Tuesday, February 22, 2005
DFA Update: A great NY Conference, meetups coming and more!
In this update:
1. A great Democracy For New York Conference in Albany last weekend
2. Meetups coming soon
3. A Special Agenda
4. Saratoga meetings
5. A couple of interesting views
1. Democracy For America and former Dean team leaders from across New York State were invited to a first ever Democracy For New York conference at the SEIU Hall in Albany last weekend.
Our Glens Falls attendees talked to both Jim Dean and Tom Hughes at length. If you go to
Blog For America
you will see in the back of the first picture yours truly (Larry Dudley) introducing Governor Dean's right hand man, our new Executive Director Tom Hughes (his back turned to the camera) to Glens Falls Fourth Ward Candidate Roy Thomas. Dick, who knew Tom already, is to the right.
It was a tremendous experience meeting people from across the state and hearing from our national leaders: our new Honorary Chair, Governor Dean's brother Jim Dean, Tom Hughes, the new DFA Executive Director.
Jim Dean opened the conference with a keynote speech both introducing himself, talking about working on his brother Howard's campaign for the Presidency and Chairmanship of the DNC, and what DFA will be accomplishing in the future. Tom Hughes then spoke on the campaigns he had worked on. After the defeats of 2000 and 2002 he said came away with the determination never to work for campaigns that did not fight to the bitter end and that did not stand for something. That is to be the Democrat's new ethos: we try and contest every race, we stand for something, we never, never make deals with Republicans.
I also want to thank our Albany meetup leaders and our NYC leaders for all the hard work they put in organizing this conference; they did a great job!
Both Pat Friesen, our Saratoga leader and our Glens Falls attendees will be reporting on the conference in some detail at the next meetup.
2. Meetups will be held in both Glens Falls and Saratoga next week, Wednesday, March 2nd. NOTE: The date of the Glens Falls will remain on Wednesday; there was almost no interest in moving the day.
In Glens Falls: we will be meeting at our usual place, the Rockhill Bakehouse Cafe in Downtown Glens Falls at 7pm. To reach the Cafe from the Northway, take Exit 18 into downtown Glens Falls. Past Hannaford, bear right at the Stewart's store past the Post Office and the Hospital. The Cafe is past the hospital by the light across the street.
In Saratoga the meetup will be at 7:30pm Pat Friesen's home at 36 Thoroughbred Drive. To reach Pat's home, drive south on Broadway past the Dance Museum. Turn at the next left onto Crescent Street then take the next left. #36 is at the end and around the corner.
3. There will be a special agenda item of interest to all our members:
At all DFA meetups this month we will be focusing on a vital national initiative: Talking about Social Security, its importance to us all. We will be gathering and discussing stories about Social Security and how it has affected our families personally. These stories will go to DFA National in Burlington as part of our national Social Security project. We will also be discussing what we all can do personally to stop Bush and the Republicans from destroying history's most effective social program.
4. There are two cabin fever busting events in Saratoga coming up:
On MARCH 12, 2005 from NOON-2PM PLEASE JOIN THE SARATOGA SPRINGS DEMOCRATIC COMMITTEE FOR AN AFTERNOON OF FUN at BRINDISI'S @ 390 BROADWAY. There will be a LUNCHEON BUFFET, CASH BAR, MUSIC & RAFFLE OF LOCAL ART. The cost $30/PP. SEND YOUR RSVP'S TO: KAT GULICK - 6 FRANKLIN SQUARE/#7 - SS12866
QUESTIONS: CALL KAT @ 221-3949 OR PAT @ 587-4983
On March 13 there will be a MOVIE AND EARLY BIRD DINNER SPONSORED BY THE SS DEMOCRATIC WOMEN'S COMMITTEE at
4PM at BRINDISI'S with a DINNER BUFFET. At 6PM - PRIVATE SHOWING OF "VERA DRAKE" @ THE ARTS COUNCIL BLDG.
(FILM FORUM) FOLLOWED BY A DISCUSSION LED BY CAROL BLOWERS
$25 FOR DINNER & MOVIE ($20 FOR DINNER ONLY AND $6 FOR MOVIE ONLY)
RSVP: PAT @ 587-4983
SEND RESERVATIONS & CHECK MADE OUT TO SS DEMOCRATIC COMMITTEE
TO PAT FRIESEN 36 THOROUGHBRED DR/SS12866
5. Finally, some pieces of interest:
I would urge everyone interested in Governor Dean's ascension to DNC chairmanship to check out an article in the Nation:
Also check out Bemjamin Barber's website, who is mentioned prominently in the article:
And I found this piece by E.J. Dionne in the Washington Post of particular interest: Dionne points out that historically Democrats have related to their Party through intermediaries and local committees, but with Dean and the growth of new advocacy groups like ours or Moveon.org, Democrats will now have an unprecedented direct relationship with their national party.
And for all us members of the "Reality Based Community," Dick Dudley highly recommends this piece from the New York Review of Books by Brian Urquart, UN official and former British Chancellor of the Exchequer;
"In his recent book on the Scottish Enlightenment James Buchan writes of Edinburgh in the early eighteenth century, "Men and women were coming to suspect that knowledge acquired through skepticism might be more useful in this world below than knowledge 'revealed' by scripture." It is a painful thought that in the United States in the twenty-first century we might be turning away from the world of the Enlightenment which inspired the Founding Fathers. Of all the thoughts provoked by Lieven's book this is the most disturbing, both for America and for the world. Since religious freedom and popular elections are both sacrosanct rights of the American people, it is a particularly delicate one. Is it possible that America could eventually vote to go back on the Enlightenment?
"Evangelical Protestants are a large and growing group whose influence is greatly enhanced by their voting discipline in comparison to other groups. Their influence is evident both in the rhetoric and in some actions of the current administration, as well as in Congress. This is clear in many domestic issues. The absolutes of Good and Evil, the references to God's will in relation to adventures like the Iraq war, the idea that those who are not with us are against us, impose a rigidity that dismisses criticism and makes it impossible to admit reverses publicly or to correct mistaken policies. Such trends are a serious hazard for such a powerful and important country. And at home, the demonization of elites, anti-intellectualism, hostility to rational discourse, and an aversion to scientific method can only stultify and downgrade the educational system at a time when American leadership and technological supremacy are being challenged as never before."
Since the movement of religion into politics clearly isn't going to go away, for an alternative vision of the relationship between faith and politics, check out the Buzzflash interview with left wing evangelical author Jim Wallis:
His book is now #5 on the NY Times bestseller list. He may be as important to how we talk about issues as Lakoff.
See you all next week!