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Saturday, May 24, 2014 marked the third meet-up of the newly formed Seattle and Puget Sound Kossacks. As you can see from this photo it was a great turn out and a great time.  Now familiar faces returning from past meet ups, long time Kossacks attending for the first time and recently joined Kossacks eagar to plug in and connect.
Left to right:  Back row:  Gemina13, TBone Apollo,Toymaker, Sir Vantes, Lefty Coaster, dougiemac
3rd row:  Bleeding Blue, Ratcityreprobrate, Jeff - Piren's SO, momomia, Regina in a Sears Kit House, Regina's SO Joel,
2nd row: Christine friend of Flamingogrrl,  Piren, Flamingogrrl, doingbusinessas, N in Seattle,
Front row:  Grey Fedora, John Crapper
Taking picture:  John Crapper's SO
It was my first time in the coordinator role as our founder, Eagle of Freedom had to step aside due to his upcoming relocation to the San Francisco Bay Area. I thank him for taking the initiative in getting our group off the ground and will miss his presence greatly.  We toasted to him and sent him our best wishes for a smooth and successful transition to his new life adventures.

We also as a group took things to the next level.  As you can tell from the following recap of events I think we are well on our way to our next level.

Follow below the orange hairpiece for the full detail.  

We started gathering around 1:00 as usual with people sipping a glass of wine, or a cold brew and chatting.  Food eventually started to appear around the room and soon the place was buzzing with the sound of lively conversation, the clinking of dishes, and laughter.  The volume in the room continually rose as did the energy as people mingled,settled in, and established common connection.  

Shortly after 2:00, having warned them at the previous meeting, I clinked my knife against my glass to gain the attention of all and started to present my prepared remarks.  

Last week at about this very same time I was in Bellingham, Washington standing next to Bill McKibben, Co-Founder of 350.org.  This happened because I became a Kossack.  
A memory cocktail.   Myself with Bill McKibben, co-founder of 350.org.
I'm an environmental blogger with a specific concern about climate change.  In July, 2011 I started blogging at KOS under the name John Crapper.  After posting 80 plus diaries and helping promote other's posts I was able to walk up to Bill, say my blogging name in introduction and have him put his arm around me and say with recognition, "I know who you are!" This one five word sentence went to the top of my memory cocktail list!  It also is a personal testimonial of the power Daily KOS provides each and every one of us to have our voice be heard.  

We are fortunate to live in the Puget Sound area with Seattle as our progressive oasis.  But I think living here puts extra responsibility on us.

The stated goal of Daily KOS is to "elect more and better Democrats".  Our group is part of a network of groups that post results of their meet ups in a diary series called Connect! Unite! Act!

Let's think about that title for a minute.   Right now we are connecting.  The more we connect the more we'll unite as deeper relationships form between us.  And the point of all of this, I think,  is the action that connecting and uniting will generate.  

I have ambitious plans for our group.  I see us inviting guest speakers to our meet ups.  It is not far fetched envisioing Governor Inslee standing before us in the not too distant future.  Working together I'm convinced we can capture the attention of local politicians and business interests to positively influence the direction of our community.  

I pledge to you I will put energy into this group commensurate with the energy I receive from all of you.  I will help assist you in increasing your voice.  I will help connect you with others sharing your passions so you can combine your efforts to greater effect.  I will do my part but I need your help too.  


I asked for a show of hands of those that wanted our meet-ups to be more than just social.  All hands immediately shot up.  
Now I'd like to ask each of you to do some things.

I ask all of you to pay attention to the posts being published on our group site.  One of the best ways to help each other is to read, rec, tweet and like diaries each of us has written. Remember, in order to have them appear in your stream you must follow the group.  It is not enough to be a member.  

Next, I would ask that you make use of our google group.  Share what is on your mind. Refer us to posts and articles you find you feel important.  Let us know what actions and projects you are doing in the area.  This is where I’ll be posting my ideas and asking for your feedback.  

The personal e-mails I've asked you to provide will be used to send important notices like reminding you of our next meet up.  I will send out these notices using the BCC function so your privacy is maintained.  Having these e-mails will also allow me to connect you with others who are involved with what you're doing.  I will always ask permission before giving your e-mail to others.

Finally, be sure to invite others you know to our meet-ups.  By growing our group we enhance our individual voices and our collective one.  

I then turned things over to N in Seattle (UID 180) who's been a Kossack forever.  He gave us a brief historical account of a previous Kossack group and their past picnics and fundraisers.  He then took us down a brief history of the Drinking Liberally meet-ups and reminded us all they were still happening every Tuesday of each month at 8:00 pm at Roanoke Park Place Tavern, 2409 10th Ave E.   Then, he passed out WA State Legislative District maps to ensure we all knew in which district we resided.  Finally, he spoke of the importance of regaining Democratic control of the Senate. He put a plug in for our group supporting Shari Song running in District 30 and passed out informational flyers to everybody.  He indicated he'd be writing a diary soon to provide more detail and contact information for all of us.  

Concurrently, Bleeding Blue, Outreach Chair of the 34th Democratic District was busy garnering signatures in support of I-1329, which would urge Washington's Congressional delegation to propose amending the US Constitution to clarify that constitutional rights apply to natural persons not corporations, and to authorize greater regulation of political contributions and expenditures. If enough signatures are obtained, this initiative will be on our ballot in November.

Sixteen other states have already passed similar consensus bills, either through the legislative process or by state's citizen initiative process.

The organization that is working to get this on the ballot is familiarly referred to as WAmend .  He informed me that this initiative drive  ends this time next month so time is of the essence.  

Our agenda ended with everyone agreeing to meet up again at the Pyramid Alehouse  shooting for a date of Saturday, June 21 at 1:00 pm.  

In the discussions that followed our formal agenda two Kossacks' names came up as ones we'd like to see be our guests in the not too distant future:  Meteor Blades and Navajo.  I promised I'd work on it!

I am heartened by the energy on display in our meet-ups.  I am thankful that by circumstance I'm now the new coordinator.  With a little help from my Kossack friends I'm confident we'll soar to ever higher levels.  Up, up and away!  

And now a close up picture of each because each one of us is important and deserves recognition.  (Please excuse some of the less than professional shots.  We missed  mlarges who did our photographs the last time.)  And we are such a beautiful and handsome group!  

N in Seattle
Grey Fedora
Flamingogrrl
doingbusinessas
Christine - friend of Flaminggrrl
Piren
Piren's SO - Jeff
momomia
Gemini13
Regina in a Sears Kit House and SO Joel
Bleeding Blue
Ratcityreprobrate
Lefty Coaster
dougiemac
Toymaker
TBone Apollo
Sir Vantes
John Crapper's SO - Kathy
And me John Crapper
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