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DoveTurnedHawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 07:24 PM
Original message
I Participated in a "Coup" on the State Dem Party, and It Felt Great!
This past Sunday, all across California, Democrats selected delegates to the state Central Committee as well as district chairs, vice chairs and representatives to the powerful state Democratic party Executive Board.

Democracy for America and grassroots members and organizations who supported John Kerry for President got together and assembled slates of activists to run for many of these positions against the entrenched folks who've been running things for years. I'm sure many of those folks are great people, I (and I believe many others) just happen to believe it's time for a change in outlook.

After encouraging folks to come out (during an INCREDIBLY rainy day in Southern California), register, pay their $15 and vote, I'm proud to report that in Southern California alone, over *60* of our slate members won election. Districts all across the southland reported record turnout, and I overheard one person who'd been coming to these caucuses for decades say wonderingly, "I've never SEEN so many people here, who ARE all of these people?"

Our district elected five of six men and five of six women delegates from the DFA/grassroots slate (we only ran five and five), and we installed the head of the Kerry SoCal grassroots as the Exec Board rep and the former head of LA for Dean as the district vice-chair.

We did it, and you can do it too. Reform begins at home. LET'S GO DEMOCRATS!

:bounce:

DTH
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NoPasaran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 07:30 PM
Response to Original message
1. Who are those guys?
A question certain to be asked over and over by entrenched party hacks as the grassroots take over and renew our party. Woot!

:bounce:
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mandyky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 09:44 PM
Response to Reply #1
19. That question always make me chuckle
All I can think of when I hear it is Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid when the Pinkertons keep following them.
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Califooyah Operative Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 09:44 PM
Response to Reply #1
20. hehe, my favorate quote too. nt
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ConservativeDemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 07:44 PM
Response to Reply #1
38. A much more important question: will they keep SHOWING UP?
There's a common thread to the nature of people you call "entrenched party hacks". You even name it in your pejorative comments - these are people who stay with the Democratic Party, thick and thin.

The energy of the DFA is wonderful, and will, no doubt, add fresh ideas and fresh momentum to Democratic party activism. But those of us who've been around the block a few times tend to notice that many people simply don't have much staying power. They get excited, come for a few meetings, maybe even get themselves elected to a position of responsibility, and then as the months go by, realize that activism chiefly entails doing long volunteer hours rather than being a secret power-broker. At that point, they disappear - often even from relatively important state positions. And many of the same old people end up right back where they were simply because they always show up.

I'm hoping we'll be able to keep quite a few DFAers for more than a few months. But based on Democrat bashing I also see, it's plainly obvious that many DFAers are also flat out too immature to last long.

- C.D. Proud Member of the Reality Based Community
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fnottr Donating Member (365 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 10:49 PM
Response to Reply #38
41. Ironically
I think 4 more years of Bush will help us in this regard. I have no doubt that Bushco will keep our outrage meter pegged for the next 4 years, which hopefully will keep this activism alive.
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wellstone dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 07:33 PM
Response to Original message
2. That is great
news. Terrific work.
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imenja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 07:35 PM
Response to Original message
3. that's great, your process is far more open than Florida's
Here party reps run only once every four years, right after the presidential election. You have to be an elected member to vote or even speak: $15 won't do it. You also must have been an elected member as of the summer of 2004 to vote in the Jan. 2005 election, that was only grudgingly announced at the end of the Dec. meeting by the Chair when she was pressed on it.
I submitted my application last week. When I applied in Nov. I was told no applications were being accepted until Jan. Now I must wait four more years to vote on representatives at the COUNTY level. There they choose members to vote at the state level.
Some Democracy, huh?
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DoveTurnedHawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 09:20 PM
Response to Reply #3
14. That Sucks
I hate devices used to limit participation. We're supposed to be the party of inclusion, or encouraging everyone to vote. That is BS.

DTH
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ConservativeDemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 07:54 PM
Response to Reply #14
39. Rules like that are meant to encourage long term participation
The Democratic party needs people who make long term commitments to Democratic activism - not show up once a year for a reorg election and otherwise blow the party off. These rules encourage that.

And it's fair too: people who do the work get more say. It's that simple.

- C.D. Proud Member of the Reality Based Community

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DoveTurnedHawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-13-05 10:36 AM
Response to Reply #39
42. They Also Discourage New Activists and Maintain a Concentration of Power
And I'm just not interested in that. If people can rally and organize enough new folks to take the election, I think that's a pretty good sign they're going to be motivated and organized enough to stay pretty active. We all worked our asses off during the campaign, and no one should have a monopoly on party input.

DTH
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ConservativeDemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-13-05 12:00 PM
Response to Reply #42
51. If you're right, then they will. If you're wrong, they wont.
If people can rally and organize enough new folks to take the election, I think that's a pretty good sign they're going to be motivated and organized enough to stay pretty active.
In general, that hasn't been my experience. More typically, people get very excited and then fade away. However, the good news is that if you're right, Deaners will gain control of a large chunk of the party hierarchy over the next few years. And if you aren't, they won't.

And the system will encourage and reward them if they do - which is exactly how it should be.

- C.D. Proud Member of the Reality Based Community

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cally Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-13-05 11:46 AM
Response to Reply #3
48. Can you get enough to attend to change the by-laws?
That's what happened in my town. Our by-laws required that you pay $48 (I'm very jealous of the $15 in So Cal) by December 31 of 2004. About 80 folks showed up who hadn't paid. An amendment was passed that we could pay that day and still vote or request a hardship exemption. With enough pressure, you could probably change your rules.
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imenja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-13-05 12:10 PM
Response to Reply #48
53. Apparently the rules are set by the state party
but it is definitely worth looking into.
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cally Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-13-05 12:36 PM
Response to Reply #53
55. In CA, the rules are set by the state party but
locals found a way to include everyone. Maybe you will be able to, also.
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msongs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 07:43 PM
Response to Original message
4. I expect to hear similar results from the Riverside area this week...
at least that is the hope...although we have some hard core democrat dinosaurs who might not want to go extinct...

Msongs
www.msongs.com/howarddean2008.htm
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Gman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 07:48 PM
Response to Original message
5. But will these people be there 5 years from now
The old timers you replaced will be. The old timers will be there to take it back two years from now.
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DoveTurnedHawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 07:51 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. The Funny Thing About Empowerment
Edited on Tue Jan-11-05 07:51 PM by DoveTurnedHawk
Once you take it, you tend to want to keep it. It's both good and bad. Good, because it will keep people involved. Bad, because the new blood will run the risk of becoming the entrenched insiders we helped replace.

It's our job to try to keep an eye on the latter type of behavior. For now, however, we're pretty excited.

DTH
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3days Donating Member (463 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 07:50 PM
Response to Original message
6. Great Job!!!!! N/T
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housewolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 07:55 PM
Response to Original message
8. Congratulations! Excellent work!
Maybe you could outline how you did it so that other groups could model your process?
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DoveTurnedHawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 09:21 PM
Response to Reply #8
15. Sure
I need to jet, though, so maybe later tonight if I get home early enough.

DTH
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DoveTurnedHawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 12:17 PM
Response to Reply #15
25. Here's What I Know
I wasn't in on the delegate selection process that Cally describes below (I was traveling on business for much of December), so I don't know how that worked. I do know that the slate that emerged was not all DFA folks, at least not in my district. There were several who were stalwart Kerry SoCal folks, including the leader for the entire org, who was elected not only as a delegate, but also to the executive committee. My understanding is that there were high-level discussions between the DFA folks in SoCal and the Kerry SoCal folks, which led to an understanding and alliance. I don't know how it worked in Northern California, where Cally is from.

Once the slates were selected (and this was done pretty democratically, there were open slots in most districts where other volunteers were solicited to run), that info was sent out to the respective mailing lists along with the times and locations of the caucuses.

On caucus day, there was a ton of lit being disseminated promoting the "New Grassroots Slate" and people were wearing stickers everywhere. Everyone who ran on the slate in our district won.

That's how it happened here, anyway.

DTH
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Downtown Hound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 07:59 PM
Response to Original message
9. Whoo Hoo!
I love hearing stories like this. This is why I haven't gone Green yet. I believe we need to remake the Democratic Party, not abandon it. Stories like this just make my day! Thank you for your work.
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jaysunb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 08:13 PM
Response to Original message
10. Congrats D. !
Edited on Tue Jan-11-05 08:15 PM by jaysunb
As you probably know by now, we ( DFA/Kerry )took all positions and offices over here in Pasadena. we are estimating that nearly 60% of all new delagates and officers through the state are from one of the progressive groups.

In the words of Sam Cooke " A change gonna come"

:toast:
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DoveTurnedHawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 12:18 PM
Response to Reply #10
26. Hey J!
That is so awesome! Good to hear from you, we should get drinks, it's been too long and I've missed you.

:toast:

DTH
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jaysunb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 10:36 PM
Response to Reply #26
40. Ditto
Are you going to the "listening forum " this Sat? 15 DNC members are aleady signed on to be there. If you need info PM me. Maybe we can lift one afterwards.
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DoveTurnedHawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-13-05 10:37 AM
Response to Reply #40
43. I'm Actually in Nashville This Weekend
But while I'm there, I'm actually going to try to make Kef's memorial service.

:cry:

DTH
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Maat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-13-05 11:59 AM
Response to Reply #43
50. Hey, DoveTurnedHawk ...
It's Ma'at, the Goddess of Justice (formerly LawStudentMom). We met at the SoCal meetup June 2004 (I was with my hubby and daughter). Glad to see you are really going to town! I'm getting very involved in my local DFA. Am taking the Feb. 2005 CalBar (I'll take it until I pass).

Congrats on the victories!

And, we will be around in the future. I guarantee I will be steady as a rock.

I regret not being able to go to Khephra's service. Thanks for representing us, DoveTurnedHawk!
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cally Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 08:43 PM
Response to Original message
11. I had a very different experience
I posted about it here:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

I don't like the slate politics. The division in the room on Saturday was palpable. Many of us just want to build a grassroots organization but my local DFA seems to want to continue the primary fights. I wasn't personally involved in any of the local primary fights but I'm not trusted because I wasn't a Dean supporter during the primaries.
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DoveTurnedHawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 12:20 PM
Response to Reply #11
27. That's Really Unfortunate
I'm sure there are differences by region, but it sucks that that happened to you. The Bay Area is typically more stridently liberal and more ideological than SoCal, from the perspective of someone who's lived for a long time in both places, maybe that is driving the greater sense of division and partisanship there? I don't know.

Aside from that, how are you doing? :-)

DTH
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cally Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 07:11 PM
Response to Reply #27
34. I'm doing well
I hope you are also. The Dem meeting actually went well. I was proud who the Dems chose to represent us. We had some amazing candidates and picked ones that I can support. We all have healing to do in our local politics.
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DoveTurnedHawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-13-05 10:39 AM
Response to Reply #34
45. That's Great!
I'm glad something good came out of it. I've always thought you have just the best attitude, Sue. :-)

:thumbsup:

:yourock:

Family doing well? Any more trials and tribs with the 15yo (I guess now 16yo)? :D

DTH
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cally Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-13-05 11:50 AM
Response to Reply #45
49. Thanks...
I'll send a PM on the family question.
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KingoftheJungle Donating Member (355 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 08:50 PM
Response to Original message
12. I live here and I had no idea what was going on
But I'm overjoyed to hear about a rousing success story! Now I don't have to feel guilty for missing out on the action.
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ChiciB1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 08:52 PM
Response to Original message
13. CONGRATULATIONS!!!
I Live in Florida... We're so SCREWED!!!
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DFLforever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 11:15 PM
Response to Reply #13
22. Things are progressing a few places in Florida
I remember madfloridian reporting that 4 of the 7 exec positions in her county were captured by Deaniacs.

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jarab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 09:31 PM
Response to Original message
16. Great work !!
kick!!
...O...
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DoveTurnedHawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 12:23 PM
Response to Reply #16
28. Thanks Orville!
We were all very excited. There was an energy in the room that I picked up on immediately.

DTH
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Leilani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 09:39 PM
Response to Original message
17. Wonderful news!
Congragulations on your success!

The Grassroots will take the party back.
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DoveTurnedHawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #17
29. Thanks!
As a fellow Clarkie, I will say that I love DFA (I'm even a donating member), and I think the stuff they're helping move forward is fantastic.

DTH
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Eloriel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 07:18 PM
Response to Reply #29
36. Wonderful words to hear from you
Once upon a time I couldn't have said anything like that -- because you wouldn't have said anything like that. :evilgrin:

I'm glad for your wonderful successes in CA. Very energizing and uplifting to read about, and I'm enjoying your enthusiasm.
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DoveTurnedHawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-13-05 10:40 AM
Response to Reply #36
46. Thanks E!
It's a great thing to be a part of, that's for sure!

DTH
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 09:41 PM
Response to Original message
18. Well, cool!
----------------------------------------------------------
Save our country one town, county, and state at a time!
http://timeforachange.bluelemur.com/electionreform.htm#...
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WillyT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 10:02 PM
Response to Original message
21. That's The Way Ta Do It !!! - Yee, Haaaaaaaa....
:bounce: :kick: :bounce:

:hi:
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janx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 11:21 PM
Response to Original message
23. Way to go, DTH!
This is the way it's supposed to work!

I'll bet Capn Sunshine's pretty happy about this too.
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ClarkUSA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 11:24 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. Great news. Now to do it in every state!
Grassroots activists need to do just this everywhere. It's not enough to complain.
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DoveTurnedHawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #23
30. Ooh, I Have to Talk to Him
Edited on Wed Jan-12-05 12:24 PM by DoveTurnedHawk
It's been a little while, but I'm sure he's excited, too! Thanks for the well wishes!

DTH
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Capn Sunshine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 06:05 PM
Response to Reply #30
31. Yeah, I'm excited
we accomplished what we set uot to do.
at least in So Cal and the Coastal areas up north.

:hi:DTH
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Cheswick2.0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 06:21 PM
Response to Original message
32. Fantastic
That's the way to do it.
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Liberty Belle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 06:27 PM
Response to Original message
33. I'm a delegate and Secretary of our AD 77th committee.
Edited on Wed Jan-12-05 06:31 PM by Liberty Belle
I'm one of those 60 DFA members who just got elected.

I flexed my newfound political muscle for the first time in a letter to an elected representative (State Senator Bowen, a Democrat who wants to run for Secretary of State in California).

To my amazement, I actually got back a personalized reply! First time I've gotten anything other than a form letter from any politician lately. I was told to expect this sort of thing, but was still amazed.

It is so inspiring to know that so many others have jumped into the political fray. Together, we can move mountains.

Note to all CA delegates: Please press your leaders to let San Diego have seats on the DNC. We are the 6th biggest city and 6th biggest county in the entire US, but we don't have any representation at the national level. LA and SF have a lot of seats, by contrast. Our San Diego Democratic Central Committee is very progressive, with some great ideas that aren't being heard.

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Capn Sunshine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 07:22 PM
Response to Reply #33
37. I'm all for that.
Especially I'm in awe of the write in campaign you guys ran for Frye.
SD DFA is really strong , I met some great people there this summer at the SoCal Council Meetings.

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jaysunb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-13-05 01:21 PM
Response to Reply #33
56. Congrats LB
Edited on Thu Jan-13-05 01:21 PM by jaysunb
Looking forward to seeing you , Charlie, Chloe and the rest of the gang at the convention !! :toast:
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David Zephyr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 07:16 PM
Response to Original message
35. Congrats, DTH.
I was a district chair and voting member at the state convention here in California throughout the 1990's. Congratulations. Were you elected also?
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DoveTurnedHawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-13-05 10:41 AM
Response to Reply #35
47. I Was in Europe When They Selected Delegates
So not this time. Maybe next time! :-)

I'm going to try to set up some drinks in a week or two with some of the LA folks here. I'll let you know.

DTH
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txaslftist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-13-05 10:37 AM
Response to Original message
44. Congratulations! You cannot ignore the ballots!
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katinmn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-13-05 12:01 PM
Response to Original message
52. Congratulations!
:yourock:
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JNelson6563 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-13-05 12:27 PM
Response to Original message
54. Splendid news!
Great work DTH! Thanks for posting this, I hope many are encouraged to get involved and make a difference.

Cheers! :toast:

Julie
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Tinoire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-13-05 01:30 PM
Response to Original message
57. Now that is terrific news! Good job!!!!!! n/t
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Adelante Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-13-05 01:34 PM
Response to Original message
58. Aw DTH, you do us so proud
:loveya:

Good for you and your California cohorts.
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