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For those of us who haven't been activists since we were kids, becoming politically active can seem too daunting to even attempt. There's so much to learn, and all of the other activists know way more than we do, and we may think, "I'll just be in the way. I'll just slow everyone else down." But we all have to start somewhere, and I started at Daily Kos.

A few weeks ago, I posted a comment that explains how this works (my emphasis):

I am grateful for how the Kossack community has enabled me to grow as an activist. kos has summarized how far someone like me can go with some encouragement:
Because while their confidence may be lacking, every lurker on this site likely has something of value to contribute. And the more people engage in this site, the more will hopefully take additional actions to fight for the progressive values we all champion. In activism circles it's called the "ladder of engagement" -- you might start by reading or watching political content, then maybe comment, sign up to an activism email list, evangelize to family and friends, donate money, make calls, walk precincts, donate bigger sums of money, take time off from work to work a campaign, and then run for office. And lord knows we need more of all of that.

In any case, we want to encourage people taking their first steps into greater political engagement.

Although I haven't considered attempting the last two items listed, I now describe myself as an "organizer." And I know that, if not for DKos and the community I've found here, I wouldn't even be attempting half of what I do every day now to turn Texas back to blue.

Beyond that, special thanks goes to Chrislove for setting up Houston Area Kossacks. I am so grateful to have become friends with folks in that group.

Finally, thanks to all of the kibitzers--this community is everything I had hoped for, and more.

During the past year, I have been elected to positions in my county Democratic party and awarded fellowships with Battleground Texas. I have phonebanked, driven voters to the polls, trained to register voters, registered voters, organized events, and spoken at meetings and events to recruit and train volunteers. I helped to organize a statewide meetup of Texas kossacks. I have protested at Stand With Texas Women events and blogged during Wendy Davis' filibuster. I founded New Diarists, a group that hopes to help other kossacks to find their voice, and I try to encourage those here who are taking their first tentative steps.

So what have you been doing? How did you get your start?

Kitchen Table Kibitzing is a community series for those who wish to share part of their evening around a virtual kitchen table with kossacks who are caring and supportive of one another. So bring your stories, jokes, photos, funny pics, music, interesting videos, and so forth. Or just say "Hi" if you've had a long day and are too exhausted to participate more actively. We would also appreciate links—including quotations—to diaries, news stories, and books that you think this community would appreciate.

Please note that pie fights will be unwelcome in this community, just as in most other series at DKos. There's lots of space at the rest of the site for fighting with other Democrats, progressives, and liberals, and we don't want those battles dragged into this community.

Finally, readers may notice that most who are posting diaries and comments in this series already know one another to some degree, but that definitely does not mean that newcomers will be excluded or unwelcome. We're happy to welcome guests to our kitchen table, and hope to make some new friends as well.

KTK posts nightly at 5:00 Pacific, 6:00 Mountain, 7:00 Central, 8:00 Eastern.

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