I got an email this morning from the DNC in the standard "donate for wholesome tote bags!" model. This seems to me to be a capsule version of everything wrong with the current vision of "Political Activism" --- wholesale politics where the citizenry is just a consumer base, not a participant.
I went looking around the DNC site, seeing what other sorts of involvement were encouraged. What I found was:
- "Contribute" is, of course, highlighted. No surprise there, and entirely reasonable.
- The "Take Action" sections are form letters on chosen issues only. Some don't allow you to even add commentary.
- The "Get Local" section doesn't have organizing tools or much in the way of contacts. If you drill down several layers, through the individual state sites, you can find local contacts, but it varies widely by state what you can find.
- I can't really tell whether the Blog is doing well or not.
So I sent this letter to the DNC:
I just got an email from the DNC inviting me to get involved in the "Public Radio" style --- giving cash and getting goodies through the "DNC Rewards" program.
I don't want to get involved like that! I want to be an active member of the Democratic party, here in my town and state! I want to canvass and do GOTV and support my candidates in more than just the voting booth and the ATM.
Please, please, please set up "Get Local" tools that direct me to party organizations by town, by precinct, by ward, etc. Please send me emails inviting me to get involved with my local officials, not just to give money!
I'd encourage other people to do the same --- and we can figure out if they listen. So, whaddaya think? Is the DNC embracing or rejecting net-age tools? Are they doing well, going slow or just uninterested in the populace?