Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Volunteer Early, Volunteer (a Little More) Often


Democracy Fest 2005 Finale, Wrap Up.

I encourage any of you who want to "keep hope alive" for progressive causes and the "Democratic wing of the Democratic Party" to join Democracy for America. Consider this my polite way of asking you to not wait until the summer of '06 to get involved in, for starters, making sure Tom DeLay gets fired forever from public service, if you can call what he's doing service - it's certainly not serving "the public," as in "We the People."

As Democracy Fest 2005 in Austin this past weekend reminded us, especially in the swelter of "the Big Tent" (yep, a big tent out in the June Texas sun), it's never too late OR too early to learn a few campaign skills to empower yourself to make a difference. That's democracy. It's not a spectator sport, at least not at it's best, not at this country's best. If all you do is vote, you're basically just a spectator who jumps out of their seat in the final minute of the fourth quarter as the clock ticks away.

And a special note for you bloggernauts out there: the special "Bloggers' Breakfast" with Markos of DailyKOS (over half a million hits a day!) and Jerome of MyDD was a treat - just getting to rub elbows with a couple of off the cuff, energetic blogger gurus who are way up on the Blogebrity (soon to be) Hall of Fame. Most of us in the audience were posters, posers or wannabees. (Maybe a blog site idea? Blogabees.com?)

Sunday's sessions were an entertaining, earnest and practical "Root Camp" for those of us who will be volunteering or working campaigns and causes over the next decade.

Sandra Ramos, of Public Interest Consulting in Denver, was the sessions hostess with the mostess. She ran the whole show like a cross between Oprah and Phil Donahue - an excellent mentor for those wanting to join the party, the campaign game party, that is.

The theme: this is something each of us can do and do well, using the enthusiasm and skills we already have - or can easily acquire. Participatory democracy is the way to go, and sharing with your fellow friends and neighbors feels GOOOOOD!

Especially if you get to grab some free pizza and beer in the bargain.

So friends, let's some of us set our sites on 2006 and 2008 right now.

And I must say I enjoyed meeting you, new and old friends, at Democracy Fest. See you soon and in 2006.


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