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I've been engaged in a variety of activist politics for just shy of half a century. Some of that has been movement politics, street politics, the pushy kind of stuff that upsets a lot of Americans, including many progressives, because it isn't always civil, but which has been absolutely essential to every major reform and many minor ones since the Republic was founded. Some of that can get you arrested, thrown into jail, or prison. If you are stubbornly obsessed and spend a lot of time at it, it can take a toll on friendships and family.

In addition to the street politics, since 1964, I've also been involved in get-out-the-vote efforts in every presidential election except 1984, when I was in Jalapa, Nicaragua, ducking contra mortar blasts and terror raids.

Starting in 2003, for the recall of Gov. Gray Davis in California, I joined with four other precinct captains in organizing 25, then 50, then more than 100 precincts in eastern Los Angeles because the Democratic Party HQ was doing a lousy job of it. Or rather, it was doing no job at all. Fewer than a third of those precincts had Democratic captains. And yet they were full of potentially Democratic votes.

We started with a simple set of objectives: increase the turnout in Democratic precincts, try to turn swing precincts "permanently" Democratic, shave the margin in Republican precincts, and raise money for selected candidates. (We raised a few thousand dollars in 50 precincts for John Kerry in 2004 and $80,000 for Obama in 101 precincts in 2008.)

We set up training sessions, teaching people how to work door-to-door or in phone banks. We created our own literature and passed out flyers provided to us by candidates' campaigns. We canvassed during non-election years to maintain a connection to the community and so they knew we were listening as well as talking. We did this organizing aided by computers and cellphones, but without the polished social media tools now available and used to such good effect by Obama for America and others. We debriefed our volunteers—more than 400 in 2010—often altering our "scripts" and training as we learned more from feedback brought back by our field workers.

It worked. We succeeded on all fronts. By 2010, there was a Democratic captain in all 101 precincts, fund-raisers that included house parties, block parties, legislative candidate appearances. We increased turnout of Democrats by as much as 50 percent in some precincts, but at least 10 percent in all of them. From the perspective of the five of us who built this mini-operation, it's the way every precinct in the country with five Democrats in it should be organized and networked with other precincts.

Because I've recently moved, I won't be participating in all that this year, the 12th time I'll have voted in a presidential election. And I've yet to get involved with phone banking in my new area, although I plan to do so. It's in my blood.



What will you be doing for the election or movement politics in the coming six weeks?


~~~

Latest Updates on Kossack Regional Meet-Up News Below the Fold



COMMUNITY BUILDING UPDATES:
Let's build communities!

Every region needs a meat-space community like SFKossacks.
We take care of each other in real life.
I urge YOU to take the lead and organize one in your region.
Please tell us about it if you do and we're here for advice.

~
THINK GLOBALLY, ACT LOCALLY

:: EVENT REPORTING ::
:: Current Diaries in Planning Mode ::
VA/DC/MD meetup in Oct. by JamieG from Md
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ALERT!

NASHVILLE IS CURRENTLY ORGANIZING DEBATE WATCH PARTIES: See this diary, HEY NASHVILLE! Who wants to have a debate watch party? by Patrick is Lucky to vote for dates and sign up.

For a permanent place in Nashville events Kosmail ZenTrainer, founder of Nashville KosKats.

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ALERT!

BALTIMORE IS CURRENTLY ORGANIZING DEBATE WATCH PARTIES: See this diary, Next Baltimore Kossack meetup by sreeizzle2012.

To join Maryland Kos send sreeizzle2012 a Kosmail.

:: Regions Organizing! ::
NEW GROUPS IN THE PROCESS OF ORGANIZING:

Portland, Oregon Area:  Kosmail: Horace Boothroyd III to be included in the group.

Cleveland and Northeast Ohio Area:  Kosmail: GenXangster

~~~
These are the groups that have started since * NEW DAY * began. Please Kosmail navajo if you have started a group before that.
NEW GROUPS LIST:

California Central Valley Kossacks
Organizer: tgypsy

New England Kossacks
Organizers:
Clytemnestra (Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island)
Common Sense Mainer (Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont)

Houston Area Kossacks
Organizer: Chrislove

Kossacks in India
Organizer: chandu

CenTex Kossacks
Organizer: papa monzano Current diary: Meet-up Planning Take 1

~~~
ESTABLISHED GROUPS LIST: (List will grow as we discover them)

SFKossacks Founded by navajo, Formed: May 2, 2005, More than 80 members

Maryland Kos Founded by timmyc, Formed: Feb 23, 2011, More than 54 members

New York City Founded by Eddie C, More than 58 members

Baja Arizona Kossacks Founded by buddabelly, Formed: Feb. 13. 2011, 90 members

Three Star Kossacks Founded by maryKK, Formed: Apr 8, 2011, 46 members

Nashville KosKats Founded by ZenTrainer, Formed: Jan 30, 2012, 28 members

Virginia Kos Founded by JamieG from Md, Formed: May 3, 2011, 67 members

•  Kos Georgia Founded by pat208, Formed: Feb 13, 2011, 18 members

~~~
:: Events Currently on the Books for ALL Kossacks ::
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Monday, October 1st
NYC MEET-UP

TIME: 6:30 PM
LOCATION: The Three Monkeys
236 W 54th St
., between Broadway and 8th Ave.
(212) 586-2080
UP ON THE DECK!

ORGANIZER: Sidnora

Send Sidnora a Kosmail to RSVP.

RSVPs:
1. sidnora
2. plf515
3. clenchner
4. Cherry the Tart
5. Laura Clawson
6. Arjun Jaikumar
7. It's the Supreme Court, Stupid
8. blue jersey mom
9. rubyr
10. MBNYC
11. Ian Reifowitz
12. kathny
13. kathny's friend
14. kathny's friend
15. artebella
16. Belinda Ridgewood
17. joanbrooker

Maybes:
casperr
Torta
mconvente
Rosalie907
buffie
ask
Errol

Latest diary about this event: Monday, October 1, NYC Kossacks Meetup on the Deck!
~~~

PhotobucketWe are San Francisco Bay Area residents concerned about the fading away of the American Dream.  Inspired by Van Jones's "Rebuild the Dream" campaign, we organize to bring people together to work toward getting our economy back on track and restore the American Dream.

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Wednesday, October 10th

Save Our State Rally

MC: Cindy Chavez ~ Executive Director, Working Partnerships USA


Speakers: Ash Kalra ~ San José City Council, District 2
                Shawn Bagley ~ Regional Director, CA Democratic Party
                Jennifer Thomas ~ Vice President, San José Teachers' Association
                Scott Myers-Lipton ~ Sociology Professor, SJSU
                Craig Dunkerley ~ California Clean Money Campaign

TIME: 6:00pm to 7:30 PM
LOCATION: San José City Hall Plaza
200 E. Santa Clara Street
San José, California

ORGANIZER: Dream Menders - RSVP at: Dream Menders on Facebook or Eventbrite

Latest Diary: Dream Menders: Save Our State by Glen the Plumber
Join DKos Dream Menders Group founded by Glen the Plumber

~~~

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DailyKos readers who live and/or work in New England
(Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont)
100_8274
Saturday, October 13th

New England Meet-Up

TIME: 1:00 - 4:00 PM
LOCATION: Margaritas Mexican Restaurant
775 Lafayette Road
Portsmouth, New Hampshire


ORGANIZERS: Common Sense Mainer and Bill in Portland Maine - Send Common Sense Mainer an email at cuckolds04103@gmail.com to RSVP. (He prefers his email listed.)

Affirmative RSVPs thus far:
1. Common Sense Mainer
2. Bill in Portland Maine
3. Clytemnestra
4. polisigh
5. Brillig
6. Mik
7. K1
8. K2
9. Simple
10. fennster
11. commonmass
12. GreenMountainBoy02
13. Sadiesue
14. rick deville
15. bouidi08
16. bjedward
17. mayim
18. debbie in ME
19. Thestral
20. Ed Tracey
21. parsonbeach
22. Mr. parsonbeach
23. vacationland
24. sfbob
25. loreleiHi
26. cailin ard

Maybes:
1. kestrel9000
2. nhox42
3. lorelehi
4. cailin ard
5. knautical knots
6. Linda
7. paulitics
8. moody loner
9. mommyp00ka
10. jarbyus
11. DamselleFly
12. BobBlueMass
13. radical simplicity
14. Not the Username I Wanted
15. lurker
16. annieli
17. DowneastDem
18. gracielove

Latest diary about this event: New England Kossacks Meet up.
~~~
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Saturday, October 13th

Houston Area Meet-Up

TIME: 1:00 PM
LOCATION: La Mexicana Restaurant
1018 Fairview Street
Montrose


ORGANIZER: Chrislove - Send a Kosmail to RSVP.

RSVPs:
1. Chrislove
2. cosette
3. Delilah
4. disconnect the dots
5. GrannyOPhilly
6. GrannyOPhilly husband
7. miscanthus
8. nomandates
9. PDiddie
10. PDiddie wife
11. suesue
12. Texdude50
13. Texdude50 partner

Latest diary on this event: Houston Area Kossacks: Meet-up scheduled for Saturday, October 13!

~~~

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Friday, October 19th

SFKossack Red Carpet Rollout for Dave in Northridge

TIME: 1:00 PM
LOCATION: Yank Sing
Rincon Center, 101 Spear St., San Francisco

ORGANIZER: navajo - Send a Kosmail to RSVP.

RSVP LIST:
1. Dave in Northridge
2. navajo
3. Lorikeet
4. Steveningen
5. jpmassar
6. kimoconnor
7. norm (Maybe)
8. MrNavajo
9. remembrance
10. Glen the Plumber

11. Dharmasyd
12. boatsie
13. side pocket
14. FogCityJohn
15. Kamakhya
16. Frugal Granny
17. madhaus (maybe)
18. enhydra lutris
19.
20.

~~~

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Monday, October 22nd

DAILY KOS HQ: SFKossacks watch the final Presidential Debate Party

TIME: 5:00 PM Pacific
LOCATION: Daily Kos Office
Berkeley
(address will be given to RSVPs by Kosmail)
5 min. walk from Ashby BART

ORGANIZERS: Markos and navajo - Send a Kosmail to RSVP.

RSVP LIST:
1. Markos
2. Susan Gardner
3. Kaili Joy Gray
4. Faith Gardner
5. Will Rockafellow
6. Meteor Blades
7. navajo
8. citisven
9. Glen the Plumber
10. jotter
11. kimoconnor
12. jpmassar
13. norm
14. precinct1233
15. Ebby
16. lineatus
17. ceebee7
18. Dharmasyd
19. madhaus
20. [anonymous]
21. [anonymous]
22. remembrance (maybe)
23. paradise50 (maybe)
24. Jeff in CA
25. Kamakhya

26. side pocket
27. Mary Rickles
28. mwk
29. boatsie
30. shanikka (maybe)
31. shanikka's DAH (maybe)
32. mber
33. Cathie
34. The Awful Truth
35. Lorikeet
36. dksbook
37. mr. dksbook
38. The dksbook's SIL
39. Pluto (maybe)
40. cooper888
41. GotMooned
42. Raven Brooks
43. Navi Ganancial
44. Melissa
45. means are the ends
46. Isara
47. Isara's partner
48. AoT
49.
50.

~~~

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DailyKos readers who live and/or work in New England
(Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont)

TENTATIVE DATE: Saturday, November 10th
New England Kossacks MEET-UP

TIME: TBD
LOCATION: Plymouth, MA
Address TBD

ORGANIZER: Send Clytemnestra a Kosmail to RSVP.

We will be collecting donations for the Native American Netroots project Okiciyap at this Meet Up.

RSVPs:
1. Clytemnestra

~~~

Saturday, November 10th
Northern California Central Valley Kossacks Potluck Lunch

TIME: TBD
LOCATION: Kestrel's home
There will also be a pre-meet up birding adventure at Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area.

ORGANIZERS: tgypsy and Kestrel - Send tygypsy a Kosmail to RSVP.

RSVPs:
1. tygypsy
2. Kestrel
3. Sally Cat
4. Mr. Cat

~~~

Send navajo a kosmail if you post a diary about an event so we can update our round-up.

~~~
Okay. Floor's open.
Tell us what you are doing on this NEW DAY?

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 07:30 AM PDT.

Also republished by Connect! Unite! Act! and SFKossacks.

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