Today, March 26, 2010, happens to be Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's 70th Birthday.
As a few of you may be aware, all this week I've been spearheading an effort to send Speaker Pelosi roses today, both to wish her a happy birthday as well as to thank her for her successful shepherding of the historic (if, admittedly, deeply flawed) health care reform bill through the House of Representatives.
Sometime this morning (no earlier than 11:00 am EST, I'm told; it could spill over to the afternoon), 2,616 roses should be delivered to the Speaker's Washington, DC office.
I'll be using this diary to post updates as they're available, but in the meantime, I thought you guys might like to read the text of the letter that should be accompanying the flower delivery.
Yes, I decided to actually add the parenthetical (mostly). I sweated how to word the signing of it for some time last night, and finally concluded that "Your Supporters" was too limited and self-evident, while "The American People" is too presumptuous and, let's face it, obviously not completely true. Besides, some non-Americans chipped in for the roses as well.
"A (mostly) Grateful Nation" struck me as covering all the bases while still admitting tacitly (in a tongue-in-cheek manner) that no, the entire country isn’t jumping for joy at the moment. But this, too, shall pass...
While many people obviously contributed to this effort, I'd like to give a shout-out to four dKos members in particular who donated their own daily diaries to help keep the campaign on the radar: wide eyed lib, AntKat, DruidQueen and brigitsmom. I'd also like to thank mayrose for posting the "Bread & Roses" song (as well as everyone who encouraged me to use it in the letter).
Please help keep this diary on the Rec list at least until after the roses have been delivered to the Speaker, thanks!
Update: Final tally just released: 2,616 roses are on the way!
Update x2: Posted at the request of Coast to Coast Florist:
Sorry, the cut-off time for adding your own roses to the order was last night at 10:00pm!!
If you weren't in time to be included in the rose campaign, may I suggest doing the following instead:
Join the facebook group wishing Speaker Pelosi a happy birthday and thanking her for healthcare reform. (Must log in after following link.)
Update x3: Regarding media coverage: I've been assured that it's being taken care of.
Update x4: Open message to anyone who plans on contacting the press: If you send out any "formal" press releases, please do not mention my name as part of the backstory. Obviously my name is all over the diaries and comments on this, and I even sent an email or two myself, so I'm not trying to keep my identity a secret or anything, but at the same time, I'd prefer not to push it as a significant part of the story, either.
Case in point: San Francisco's NPR affiliate called me yesterday to interview me for a short piece they aired this morning about the rose campaign--but they didn't end up mentioning me at all, which is fine with me (they included a brief sound bite from the DC florist doing the actual delivery).
In other words, if the media really wants to interview me, I don't mind doing so, but I don't want to push for it either, ok? Thanks much :)
Oh, by the way, here's the link to the NPR piece; you have to scroll in to around 5:58--the whole thing is only about 30 seconds. (h/t to Eloise below for the link!)
Update x5: I just received the following note from the florist:
I have word that the delivery has been made; we are waiting on the photos.
Update x6: Just to clarify one point: Someone stated that whoever took their order told them that they've received orders from as far away as Australia and even from soldiers serving in Iraq.
At this time, neither I nor the florist can verify that claim--all they have are the billing addresses to go by, all of which are U.S. based. Of course, I'm sure any U.S. soldiers' credit cards would still keep their domestic addresses, so that doesn't mean much one way or the other. I just wanted to make it clear that I don't personally know if that statement is true or not.
Update x7: OK, I'll try to re-lighten the mood here with the following pic, reposted with permission from Scarce's own diary (also currently on the Rec list):
Update x8: Coast to Coast (the florist) just reported:
Nancy was in the office today and received the roses! She has also instructed delivery of some of the roses to Walter Reed Military Hospital.
Regarding photos, etc: Yes, I'll be posting them as soon as they're made available. In addition, Coast to Coast will be posting pics on their Facebook page as soon as they can as well.
Beyond that, be on the lookout for pics as well as, potentially, video and/or press coverage later on this afternoon/evening and into tomorrow--Mike Stark is on the case!
Update x9: I just wanted to reiterate the title, especially given the latest domestic terrorism activities being reported on the Tea Party/GOP side of the aisle (including threatening messages to Gary Peters (MI-09) and Mark Schauer (MI-07) and even wingnuts deliberately plowing SUVs into cars with children in them for the crime of...having a bumper sticker.
So, for anyone for whom this needs to be spelled out, let me make it as clear as I can:
THEY THROW ROCKS. WE SEND ROSES. THE CONTRAST COULDN'T BE CLEARER.
Update x10:Additional photos and video should be added later, but for the moment:
Thanks to the community at Daily Kos, and others who joined in, Speaker Pelosi received thousands of roses this morning for her 70th birthday.
She sent half of the roses to Walter Reed Army Medical Center and is distributing the other half to hill staff to thank them for all their hard work on the health reform legislation.
THANKS AGAIN – she was overwhelmed (and our office smells glorious)!
Update x11: I decided to remove some unnecessarily negative "lessons learned" stuff from the most recent update; I'll post this and some other follow-up thoughts in tomorrow's diary; hope you'll indulge me one more day!
I've also replaced the text of the letter with the actual letter itself! I think it looks quite a bit nicer in context...you can see it in the 4th pic down as well.
Update x12: FYI, aside from KQED (the San Francisco NPR station mentioned earlier), I think this is the first "mainstream" coverage--Politico has picked it up!
I'm not gonna post every single link, but please feel free to post whatever coverage you come across over the next day or so :)
Update x13: Nice little write-up at the Washington Post...
OK, everyone, with that, I'm done for the day.
Be on the lookout for a new diary by Mike Stark with additional photos and/or video of the event. I'll add a link to it if & when I can, but he usually shoots up the Rec list without any help anyway :)
Also, be on the lookout for my own follow-up diary sometime tomorrow, with some assorted thoughts and lessons learned from this experience.