It isn't often that I say this, especially not on a forum like Kos, but on November 16, something pretty special is going to happen in Kansas City. I'll run an update to this next Thursday, a few days before, but let me explain just a bit the way our Kansas City event has shaped together.
About a month ago, I began working to help organize a nice meetup in Kansas City. There had been several people who asked, and I though enough interest to fill out a dining area at a good restaurant.
How a few weeks can change things. I should have known from the Davis campaign that this was an event that could quickly grow legs and move - because that is the level of interest in this state to change things.
When Paul Davis announced that they were looking for Volunteers in Kansas City a few months ago, he original expected 40 people. More then a hundred showed up, standing room only.
Over the last two weeks, the amount of feedback, phone calls, contacts and those who have reached out to us over the KC Get Together has been absolutely overwhelming. And by overwhelming, it means I'm spending a few hours a day answering emails, responding to messages and addressing the logistics to get an event this size organized so quickly. So, let me tell you where we are today... and why if you live in Kansas or Northwest Missouri, you WANT to be here. (and even if you're a Nebraskan who's nearby, drop in for the food)
Before I begin, I want to send out a serious thank you to Navajo and Meteor Blades, who have been a real source of motivation as I've battled through this. You wouldn't know it from just simple messages, but this has turned into a lot of organization and their support and the support of the Kos community has been really appreciated.
I also have to thank Man Oh Man who picked up a lot of slack in Columbia as the KC event really blossomed - I am eagerly looking forward to Columbia, and let me tell you that is a team event that would not be possible without a lot of political offices, guest speakers and others who are interested in change.
Since Monday, our event has moved from a salon to the Grand Ballroom at the Overland Park, Marriott. We've had multiple campaigns reach out to us; we will have campaigns on hand, computers & wireless networking will be available for those that need them, and we will have some of the first shots to see the material coming together from campaigns around the state.
I'm pleased to announce the Paul Davis campaign will be present, as will quite a few Kansas City PACs. We have students who are traveling from Lawrence, Manhattan, Wichita, and members of Kos who are offering rides from Topeka.
We often like to think of these events as "Kos get together", and that is true - several of us will know each other from this site - DailyKos - but most of our attendees will not be your average Kos diarist. Some of them (surprisingly) may not even be familiar with this site. But what they are familiar with is a desire for change in the two states we care for.
As we grow, I'm encouraging you - those who plan to attend and those who are thinking about it to spread the word. The more the merrier. We aren't just interested in meeting people who enjoy Kos - we are looking forward to meeting people who can help form our own networks in Kansas and Missouri, to look at new ways to change the political tide in the states we call home.
So, I'm saying this out loud: If you've got politically motivated friends in your facebook feed, if you have followers on twitter - if you know people in your college community that think as you do, this is a truly unique event that will get you into the ground floor, behind the scenes of campaigns that look to raise the issues in Kansas and Missouri. And they are all invited.
I would love to have an even that overflows like Paul Davis... plan for 40 and end up with 100. I'd love to end up with more than that, we will have plenty of room.
So, let me get to our details:
Overland Park Marriott
10800 Metcalf Avenue · Overland Park, Kansas 66210 USA
Our event will run from 7PM-10PM, and you are free to stay afterwards.
The following will be catered:
Sandwiches (Ham & Turkey)
Vegetarian Option Pasta
Standard "nosh' food; chips & dip; fruit plates
Dessert Trays will be available. (Cake/etc.)
Non-Alcoholic beverages (pop & water) will be provided
We do have an schedule of events:
7:00-7:30: Open seating "Welcome". Every attendee will get a packet on local Kansas and Missouri resources (you'll need to identify as Kansas or Missouri, small table top tags will provide that.. and you get to keep those!)
7:30-8:00: Welcome to Our Meeting, and a Background on the 2014 Elections
8:10-9PM: The State of the States: Several local PACs, fundraisers and campaigns have been invited to contribute short notes on critical issues in their districts - and why it matters to you. We have already received some video as well as the key races that they have targeted in 2014. Note: we will have multiple Microphones, and the campaigns themselves have been told they can openly address us as well, and you can ask questions about your district, I should have all of this organized by then. Many members of those campaigns are open to discuss with you - ONE ON ONE - how you can help in 2014.
9:00-9:30PM: With the help of some precocious High School and College debaters who heard of this through Facebook, we're presenting a fairly humorous "Top ways to discuss politics and change some minds over the Thanksgiving turkey without getting stabbed". :) Hey, it's Kansas & Missouri. We have a lot of kids - college and high school who have spent time representing their states and buzzing us with some great ideas, suggestions - some funny, some not so funny but truthful, about the issues that impact both states and how our youth feel about it. I may end up doing some last minute video editing on this one!
9:30-10PM... Closing. We are still working with a few PACs who have offered to give us final speakers and I'm working with representatives of Campaigns to leave us with the goals of 2014. Let's put it this way: you really want to see what's going to happen in this half hour, even though I can't give everything away, it will make it worth your drive.
Each visitor to Kansas City will leave with a few things:
(a) a Packet of resources geared not just to you state, but to your corner of the state.
(b) A chance to meet and associate in the real world with the kind of people who
want to change both states and are in the campaigns to do so.
(c) A new set of connections that can help you organize and represent your state, county and city not just in 2014 but beyond.
The Marriott will be offering rooms at a (slight) discount for those who need a place to stay if you travel a distance. If you are coming, please KosMail me.
But most importantly, while we'd love to have every Kossack in the area to come to Kansas City/Overland Park area and break bread with us, we're hoping you can bring your friends. Bring anyone you know who is interested in real change. Let people know they are welcome, no matter where they come from, no matter if they've heard of Kos or not.
It will be good to meet with people you know from this website. It will be better to bring the people who share our goals: defeating the likes of Brownback, Hartzler, Blaine Luetkemeyer, Lynn Jenkins, Tim Huelskamp. To talk to people about state house and local races.
It doesn't matter if they know us from our diaries or thoughts. What matters most is that they are people who will vote in 2014. And if they are interested in voting for change, there is a meal and an open invite for them in Kansas City.
FYI, because I've been asked Food and the Ballroom are provided. You are under no obligation to contribute a penny, I welcome everyone to come, eat, enjoy. That said, obviously this is not a small investment on my part, so if you'd like to kick in, we won't refuse that either. But you will NEVER be asked to pitch in, and you should not feel obligated to do so. I'm willing to invest time and resources.. in hopes you're willing to invest an evening :)
4:15 PM PT: If you Need a Place to Stay
Please note: if you are traveling at a distance, and need a place to stay or a real 'deal' on room rates, please contact me. We have three hotels who have offered to provide discounts to us.. yes, these are mostly clients of my business paying back a favor.. but if travel is rough and you want to come, we can find you a place to put your head down at night.