Cross-posted at Eclectablog.
I have written in the past about the grassroots organizational teams put together for the Obama Campaign for Change staying active and engaged. Apparently the Boston Globe was paying attention because I received a call last week asking for an interview. The result was an article today, "Obama backers look for ways to carry out the call for change", that talks about groups all around the country, including ours in Dexter, Michigan, that have taken the initiative to keep organized, keep meeting, and keep the energy & momentum going.
Now it is clear that Barack Obama's post-election organization is going to help us.
As I said in the article, after the whirlwind of the campaign, my first response was, "Damn, that was amazing! Now what?" And I wasn't the only one. Not in my community. Not in my state. Not in the entire country. What I have discovered is that groups like ours all across America are continuing what they've started, coming together to work on local, state and federal issues, to do community service events and to make sure that Barack Obama's agenda is put in place. And we are learning that we have some political power where none existed before.
From the article:
In Florida, they plan to apply Obama's organizing methods to local races, including the 2010 contest to succeed retiring Republican US Senator Mel Martinez. They showed up in droves at the Foggy Bottom Coffee House in Dexter, Mich., for a postelection meet-and-greet with a newly elected Democratic representative, Mark Schauer, partly to show they would be paying attention to what he does in Congress.This is all well and good but with access to the Voter Activation Network (VAN) immediately pulled after the election and thediaspora of paid staff from the Campaign for Change (CFC) back to their home states, we were left to our own devices, at least initially.
"I was overwhelmed," Schauer said of the Nov. 15 event, which drew some 120 people. "I would have thought it was a rally two days before the election."
But now that has changed. As most of us know, David Plouffe of the CFC recently sent out an email encouraging people to have "Change is Coming" house parties this weekend to seek feedback from the grassroots groups as to the future of the organization. Also, as noted in the Globe article, a conference was recently held to have these discussions in a focused way with staff and team leaders.
All of this points to a solid intention to keep the grassroots networks energized, mobilized and activated. The impact this will have on progressive politics into the future simply can not be overstated: it has the potential to transform both the Democratic party and the country as a whole in an historic, profound, and positive way. Imagine a mobilized coalition of citizens pressing for change on clean energy, on healthcare, on environmental & global climate change issues, on political and electoral reform, on any of the Big Issues facing us today. Imagine them grooming and then electing progressive leaders from the local level all the way through to the federal level. Imagine them rallying their resources to deal with local issues in ways that only those present in local communities can do.
And imagine them doing this with resources and assistance the likes of which haven't been seen before the Campaign for Change.
So now is the time for us all to stay motivated and engaged. If you haven't done so already, go to My.BarackObama.com and sign up to attend or even host your own "Change is Coming" house party this weekend. This is the first step in the formation of an organization that will continue into the future and your feedback is essential.
Never before has an incoming president reached out to the country and asked for their input and called for their service quite like this. We're making history and YOU can be part of it.
I'm just sayin'...
[P.S. I have to give a shout-out to the cute girl holding that spectacular poster in the photo accompanying Globe article. She's my wife. ;^) ]