OK

Hi everyone in dailykosland, province of CUA.  I can report back to you that we had a very good meeting with lots of talk last Saturday in Washington DC. I have a couple of pictures, but no food porn this time, I am sorry, Navajo. May be next time.

Here we are:

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Back row: STI (JamieG's husband), Sturunner, jhutson, Uncle Cosmo, TRsCousin
Midde row: VeenaS1, Diana in NoVa,  Aximill, mollyd, mdmslle, JamieG from Md, JG in MD, a gilas girl
Front row: louisev, patbahn, Laura Wnderer, BDA in VA

As you all know JamieG in MD was out-doing herself to organize the third (?) yearly MD/VA/DC kossack meeting last Saturday.  She is the old-timer of arranging these special meet-ups and knows, who was in which meetings in the previous years. Again she went through several reminder diaries, contacted them all and invited many newcomers with success. A lot of work. I think I can speak for all of us to express a heartfelt thanks in asking for round of applause for JamieG from MD.

NinthElegy (who leads the DC Kossacks group) came unfortunately a little too late for the family photo due to her job's schedule. But as she will tell you below, she had a great time and enjoyed herself very much despite the fact she wasn't able to meet everyone.

To help me from writing too much, Jamie had the idea to ask everybody to give their feedback about the meeting in writing.  

So, please follow me through the orange underground tunnels into the belly of the beast that is Union Station in Washington DC., where I will quote all your talking points word by word.

(Bold text in quotes are all my choices).

Let me start with NinthElegy, who is the founder and leading force behind the DC Kossack meetings at the Washington Mall. Those meetings are more intimate, relaxed picknick style get togethers, which offer great possibilities to talk in depth and person to person about anything - from Literature (she is a Rilke lover) to Opera to food !! to Labor Laws and anything political that comes to your mind. Please come and visit. Next DC Kossack meet-up is scheduled for September 20th.

Ninth Elegy quote (not pictured):
...I didn't have any deep political conversations but it was awesome to meet and talk poetry with Uncle Cosmo, who together with aximill (sp) get my votes for starting up a BMore group. Great connecting with a gilas girl again, whose inner richness is beautiful to be in the presence of, mimi is my neighbor and it's always good to see her, and reconnecting with molly d who I'd not seen since accosting her at an area Costco a year or so ago much to her surprise. I met sturunner and pat bahn who promise to visit DC Kossacks very soon (Ahem, next meeting is September 20). Mdmslle and Diana in NoVA got away before I could say hey but surely next time. It was relaxing and fun to color a bit too.
Here are JamieG from MD and MollyD. They are chatting about their long-time past experiences with voter registration.
JamieG from Md (quote):
...talked with MollyD about her experience registering voters in the mid-sixties when she was a mere teenager.
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MollyD left - JamieG from MD right

...with Uncle Cosmo who lives in Baltimore in a safe Democratic district. He wants to help out in an area, where he could make a difference, and is torn between helping out in Anne Arundel County which is in danger of electing Dixiepublican theocrat Mike Peroutka or in Virginia/Loudoun where we have a chance to take a seat that is currently held by republican Frank Wolf. (I vote he pick Loudoun)

...I talked to everyone about my idea of using coloring pages to motivate children to motivate their parents to vote. Some of us colored some of the coloring pages I brought – Two of the pages in the picture were designed by Kossack Asterkitty who used her graphic skills to create “COLOR ME A VOTER!”, “I’LL BE A VOTER IN THE YEAR 20_ _, and (not pictured), “DON’T MISS THE BOAT, REGISTER TO VOTE!”

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Don't Miss the Boat, Register to Vote

...Ninthelegy and I have both been vegetarians for most of our lives, and both of us have become more aware of the need to supplement with vitamin B12.

...Talked to Diana in Nova about the new Silver Line of the Metro which we both took from Reston, VA. Diana just published a diary which talked a little about the meetup and also about how we need to come up with a good GOTV catch phrase. Read her diary here.

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Diana in NoVa - GOTV Catch Phrase Wanted
Louisev quote (sorry I have no close-up photo):
... I talked with some folks about global warming and we shared our enthusiasm for Rei's recent diaries about the volcano getting ready to explode in Iceland. I also got 'an earful' from Patbahn about his experiences talking with Barney Frank and Frank's partiality to big banks.  As a native of Massachusetts (and Barney Frank as a particular gay progressive hero of mine) this blew the top of my head off.  I'd like to know more about how Kossacks see one of the architects of the financial reform law.  It was a very informative meeting.
Patbahn quote (sorry I have no close-up photo):
... we were chatting about energy, and how that could be the basis for a populist/progressive movement. The core of the GOP coalition is a corporatist center, they want lots of monopolies. There is a natural alliance between Rural redstaters and Urban progressives on energy ... hat a continuous push on solar PV will let people bypass the utilities and if they get EV's they can bypass the Fossil fuel companies.
Laura Wnderer quote:
... I our corner of the table, we talked about the disappointment that was Barney Frank in his dealings with the banks, or, as one participant stated, his being in the pockets of the banks. We also talked about climate change, Icelandic volcanoes, and alternative energy and how the sun and solar will be taking over the earth! Good, roaming conversation was had by all.
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Laura Wnderer
JG in MD quote (sorry, I have no close-up photo):
... It was good to talk with other Older Ladies about how things used to be that younger people have never experienced.

... We saw an older man taking food out of a trash can and engaged him in conversation. He used to be a truck driver but now has macular degeneration and can't drive any more. We hope he's getting shelter, a case worker, and the care he needs.
I was very happy to have met Aximill at the meeting, as he reacted to the diaries jhutson wrote about the Anne Arundel District 5 campaign that needs help for fighting the Republican Peroutka.
Aximill quote:
...Tad surprised I was the youngest there. The meet-up seemed more like a "get to know each other" event. I would be interested in having something with more focus, mainly because other groups I have been involved with were set up like that.
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Aximill
These are all feedback quotes I have so far. Here are my own impessions.
mimi  quote:
...I had the great chance to meet Jhutson, who wrote a diary about the intricacies and dangers of right-wing theocratic dominionist campaign of Peroutka in Anne Arundel county in District 5.
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Jhutson

...He had written these diaries and they caught my attention. I believe Aximill,  Mdmslle and Uncle Cosmo noticed the diaries as as well and they might have been what motivated them to come to the meeting.  I was happy to talk with Jhutson in length about the whole story and tried to understand what actions he thinks should be taken to help Peroutka's opponent.

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Mdmslle and Uncle Cosco

...From what I understand Jhutson's approach is that of an investigative reporter and communication specialist as well as a researcher.  His previous work were along these lines, if I understand it correctly from the little googling I did on him. GOTV activities like phonebanking and canvassing is not his "shtick", he admitted. Aximill also seem to have some ideas about how to engage in this specific campaign.

...Wouldn't it be nice to have these three as a team in Baltimore? If there would just be the time for it. We all have busy lives and it's hard to manage. I am so glad they could make it out to us in DC for this meet-up alone. Thank you, hope to see you again one day.

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left: Uncle Cosmo, middle: Aximill, right: Jhutson

...I also had the good fortune to ask a lot of questions to TRsCousin, who has a lifetime  history of activism under her belt and taught me the first baby steps to take, like joining a Democratic Club and contacting my county's Democratic County Chair or inquire about the League of women's voters. I felt very grateful she took the time to answer my foreigner's newbie questions in that regard.

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TRsCousin

...VeemaS and MollyD told me about the difficulties to understand all the different rules and campaign regulations for each state's and county's government and judicial system. It sounded to me like ... very confusing. Basically one has always to begin from scratch, when one moves from one county and district to the next, they said, something they both have done in the past. I have to admit that makes me dizzy and I in my mind I started to think over what I could do in all of it as a non voting permanent resident. But I still can be with them in spirit and on the ground doing some yeoman's work. These conservations were very interesting and eye-opening for me. Thanks to all.

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VeemaS

...Especially I wanted to thank a gilas girl !!  She made me so comfortable that I felt I could ask her anything. And I did! :) I admire her communication skills, her sensitivities and understanding, because I am lacking immensely in that department. At the end of our conversation, I realized that I was able to make up my mind about my future interactions with the dailykos website, and that was what I needed most. For that outcome I am really grateful.

... A gilas girl also helped me to be able to follow Sturunner's comments, as she sensed I couldn't without her clarifying, gentle explanations.

Here now I need to explain why I posted the first family photo on top of the diary, one that doesn't include me, but it did include Sturunner. Sturunner is a new kossack and I want you to see him first on top of the diary. I had no other close-up photo of him. We want to please him and keep him and hope he will come to NinthElegy's DC Kossack meeting in September. He has a great beard, a very sharp mind and knows history and his family tree back to the 16th century. We had a nice ride back to his apartment after the meet-up and I hope he will continue to tell me anything about his huge, long family tree.

... Now that means at this point I have to thank the husband of Mdmslle (who did not want a photo of himself), but who made a family photo for us, which included me, but had no Sturunner in it. I do not want anyone to think that putting his family photo at the end of this diary means anything but my decision that Sturunner is new and needs to be on top of the diary and me old one on the bottom. :)

Thank you HL. Your photo apps on your phone are a miracle !!


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Sturunner is missing here, I am on the right

It was a good meeting. Not easy to manage with regards to taking photos, sitting at the tables and eating together and talking to all at the same time. But the flexibility and openness had the advantage that people talked a whole lot and got to know the new participants and reconnect with the old friends easily. So free that we could include a homeless person for a short while. Yep!


Now, I believe, the organizational mini meetings have to follow. Let's hope nobody is discouraged. As Aximill said, many might want to have something to focus on and be more organized and single subject oriented. I could imagine that people communicate with each other now and visit each other in private organizational meet-ups. Those could be close to where the actions are going to be and kossacks from the DC area could visit them at their locations.

I hope you comment and chime in with your expectations for future meetings. Thanks for reading.

Originally posted to Maryland Kos on Fri Aug 29, 2014 at 06:15 PM PDT.

Also republished by Virginia Kos and DC Kossacks.

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