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JNelson6563's Journal
Posted by JNelson6563 in General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007)
Sat Jun 24th 2006, 04:14 PM
Philosoraptor, I haven't always appreciated your posts but this one spoke volumes. Seems to me this is something that has rolled around in your head for a while, you've givent a lot of thought to this topic. Wnat to know what I think was the most important part of this post? This:

Show me. SHOW ME WHAT TO DO. In the meantime, they are robbing us blind and murdering thousands while we all sit around challenging each other to come up with a plan.

First, you are correct in that our discussion here, especially the more useless parts, are doing nothing to stop the horrors you cite. This also frustrates me.

Second was the "show me what to do" part. In the time between election 2000 and election 2002 I read at DU, a lot. It was smaller and seemed more serious, it was packed with really informative posts, both OPs and subsequent commentary full of facts, links, quote, etc. I read and read, like crazy. Learned so much! I was inspired to get involved and jumped in on election day 2002. I have worked on teh effort for full time ever since. In that space of time I went from clueless volunteer to Congressional district chair, it was like the Evelyn Wood speed-course in local and state politics.

Anyway, I feel very qualified to answer your inquiry and shared my background so you'd understand why I felt that way.

From where I sit today, in a 14 county Cong. district, much of it rural and 12 of them having gone red in 04, I see plainly that our potential strength lies in our county organizations. Many are incredibly weak or even non-existent. It's quite sad really. Oddly, even the counties that have zero party activity respond well to contact from the District. I get lots of notes and checks from those counties when I aend out a mailing. After having grown membership for my local county party before district involvement I knew all about how to do it. I went to each county party, or at least the chair if there was no party, and went through how to build the lcoal party. Raised money for the district and funded memebership drives via mailing for many counties. Lo and behold they actually got money and memebers and volunteers! the Gospel according to Julie, as far as these 14 counties are concerned, is this: Build and strengthen the county parties and we will make ourselves gerrymander-proof. If we can build a "chain" of sorts, each precinct being a link of it, and make each link of it strong, they can't be weakened no matter how they are joined.

Find your county party. Go to their meetings. Get involved. Work the fundraisers, recruit dues paying members and volunteers and then gain some visibility in your community. If there has been a lack of Dem candidates in your ara, I assure you a strong local party will remedy that. Here's an example;

Prior to 04 our county party was invisible and very small. After some serious membership drive efforts (aside from mailings we signed up new members at events and the primary/caucus for 04--we signed 72 new members in 6 hours that day!!!), fundraising efforts and smart marketing, we made huge electoral gains (won the city for the first time in living memory!) and established a permanent store-front office. While we still didn't win the county we made a huge mark, everyone knew we were there. Even in our little burg we turned out 1500 protesters when Bush came to town! What do you know, two years later for mid-terms we have five viable county commision candidates, a superb state house candidate and we actually have a primary for the state Senate seat! In 04 we had one county commission candidate and that was it. Incredible what a good reputation for the local party can do in regard to candidate recruitment.

So anyway, I would be glad to continue the conversation via PM with you if you would like any particulars in regard to getting things done. So glad you asked though I apologize for the verbose response. It is my passion after all.

Cheers --Julie
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Posted by JNelson6563 in General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007)
Thu Apr 27th 2006, 08:09 AM
Isn't *'s mantra for justifying tax cuts for his rich buddies something like "It's not the government's money, it's your money"? Of course there is no more money so it's now our debt.

So, Big Oil is raping everyone and making off with record profits and we, through our government, will incur more debt by giving ourselves $100 each.

Who came up with this brilliant scheme again?

Julie
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Posted by JNelson6563 in General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007)
Tue Mar 21st 2006, 07:43 AM
As I have been talking to people around the 4th Cong. Dist. in MI I have learned a great deal. The efforts of 2004 and their results (or lack of) are often mentioned. When I talk about Voter ID work I hear all about the phone banking efforts etc. that were done in '04. In fact, so many things that I am trying to get folks doing are referred to as being doen in '04. There were many hot-beds of Democratic political activity in '04. Most of the county parties in the 4th had store-front offices.

In the spirit of Jan Brady's "Marcia! Marcia! Marcia!!" I'd like to declare "'04! '04! '04!!"

I have come to the conclusion that part of our problem is that we are organized and visible for about 4 months every four years. Outside of that, good luck finding your local Dems.

IMO, the biggest shame of this is that with some effort it doesn't have to be this way. It's just always been this way so it remains so. The wretched paradigm. We could just as easily do voter ID work, grow membership, have community forums and so on outside of an election cycle. We don't need to wait for presidential races to be a visible presence in our communities. We do not need to wait for a hero to come along and run for President. We can be our own herores. As we achive visibilty and credibility, more viable candidates will step forward to run for local office. It is clear to them they will have a good support network from their capable local party so they get the boost of confidence needed to become a candidate. And, considering that the very best candidates for higher office usually start local and work their way up, this is an excellent way to cultivate future House Reps and Senators. This is the best way to not find ourselves in a situation of choosing between a neo-con or a DINO. Homegrown candiates, not corporate funded or establishment chosen and rammed down our throats.

There are so many benefits to building and maintaining a successful county party! One of the best may be that while various Districts are re-districted every ten years, counties are forever. You build up county parties into strong political machines and that's how you make yourself gerrymander-proof.

I always read these stories of big players meddling in different races across the county. This big name came in and is favoring this candidate and there is frustration that we, the little people, are powerless to do anything about it. Well if we worked to build our local county parties into powerful networks, that wouldn't be the case, would it?

Julie

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Posted by JNelson6563 in General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007)
Tue Mar 14th 2006, 11:01 AM
Had to add this to my journal, I love these pics!
Here they are with a bunch of kids:



President Gore:



Senator Spine-gold:

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JNelson6563
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Julie Nelson
Not a DU Donor
21340 posts
Member since 2002
Michigan
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