Saturday, October 18, 2003

Update from Burlington

I’ve now been in Burlington for 24 hours, and already I’m adopting the peculiar patterns that appear to be standard: I’ve slept less than 5 hours. I’ve worked on the blog (look for “Most recent comments” and “Most freqent commenters” coming soon), had some far-reaching discussions about “what’s next?” and been an outsider’s voice sharing my two cents with various people about what’s working and what’s not.



Some observations:




  • the motivation of the people who are here is pure. A sign hanging over Garrett Graff’s desk says that “This campaign is about: Bringing people back into the political process; Restoring our role as an idealistic moral force in the world; and building a new American community.” Everyone I’ve talked to believes this.

  • Ideas truly are coming from outside in, not the other way around. While building the “most recent comments” functionality into the homepage, I noticed this comment from “Med Student for Dean”. He (she?) was watching ESPN Game Day, and noticed that some enterprising Wisconsin for Dean supporters had strategically placed themselves around the Game Day hosts, so that every time the cameras pointed at the hosts, you saw Dean placards (and one guy even had some Dean masks!). I told the media guys (whose cube is opposite the Net Roots area) to turn to ESPN; sure enough — there were the signs. The media guys got it on TiVo, and John Pettit is working on getting a photo of the broadcast up so Joe or Matt can blog it.

  • Everyone here is in awe — seriously, in awe — of what we are doing. By we I mean the grassroots. They speak about the people leaving comments, the people planning events, the people writing letters — as if even they can’t believe how much we’re doing. (And they don’t realize that we are in awe of them. So I guess it’s fair.)



  • People just walk in — at 9am on a Saturday morning — offering to help. Two women showed up this morning from Indiana. They’re visiting friends, and they wanted to know how they could get involved. One woman, who’s retired, is planning to go to New Mexico for two weeks in the near future. The other is planning to host a house party.



Being here makes you feel like it can happen. We can shock the world.



Keep up the great work that you’re doing.

9 comments:

  1. Hey Rick that was a great post. It should be on the main blog or at least referenced and linked.
    Why cant we get a Webcam up in the Headquarters and show a few shots around the office.

    ReplyDelete
  2. As I was sitting here reading your posts about your trip, my phone rang and it was Clay from Dean for America - ironic or karmic, I am not sure. Regardless, it was to invite us to participate in a regional organizing meeting next weekend down here in So. NH. We also talked about organizing a house party for the near future. When asked what time would be good to meet to talk about that, he said "well, I work pretty much from dawn to midnight every day" and I guess that about says it all. All over my neighborhood, Dean for America signs are sprouting up. (Not a single sign for Kerry, btw.) The momentum is astounding.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for all your hard work Rick. There is still a limit to Internet organizing from my perspective (inner city Baltimore), but I recognize the potential...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Rick,
    I am American citizen living in Montreal, Canada. I always vote in every election, and 2004 will not be an exception. I consider it a national emergency to get Bush, et al, out of office and I firmly believe Howard Dean is the man to do it.

    I publish an online Journal of Jewish culture, and I will be using that forum to encourage my thousands of subscribers and readers to support Dr. Dean as well. If you can think of anything else I can do for the cause here in Montreal, please do not hesitate to ask.

    Warmest and best wishes,
    Michael D. Fein
    Editor-the Gantseh Megillah

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sam in Raleigh, NCOctober 20, 2003 at 3:12 AM

    Hey Rick,

    Is DFA going to offer you the CIO job or something? What's up with all the recent trips to Burlington?

    Live well,

    Sam

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sam -

    Well, if the offer comes through I'll use you as a reference. :) Seriously, though, no -- I'm definitely a volunteer and I'm definitely staying in Illinois for the time being. But I couldn't pass up a chance to see things from the inside, and when Bobby and Mathew called to ask me to spend some time with them, I couldn't turn them down.

    I'm glad I made the trip (some more observations are coming soon) - it was an incredible opportunity and one I'm glad I made.

    --Rick

    ReplyDelete
  7. My weekend in Burlington, VT

    How often do you get a phone call asking you to spend a weekend at the headquarters of a U.S. Presidential candidate? If you’re like me, it’s not exactly a daily occurrence. So when the Dean campaign called a month...

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  8. Knowing how to find the people you need

    How often do you get a phone call asking you to spend a weekend at the headquarters of a U.S. Presidential candidate? If you’re like me, it’s not exactly a daily occurrence. So when the Dean campaign called a month...

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  9. One year ago today: Run, Howard, Run

    What a year it’s been. I first contacted the Dean campaign in August, 2002 (shortly after writing this post). I swapped e-mails periodically (I still have the e-mail correspondence from September 1 when I was telling them they needed a...

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