deal.
Or, rather, kind of a big f%$king deal!
Yes indeed. The fabulous Madam Speaker just stopped in to visit our phonebank at the OFA office in New York City!
While Glenn, Sarah and their teaparty pals made some noise and got a lot of attention from the media, thousands of volunteers across the country have been busy doing something that will actually make a difference in November: talking to voters face to face.
Volunteers around the country gave the President a special birthday gift, one he would appreciate:
More volunteers for the VOTE 2010 effort!
We're continuing to bring in new people who can help out in this election cycle and into the future.
A big part of keeping a movement going is keeping it growing.
There's an awful lot of talk on my teevee about the ginormous enthusiasm gap between Republicans and Democrats this election cycle. Sure, it makes perfect sense that Republicans are motivated to take back control of Congress and put a halt once and for all to the Obama agenda.
But if volunteer turnout and excitement is any indication of how Democrats will do in the midterms -- and one could argue that it is -- Republicans could be very disappointed on November 2nd.
Our favorite young kossack is coming to the Big Apple on his East Coast college tour, and we're planning a meetup for next Wednesday, June 23.
For those of you who don't know populista, he is probably the most amazing teenager you'll ever meet. When he started posting on DailyKos we didn't know that he was only 14 years old. He writes, thinks, acts and brings the snark like someone with many more years under his belt.
I've had the pleasure to get to know this amazing kid online and offine, and was honored to serve on a Netroots Nation panel with him last year.
We hit a record high temperature for the day yesterday -- 90 degrees -- with somewhere around one gagillion percent humidity. It was one of those ridiculously hot, humid days we usually get in July or August, not June.
But despite the heat, over 100 volunteers in Manhattan joined a nationwide VOTE 2010 kickoff yesterday by participating in a big voter registration drive. "Fired Up" took on a whole new meaning as volunteers spread out across the steamy city to register voters and talk about the upcoming elections.