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Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:01 AM

You guys know me...

Do you think I have what it takes to be District 19 party chair? Kay doesn't have any other volunteers and wants me to do it. I'm a keyboard warrior, not an out-front person, so the thought of being in some kind of "leadership" position scares the crap out of me. Do you think I can do it? Be honest.

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Arrow 57 replies Author Time Post
Reply You guys know me... (Original post)
Blue_In_AK Feb 2013 OP
Permanut Feb 2013 #1
Lionessa Feb 2013 #2
Blue_In_AK Feb 2013 #10
glowing Feb 2013 #20
Blue_In_AK Feb 2013 #21
pangaia Feb 2013 #46
Ken Burch Feb 2013 #53
haikugal Feb 2013 #3
JEB Feb 2013 #4
OffWithTheirHeads Feb 2013 #5
alittlelark Feb 2013 #6
patrice Feb 2013 #7
Arctic Dave Feb 2013 #8
Arctic Dave Feb 2013 #9
Blue_In_AK Feb 2013 #12
tavalon Feb 2013 #32
Arctic Dave Feb 2013 #35
Downwinder Feb 2013 #11
Blue_In_AK Feb 2013 #13
Downwinder Feb 2013 #14
tblue37 Feb 2013 #29
daleanime Feb 2013 #15
ellisonz Feb 2013 #16
madfloridian Feb 2013 #17
Blue_In_AK Feb 2013 #19
elleng Feb 2013 #37
tavalon Feb 2013 #31
sigmasix Feb 2013 #18
Sherman A1 Feb 2013 #22
Blue_In_AK Feb 2013 #24
Sherman A1 Feb 2013 #26
JDPriestly Feb 2013 #23
Blue_In_AK Feb 2013 #25
tblue37 Feb 2013 #28
JDPriestly Feb 2013 #38
tblue37 Feb 2013 #27
JDPriestly Feb 2013 #39
Blue_In_AK Feb 2013 #40
tavalon Feb 2013 #30
Live and Learn Feb 2013 #33
Jim Lane Feb 2013 #34
Blue_In_AK Feb 2013 #36
annabanana Feb 2013 #41
Blue_In_AK Feb 2013 #42
flamin lib Feb 2013 #43
Octafish Feb 2013 #44
Blue_In_AK Feb 2013 #45
Mira Feb 2013 #47
Steerpike Feb 2013 #48
boomerbust Feb 2013 #49
MissMarple Feb 2013 #50
Solly Mack Feb 2013 #51
Ken Burch Feb 2013 #52
Blue_In_AK Feb 2013 #54
Ken Burch Feb 2013 #55
Blue_In_AK Feb 2013 #56
Ken Burch Feb 2013 #57

Response to Blue_In_AK (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:04 AM

1. You have valuable knowledge of the issues and the players..

and a mind in fairly good working order. That's all you need; go for it.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:06 AM

2. Curiously do you really expect anyone will say no and risk hurting your feelers?

 

Just sayin', it's not likely that anyone is going to tell you that you don't have what it takes are they really? And if they do, how would you respond?

Well let's try. I've read you here and in other forums, and no, I don't think you have what it takes. Perhaps Alaska is different, but unless it is, I'd say no.

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Response to Lionessa (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:53 AM

10. No, my feelings aren't hurt. I'm interested in opinions or I wouldn't have asked.

What do you mean by "Perhaps Alaska is different?" Different from what? And what have you read by me that would lead you to believe that I'm not qualified? We're not talking about national politics here, just our little state district 19, which is one little part of Anchorage that elects one of the 40 statewide House representatives. I am a super voter and have been voting in this district since 1990. I can't remember the last time I missed an election, and that includes referendums and city elections.

You could be right, but your response was kind of nonspecific.

I have a bachelor's degree in psychology with minors in sociology and English. I worked in the legal profession here as a paralegal for 25 years and then self-employed as a court transcriptionist for another 10. I am now retired. I've worked as a volunteer on several campaigns, assistant treasurer on one and am familiar with Alaska's campaign laws and statutes. I consider myself educated on the issues important to the state as I've lived here since 1975 and have been paying attention. Maybe I'm a bit outspoken but I don't see that as a negative.

Anyway, I'll take your input under advisement. I am still undecided, but there don't seem to be too many volunteers for the job, and I kind of feel like when the executive director of the Alaska Democratic Party requests help, I should seriously consider giving it.





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Response to Blue_In_AK (Reply #10)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 03:34 AM

20. Sounds like you just listed your qualifications for your website. Make sure to buy up your domain

name. I can't see why you wouldn't go for it. Sounds like you are more than qualified, seriously, if the people let Palin in the Gov mansion, you really question whether you are qualified?

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Response to glowing (Reply #20)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 03:57 AM

21. Good point.

Our problem here is voter apathy. I just know -- judging from newspaper articles and comments, letters to the editor, conversations with people -- I just know that the majority of Alaskans aren't as rapacious, grasping and insanely far right as so many of the people who have been elected to office. But when people don't vote, the hypermotivated wackos on the right come out in force and get their people elected, and then everybody's pissed off at the stuff they do down in Juneau. And we can't even get to them to complain to their faces because you can't drive there and it costs too much to fly.

Democrats have been the underdogs here for quite a while, since we were taken over by the Big Oil interests and the Texas and Oklahoma transplants, bringing their Texas and Oklahoma ways. People forget that before the Pipeline, Alaska was a strong Democratic state founded on progressive ideals. The truth is, though, that the large majority of the electorate here are undeclared or nonpartisan, so it's not like the Republicans are some almighty force. The Democrats are just browbeaten. It's hard to fight the resource industries when they control your government. They're determined to extract everything they conceivably can out of this most magnificent, pristine state, and our governor and his henchmen are happy to help them along. It's very sad.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Reply #10)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 07:46 PM

46. After reading that I think

you should run for the U S Senate !!!

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Response to Lionessa (Reply #2)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 04:04 PM

53. If you feel that way, it would be helpful if you were to say why.

Criticism is fine, but it has to be grounded in something factual.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:08 AM

3. Go for it Blue...

you may surprise yourself! It's often the challenge we're unsure of that provides us with growth. I think you have what it takes and so does Kay! Please keep us apprised of your progress and experiences.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:09 AM

4. From what I've read

of your posts here, I judge you to be the kind of thoughtful and principled person that deserves a leadership position. Stick to your guns, be yourself and you'll be an asset.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:13 AM

5. Are you fucking kidding? Go for it!

If you need some help with the public speaking thing do some Dale Carnige or toastmasters. Really! You will not leave either of these programs as the same person who started and I cannot recommend Dale carnige enough but you have what we all need which is a good mind and empathy! Do it!

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:16 AM

6. Do It....

Do It.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:25 AM

7. Being a keyboard warrior gives one a wide perception of people & issues.

You could network with others to find a good "out-front person" who will help you organize for the love of it. You'd have to be careful, of course, to get a good fit with that person. I hope you can find someone youngish, maybe Democracy for America could make a few suggestions in your area.

Sharing power & responsibility helps motivate people. I just communicated a critique to some people in our state party on that matter, but then I'm a Deanocrat, I always admired their much more collaborative model and their constant emphasis upon activism amongst the grassroots party members, not just fund-raising and socializing.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:37 AM

8. I do know you and yes you have what it takes.

 

Do you know who else is in your district?

Call Jodie and she can help you out. I will text her tomorrow and you can talk.

She set up our district.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:42 AM

9. Jodie will be in touch with you tomorrow.

 

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Response to Arctic Dave (Reply #9)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:04 AM

12. Thanks, Dave.

That would be really helpful. Kay sounds kind of desperate for someone to take the job, and I guess she must have been sufficiently impressed by me at our Recall Lindsey meetings to ask if I'd do it. Actually, it was Linda Kellen-Biegel that first discussed it with me.

People that I know in this district are Matt Claman, Colleen Murphy, Shannyn and Kelly (although they're independents), Wigi Tozzi, Bob and Peggy Auth. More, of course, but those are the ones that come to mind right offhand. I'm sure with the recall going forward I'll be talking to a lot more people. I spent some time at APOC a couple days ago with Wigi learning about the recall process.

It just makes me kind of nervous, but we have so much s**t going down here these days, I just feel like we all need to get involved as much as we can to try to put the brakes on the destruction of our state.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Reply #12)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 05:19 AM

32. I think the answer to your question is buried in this post

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Reply #12)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 11:05 AM

35. You have a lot of good people in your district.

 

Jodie will be able to walk you through it and alliviate some of the stress.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:01 AM

11. How are your organizational skills?

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Response to Downwinder (Reply #11)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:05 AM

13. I'm a master.

.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Reply #13)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:11 AM

14. Then do it!!

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Reply #13)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 04:55 AM

29. Then you are a treasure and your party needs you! nt

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:30 AM

15. Just the fact that your worried about it.....

tells me that your the right person for the job.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:38 AM

16. What do you have to lose?

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:50 AM

17. You would be great.

You tend to be a listener and activist. But you come across as listening to both sides. Now I could not do it because of the way our Democrats are locally. Once I thought I could, but now I am too opinionated. The last 8 years have done that to me.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #17)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 03:06 AM

19. There are some pretty outspoken Democrats in this district.

We're one of the few solidly Democratic districts in the state. This district went 52% for Obama compared to about 41% statewide. I think that's why so many of us are seriously upset that our recently re- elected state representative defected to the Republican Party last month before she was even sworn in. Thus the recall efforts and my newfound real-life activism. I mean, I've always been up for a good demonstration, carrying signs, picketing and stuff but just never got into the nuts and bolts of party operations.

It would be fun to go to the state convention, though.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Reply #19)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:53 PM

37. Perfect reason for you to do it, Blue,

and if I were there, I'd be on your staff (unpaid, of course!)

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #17)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 05:17 AM

31. madfloridian,

you are one of my favorite posters and so, I feel I must correct two of your misconceptions. The first and most important is that you are not opinionated, but rather a person with strong opinions. The second is that I don't think this has been your way for just eight years. You don't suffer fools gladly and I doubt you ever did.

Personally, as I am a person with both of those qualities, and I see them as good things.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:52 AM

18. newer DUer says "yes"

I've only been here a few months,but have read yourOPs and responses- you seem knowledgable, honest and honorable- unless you have a public speaking phobia, you should go for it.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 03:59 AM

22. Go for it

you never know until you try.

I was once on the local Park Board at the request of a few folks here. I spent some time developing programing ideas for the Parks, submitted them and then when it got just to be too much of a turf battle over petty things resigned from it, but it was worth giving it a try.

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Response to Sherman A1 (Reply #22)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 04:12 AM

24. I don't like turf battles either.

I assumed I was done with office politics forever when I left my last "real" job in 2001, so if things become petty, I will find a way to leave -- diplomatically, of course.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Reply #24)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 04:25 AM

26. When I left

it was barely diplomatically, however I accomplished most of what I intended in 2 meetings.

The Park Board was designed to advise the City Council on the Parks. Our Chair was a rather nice, but more concerned with her position and the very, very minor trappings of office type. When I submitted my multi page list of ideas along with the means to implement them (one an after school game program that I could do for Free, already had the pieces in place, just needed a function room & a schedule Another was a photo contest for the city which we could have involved a local nature photography group to whom I belonged at the time).

She liked, it the Parks Director didn't and after my being called to visit with the Mayor one afternoon, she thought I was trying to take her lofty position, so I got out.

It was interesting, but I wasn't going to waste my time fighting for something the powers that be were not going to allow. The Board was simply decoration at it's best and under her, not even that.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 04:01 AM

23. Yes. You can do it.

Just think about the other people, their needs, and don't worry about what they think about you. Then you will be great.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #23)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 04:14 AM

25. Thank you, that's good advice.

Will you accept a virtual heart from me? I could only afford a few and couldn't stretch them out to everyone I thought of. You were one.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Reply #25)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 04:54 AM

28. you gave one of them to me, and I thank you! nt

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Reply #25)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 04:17 PM

38. Thanks so much. You are very kind. Good luck.

I am active in my local Democratic organizations. It's fun. You make REAL friends. Enjoy.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 04:53 AM

27. The good guys have to step up if we are ever to wrest

Last edited Mon Feb 11, 2013, 10:48 PM - Edit history (1)

control of ouur country from the stranglehold the bad guys have on it. One reason Republicans get so much power despite the fact that their adherents are not all that numerous is that they cede nothing. Dems tend to focus on just casting their vote in a presidential election year, but since we are, as a rule, not power hungry, we generally just want to live our own lives undisturbed but in a reasonably "enlightened" social milieu.

But local and state elections are the pipeline that puts leaders into positions that not only directly affect citizens' lives but also prepare them for national leadership roles and win them the name recognition that is often the only thing that influences a low-information voter's choice.

We also need knowledgeable people of good will to operate behind the scenes to make it possible for our candidates to win such local and state as well as national elections. Howard Dean seems to be the only Democratic leader of national stature to recognize how essential it is to organize at the local and state level in all 50 states.

I believe that you definitely should take the position if doing so would not be too much of a burden or interfere too much in your own life. It would be a sacrifice, obviously, but if you are willing to contribute your time, effort, and intelligence to the Democratic Party''s attempt to fight back the Republicans' relentless efforts to sell our government to the highest bidder, then the party would be lucky to have you.

A leader is made as often as one is "born." The experience will shape you into the leader you have the potential to be. All you need is the commitment, wisdom, and decency you already have. Besides, you will have others in your district party to turn to for advice and assistance, and many of those folks will have the experience you don't yet have.

I say go for it. You will be great!

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Response to tblue37 (Reply #27)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 04:18 PM

39. I wish you would post that as an OP.

You might not get many responses, but it is so important for people as well informed and interested in current affairs as DUers to be active in their communities if they possibly can.

I might add that now is the time to get active. It is important to be active between elections, to get out and register voters, etc. early. Do the groundwork early and then we will be ready for the midterms.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #39)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 06:23 PM

40. I agree, JDP

There really is no time for apathy. We have so many very important issues coming up here in Anchorage at city and state level that I'm almost dizzy trying to keep up with them all. The ALEC agenda is being pushed with renewed ferocity. It's terrifying, really. Our mayor is all-out trying to kill the public unions, the House just passed a bill relaxing cruise ship waste dumping standards, the governor is pushing a bill that would give Big Oil a $2 billion a year tax break while at the same time cutting Medicaid and education funding. A bill was just introduced today redefining medically necessary abortion and disallowing abortions in the cases of rape and incest unless charges are brought (this despite the fact that abortion has been legal here since 1970). Oh, they're also trying to divert public funds to private schools which is expressly forbidden in our state constitution.

Not to mention the gun nuts who have proposed a bill that would charge any federal official trying to enforce Obama's executive orders with a FELONY, nullification, the whole nine.

These people are in power because sane people didn't vote. It's really disturbing to me.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 05:09 AM

30. I only know you here

Make sure Kay isn't just asking because there is no one else. Being a leader sometimes comes naturally but it can also be learned. Really, only you and your heart can answer this question. You absolutely have the knowledge, but only you can say if you have or can learn the other things you need to be an effective leader. And, most important of all, leaders who don't start out scared aren't usually very good leaders, IMO.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 06:52 AM

33. The fact that you are scared of it means that

you realize the importance of being in a leadership position and will take it seriously. You are perfect for the job!

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 10:24 AM

34. From my experience in leadership positions in volunteer organizations....

I've never been a party chair but I've spent a lot of time in other organizations. Points to consider:

1) You'll probably spend a lot of time listening to some of the people gripe about some of the others. Much of this time will be spent listening to a rehash of the same gripe you patiently sat through last month... and the month before that. Also, some of these gripes will be pointless recriminations, about what should have been done (now that it's too late to do it that way), who's at fault, and, for that matter, who did what dastardly thing to whom five years ago.

In some organizations, especially those that attract opinionated people, being the "leader" is like being the only fire hydrant on a block with 50 dogs.

2) Just because you're the leader, don't expect a whole lot of deference. You may come to feel, even if only subconsciously, that because you're putting in so much time and effort for the good of the organization, people should do things they way you want. They won't, at least not always.

3) Don't be the volunteer of last resort. "Task X ought to be done, no one has volunteered to do it, Blue is the chair, therefore it's her responsibility" -- this is BAD. Your only obligation is to make reasonable efforts to find someone to do it. If you can't, then it doesn't get done. Otherwise you'll burn yourself out.

If you believe in the goals of the organization, taking on a leadership role can give you a chance to do a lot to further those goals. It can also be a royal PITA. If you're prepared to deal with the personal costs -- the time commitment, the abuse, the other PITA parts -- then do it. And good luck!

ETA: I see your concern in the OP is "Will Blue as party chair be good for District 19." I was confident that it would be; my question was "Will Blue as party chair be good for Blue?" Pardon me if I sounded too negative, but if you take the position, you should do so with eyes wide open.

I also forgot one very important item in the list:

4) Never expect gratitude.

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Response to Jim Lane (Reply #34)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:29 PM

36. Excellent advice.

What works in my favor is that we do have some good enthusiastic people in this district, as Arctic Dave noted above, and since I'm a newbie to all this, I think they'll be willing to assist. I would really hate to even attempt it if I were in a strongly conservative area.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 06:50 PM

41. From what I've read, You know your stuff.. and if you speak

half as well as you write, you should be just fine.

Of course, any questions you can run by us anytime!

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Response to annabanana (Reply #41)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 07:01 PM

42. Thanks, Anna

Actually, I've always been much more comfortable writing than speaking, but I'm getting so pissed off about everything, I'll probably find a way to make the words come out of my mouth instead of my fingers .

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 07:02 PM

43. Having been there and done that let me suggest that you email, phone and otherwise harass

everybody in the food chain for help. Learn to use the voter database and call everybody that voted in the last two primaries. Don't ask for help, assume it.

You will need phone vols, block walkers and a core of close friends to make it work. Do it right and it's easy and will spread like a mold (sorry, virus is too much to ask).

Ask for help by telling them what you need, define the action you want before you ask for volunteer help.

It can be fun and you'll make new friends you never knew were out there!

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 10:52 PM

44. Integrity. Brains. Can-Do Attitude. Backbone. Connections. Vision.

In other words, you are a Democrat, Blue_In_AK. What's not to love?

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Response to Octafish (Reply #44)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 11:16 PM

45. Aw, thank you, Octafish.

Your support really means a lot to me.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 08:16 PM

47. What makes me fully say yes is the fact

that you are asking.
(of course the answer from me is "yes" to you being capable and full of sufficient personal power to do it)

but the bottom line is that you want to do it and just need a nudge.
GO.
WE all WIN if you do.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 11:45 PM

48. Of Course you can!

Hard work, dedication and planning...Remember there are lot OF GENIUSES right now in seats of power completely fucking up the world! What we need is good hearted people like you...don't shy away jump right in!

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 07:00 AM

49. You Betcha

You can do it Ms. Blue

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 02:23 PM

50. What flamin lib said. And use your precinct chairs.

Also potluck district picnics are a good way to reach out. Very non threatening. Good luck! I think you will have fun. Just don't take anything too seriously or too personally. Working with people can be messy...but rewarding, too. Even difficult people have strengths that are useful.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 10:45 PM

51. I think you can do it.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 04:03 PM

52. You can do it. The district needs you.

Throw whatever you've got on your head into the ring.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #52)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 07:46 PM

54. Well, it's a done deal.

I'm in. I went to the anchorage legislative caucus meeting this morning so we could kick off our recall Lindsey movement with a lot of people around. We got a lot of support, signatures, money. Lindsey didn't even show...someone texted her and she said she'd been fighting a cold all week and didn't want to risk flying. I'm not buying it. She wasn't the only R who didn't show, but I think all the Anchorage Democrats were present. The Assembly Chamber was packed. People up here are really not happy with what's going on down there in Juneau. Sure wish we had the means to demonstrate...it sucks that it's so hard to get to the Capitol.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Reply #54)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 08:43 PM

55. Congratulations.

There are Dems here who could work with you on demonstrations(although the Capital area seems to have been designed to be difficult to demonstrate IN...some people who are willing to do actual civil disobedience might be needed(perhaps we need a Code Gold and Blue).

The keys to shifting anything politically, though, will lie in getting candidate recruitment started A.S.A.P. and in training people in low-cost campaign techniques, including social media.

We can't out-money them, but we can out-cyber and plain old out-hustle them.

The other big factor will be in finding some way to overcome the great divide between enviros and workers with "brown" jobs...we need, in my view, something like an Alaska People's Forum or Social Forum to generate ideas for a new economy up here that gets us out of having to poison ourselves just to feed our kids.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #55)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 09:19 PM

56. I totally agree.

Our D party has been so lethargic (Stockholm Syndrome?), I think it's time to start livening things up. The R's are destroying our heritage.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Reply #56)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 09:22 PM

57. I think we could use Wally Hickel's old question "Who Owns Alaska?" to our advantage

We can turn it into "The People Should Own Alaska"-and, perhaps, even push for state ownership and control of oil production(with the wells under, ultimately, the democratic management of the workers). It's an ambituous objective, but this is a state where people respond to big ideas, ideas that can be easily explained, and ideas that make them feel connected and involved with what's happening.

We could also push for using oil revenues(as has never been done so far, to my knowledge)to underwrite the creation of a sustainable economy for the state...an economy that wasn't tied to boom and bust or to the expendable and finite.

It's a time to dream big...because that's the only way to wake this party and this state up.

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