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This has been laid out in an excellent diary by Kombema here:

This idea came about from a conversation between Kombema, high unitas, and myself.
Kombema wrote a great diary and was rescued to the community spot light. Where we got about 80 comments, about 50 if you discount multiple comments from the same person.

50 comments. That's all. So I'm thinking to myself the following things.

1. Is the Daily Kos an appropriate place to initiate such a movement?

By this I mean w/all humility, that Kos's site is not automatically a site that must support every idea and movement from every progressive. It is ultimately his site, and I accept he gets to decide its priorities. But as a hungry activist, I can't help but dream of starting from a base big enough to be heard. And I long for more "action jackson" from this site, and less endlessly repetitive pie fights. But that doesn't mean this initiative is right for this site. I'm trying to learn what is and can be effective here.

2. And if so, is there the will to do so here?

We are all so split on so many things, in terms of priorities, and this diary has no intention of calling anyone out for their priorities or splitting us further by demanding participation. This is just an honest question. Is the recent Supreme Court decision that gutted the voter's rights act something important ENOUGH to this community to become involved in an active way?

3. Is it too early for an initiative like this? IOW, is the timing wrong? Too far away from 2014? No time yet to see what congress does regarding this? Ahem, clearing the choke in my throat as I ask this question. Although it is fair to ask it, I have abso-freakin'-lutely NO confidence in the congress to right this. Still, perhaps an initiative like this would be better taken on next year. And yet, it takes time to organize something like this.

4. For me, the SCOTUS Decision that gutted the Voter's Right Act, hurt to the bone. I'm a baby boomer who thought she saw the SLOW but sure evolution on this, only to see it pulled up by the roots by the worst SCOTUS of my life time. And it's not like I haven't seen other things I thought were settled, sent back to the insane hen house of politics. But this one, this one, really hurt. For me.

And I think it hurts this country immeasurably, and every bit as much as the NSA revelations. Which amendment do you try to protect these days? Are they not all under fire? Haven't they always been, and won't they always be?

So we all have those issues that speak to our heart first, and this is mine---not just in terms of fair play or my ideological wishes, but also in terms of cold, hard, politics and the winning of elections. Which is not to say it should be anyone else's first choice. That's for each and every Kossack to decide for themselves.

I guess I'm just interested in understanding the parameters of this community, and what's possible beyond pie fights. What's possible, comfortable and pragmatic for the administration here to back.

AND, I will not be bitter or disappointed if GOT-ID? is not on the list here of things it or we, choose to grab on to. I truly do understand the dynamics and limitations of any site, and respect those who put the most time into leading, sustaining and making this site work.

In the end, I guess I'm just SO THIRSTY for action here. I'm tired of the endless arguments that go no where. I'm tired of the gloom and doom. What ACTIONS can we agree on and move forward on? How do we distinguish this site as one that is more for activists than arguments?

Kos recently introduced our new "activist" writers. What does that mean, exactly? Does it mean this site will continue to make its priorities about elections of more and better democrats? And, if so I'm just dandy w/that, and I'm on board.  But does it also include efforts outside of elections---Like GotID? And if so, how do we mobilize this kind of thing here?

I would dearly like this community to be at the forefront of progressive ACTION. We're not there yet, which is not to say we have not had many a great moment. We so have, and it must be noted that if you've tried to find another Democratic/progressive site, with as big and dynamic as a community as shimmies and shakes here every day, you've probably been disappointed.  

Can we get better at this? Do we want to? These are NOT rhetorical questions. They are honest wide open questions, and I hope to hear some of your thoughts.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (19+ / 0-)

    "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

    by StellaRay on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 08:22:55 PM PDT

  •  It just takes time and patience. (12+ / 0-)

    Would that we were better at organizing over this site, but we often aren't.  A few suggestions based on some positive examples in the past:

    Pre-organization.  I know you're just spitballing ideas at this stage, but sometimes the comments threads here are productive, and sometimes there are better and more focused ways of doing things.  Get together (even if virtually) with the people who seem most committed to hash out a plan together, then bring that completed plan back to the site.  You may get more of a reaction from casual readers who want to help but aren't ideas people.

    Partnerships.  What organizations already exist that may either be 1) working on the same thing, or 2) working in an area that might make cooperation fruitful (e.g. a local politics site that could put people on the ground in their own location)?  Part of developing a good plan is knowing what the starting context is... it's not a bad idea to double-up on existing efforts, but it saves time and resources to partner instead.

    Blogathons.  For more dkos-specific action, these are a great way of drawing in new readers and volunteers by presenting a consistent, regular face for the movement over a span of a few hours or days.  Once you have some of those completed ideas ready to go, get the handful of people you already have to commit to publishing a diary - with fanfare, etc. - at a regular time each hour, or each day, so that people see not only the plan, but they see it regularly, consistently, and with easy-to-access links and ideas for people who may want to help in more modest ways.

    Just some thoughts.  Based on the previous diary, I like where this is going so far.

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 08:46:32 PM PDT

    •  Thank you pico, (6+ / 0-)

      for this very substantive, thoughtful post. In fact, I'm going to have to read it more times to digest everything. But from the first blush, I think you make excellent points.

      I guess one of the things I'm looking for in this diary is Kossacks who can/will commit to doing what you suggest in "Pre-oranization."

      Baby steps may humble us, but they also sustain us in our busy lives.

      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

      by StellaRay on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 09:00:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It shouldn't take any time. (0+ / 0-)

      It should take all of 30 minutes. Tops.
      There should be a Group for every county in this country.
      There's your Organization.
      Simple as that.

      See you sonsabitches at NN13! Look for our Banner and stop by and say hello!

      by winkk on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 11:28:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What could it possibly take to set up remote (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pico, StellaRay, LilithGardener, winkk

    voter ID stations all over the state. Like census takers. People get their ID at the supermarket or door to door.

    What do they need birth certificate, finger print, DNA sample?

    What is the hurdle? There is no reason this can't be done in the same time it takes to do the census.

    •  What could it possibly take? (6+ / 0-)

      Money, will, effort, attention. Love the idea of people getting their ID at the supermarket. But who's going to make that available? The supermarket? The government? Who? and at whose expense?

      Maybe w/a really good and well thought out movement, something like GotID? we could make this cause as popular as the pink ribbon, in which case we'd have no trouble getting all kinds of sponsors, from grocery stores on.  

      See, this is the thing. Now that IDs are necessary to vote in many states, the onus is on US to get them, and to get them to all those who don't have them. That was after all, the GOP plan. So now the Democrats have a problem---how to not have their voters stopped by lack of ID? And it's all on us now.

      And, I would say that there is a lot more involved in helping someone get an ID to vote, or make sure they have one. The very process of JUST this, empowers everyone who didn't have an Id, who might not think about it until to late to vote, but w/help, NOW has the tool to vote. Going through the process of getting an ID just TO VOTE bodes well for actually voting.

      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

      by StellaRay on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 09:15:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  When I got my voter ID, I found a blind man lost (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Norm in Chicago, Sylv, JamieG from Md

        in the parking lot. Getting ID is so hard on people.

        I think if the state needs ID to vote it should provide that ID.

        How about same day ID?  A camera station right in the polling place?

        Is there a way to tie it into respect for military service? Something like they sacrificed for freedom to vote?

        give the NRA the Royal Flush join Stop The NRA

        by 88kathy on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 10:00:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  There was a great Letter to the Editor today in (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          88kathy, Sylv, side pocket, JamieG from Md

          Nashville's newspaper the Tennessean. The writer felt strongly that voter ID should be a photo but that it should be made available easily - bookmobile type vehicles going neighborhood to neighborhood. It didn't address details but it was a good start, I guess.

          I'd rather we repeal the laws, since we don't have a problem with voter ID fraud.

          We do have a problem with voter machine accountability though, wish we could work on that instead.

          Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature.

          by ZenTrainer on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 11:04:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Could registrars give photo id's? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StellaRay, Sylv, JamieG from Md

    I'm assuming that states moving to require voter id's are mandating what kind of id is required. But I've been trying to think of some way a voter registration card could have a picture on it.... Done at the time of registration? Plus have a bring your existing voter registration card and get photographed option?

    Does any state require id to register? It would be so great to see a table at the mall with a tablet computer--enter voter info, take pic with tablet, pic inserted into registration. Voter reg cards in my state are mailed to voters, so obviously would have to work around state expense. I'm sure somebody could figure out a way for this to work.

    •  Good ideas. (4+ / 0-)

      And I agree---I too am sure "somebody could figure out a way for this to work." But who will?

      I'm NOT saying something like" GotID?" has to solve all this or figure out how to get someone to figure out how to make these good ideas work.

      I'm just dreaming of a voter ID movement that embarrasses the craven GOP---maybe even into joining it on at least a superficial  level--- and takes on just one part of the voter obstruction lobby, but does that well.

      If ALL this campaign might do is to raise awareness and help folks find where and how to get their IDs, maybe a fund to help them pay for them if not covered, then it would have done a lot.

      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

      by StellaRay on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 09:30:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Love this idea (7+ / 0-)

    And agree that the time to start is now.

    Pre-organization- a little brain storming:

    A list of states that have passed voter ID laws.
    = Focus first on contacting a sample of registered voters in those states, and finding out if they have id, and what kind of help they would need.

    Especially love the idea of sponsoring - that was a huge boost to the Obama campaign to draw in young people. When my young colleague made a donation to the Obama campaign, she was floored to receive an email a few minutes later from another Obama supporter in her demographic, but in another state. It was unexpected validation.

    Sponsor a birth certificate in PA - x dollars
    Sponsor a SS card - y dollars
    Sponsor a ride to the DMV - $10 dollars

    and so on...

    It will have a multiplier effect.

    "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

    by LilithGardener on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 09:33:26 PM PDT

    •  SO many good ideas here. (5+ / 0-)

      I too love the idea of "sponsoring," as well as the idea of Daily Kos hooking up w/other progressive groups to help make this happen. Enjoyed your story about your colleague, and how well this sort of thing CAN be done.

      I know Voter ID is just a slice of the problem that the recent SCOTUS decision tossed up. But I like to keep it simple. Take on one thing and do it well.

      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

      by StellaRay on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 09:54:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm on iPhone so this'll be brief. Yes I'm working (7+ / 0-)

    With a couple of face books groups who are actively planning. Just had a conference call/planning session tonight with one of the largest progressive networks on Facebook.

    So in a way it doesn't answer the question about dkos but there is will go do this any a strategic plan developing. It involves connecting with county parties on the ground and splitting up into teams targeting the districts and counties and precincts most likely to be tampered with and extending the help of 1-2 million activists to them in whatever way they deem necessary to help at-risk voter get shored up in time.

    Please message me. Or email me at

  •  For starters in Texas: if you know anyone needing (8+ / 0-)

    an ID, go to the DPS site, and print the form they should fill out and the list of needed documents to prove id and residence. Then find the nearest DL office for that person, and get them there with the documents in hand.

    Texas is providing free ID for voting.
    You must apply in person, documents in hand.

    LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

    by BlackSheep1 on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 10:02:29 PM PDT

  •  I also am so very tired of hearing about GOP/ALEC (4+ / 0-)

    activism and their bald-faced lying that seems to always go unanswered by progressives.  They've got the Kochs bankrolling Rand Paul and Ted Cruz on the Weather Channel attacking the IRS.  We got Harry Reed threatening to raise his voice.  We are always playing defense, and the other side has got way too much money and too many troops to keep outside the gates without a change in tactics.   How else do you explain the situations in PA, WI and MI?  All it takes is one bad election cycle, and WHAM, here they come.  Hell, yes, I'm for targeted, effective action like the voter ID initiative, and I think DK is a great place to start or contribute to such things.  This site has shown it can be a very effective small-donation fundraiser.  And don't forget that there is one small, inconvenient fact out there facing us all -- the world is burning up.

    •  Yep, exactly: (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kitsap River, Sylv, JamieG from Md
      All it takes is one bad election cycle, and WHAM, here they come.
      We saw that bad election in 2010, and I'm hoping we're all determine not to let that happen again. Which is why I see the gutting of the Voter's Right Act of the SCOTUS as SO onerous. Mid terms are tough enough w/out this.

      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

      by StellaRay on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 10:30:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The more voters with acceptable ID's the (4+ / 0-)

    better, though it's not at all clear to me it, in and of itself, provides a Democratic advantage.

    The Law of Unintended Consequences is nonpartisan.

    •  True. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kitsap River, Sylv, gramofsam1

      But I do think it would provide a Democratic advantage. It's been said often that if all who even leaned Democratic voted, the GOP wouldn't have a chance. From every poll I've seen, and from my instinct of who's least likely to vote, I'm inclined to believe this.

      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

      by StellaRay on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 10:52:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Do you belong to a local meet up group of (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sylv, StellaRay, JamieG from Md

    Kossacks? That might be a good place to start.

    Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature.

    by ZenTrainer on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 11:06:00 PM PDT

  •  This Kossack, at least, has the willingness (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jennybravo, Sylv, StellaRay

    to work on this initiative. It's not applicable in the state of Washington, at least when voting, because we're entirely vote-by-mail. It may be applicable for registering, however, and the same may be the case in Oregon. Nothing prevents me from phonebanking to support this initiative in other states, and only my lack of funds prevents me from donating to a non-profit established to do this.

    I'm in. Let's do this.

    An organ donor saved my life! Is this bragging?

    Working since the age of 8 to defeat the GOP!

    by Kitsap River on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 11:12:42 PM PDT

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