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Dr. Dean makes a house call. Democracy for Illinois briefing. [View All]

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-18-04 05:27 PM
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Dr. Dean makes a house call. Democracy for Illinois briefing.
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Howard Dean always said during the campaign that there would not be much time off....back to work. He said we have to build the base right after the election. This is one example of how the group works. This is how the grassroots grow without depending on the regular party infrastructure. Last week there were conference calls with local DFA leaders as well.

http://www.blogforamerica.com/archives/005557.html

Dr. Dean Makes a House Call
__________ is a steering committee member for Democracy For Illinois who helped to organize volunteers for the Bridging the Gap rally, coordinated September house parties, helped organize the Goose Island Chicago MeetUp, worked on Christine Cegelis' campaign and (in her own words) "probably spends too much time on the blog."

A number of us here at Democracy For Illinois had the opportunity to meet with Governor Dean and Tom McMahon this past Thursday. It was an amazing privilege. Local DFA Meetup hosts and organizers (many of whom had never met before) came from all over the state to Chicago to share their experiences and concerns with Governor Dean and to seek some guidance and encouragement.

Simply having the Governor's support after such a difficult week did wonders for our spirits. But having his attention while we got to share our ideas about DFA and DFI made us feel downright appreciated.

We had a very productive discussion... if I hadn't been so busy brainstorming, weighing ideas and taking notes, I might have had time to think, "Wild! I am in a conference with Howard Dean! This is just surreal..."

Here are some of the ideas we discussed:

A December Meetup agenda with a two-month plan of action and a DVD or Quicktime video featuring the Governor.
The resurrection of Dean Corps. Everyone agreed this was long overdue, and a great way to put our new members to work and build community.
The pros and cons of forming a State PAC so that we can become more directly involved in fundraising. State laws vary, but we learned what had worked for other groups.
The need to educate ourselves and our members about our local political systems. How do our local governments work? How are they organized? Can you get anything done in Chicago without being born into a certain family? Governor Dean says we should try.
Building "farm teams" in the Republican-leaning areas outside Chicago.
Running candidates and GOTV activities in the April municipal elections. Start local. And there are fewer tough races, and more opportunities to build name recognition.
Using referenda to promote progressive initiatives.
Holding a state-wide DFI convention.

Oh yeah, and Governor Dean still expects us all to run for office.

The Governor talked with us for about an hour, then left for another meeting while we stayed to talk with Tom about the blog, the challenges DFA faced this summer/fall and what DFA can improve. A while into this conversation, Governor Dean returned with Illinois Lt. Governor Pat Quinn, introduced him to us and used the opportunity to suggest that we look into using referenda as a tool. It was very cool. Very cool.

This was a remarkably motivating and constructive experiencenot just for those of us at DFI. This was the kind of communication that engenders trust. It's nice to feel appreciated.

On behalf of everyone who attended, I want to thank Governor Dean and Tom for taking the time to meet with us.

Democracy For Illinois

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