New York Dean Grassroots Summit

(Originally published in my MovableType blog, and consolidated here.)

The Official Blog has comments on the DC Grassroots Summit but I haven't seen any comments on the New York Summit, other than on a mailing list of Dean Rapid Response Network coordinators.

So, here are my comments.

Paul Maslin spoke quite well. I loved his comments about Passionate Patriots. That is what we are, and is a wonderful response to the compassionate conservatives, whom we are finding out to be neither compassionate, nor conservative.

He spoke about a recent poll showing Dean having 23% and Kerry 22% in Massachusettes. I haven't been able to find that poll online, so if anyone can provide a pointer, I would love to see it.

We discussed a Field Organizing Guide with very helpful comments about canvasing and getting out the vote. Fortunately, CTForDean already has a good field plan in place that is doing pretty much what is described in the guide. It was good to see the Connecticut plans validated.

With all of that, I didn't find that I got much for new information from the summit, and I suspect that others who read the blogs and mailing lists regularly, and are involved in organizing, probably didn't get much new information either.

However, what I did, which I consider extremely important, was an opportunity to meet many people face to face that I had developed friendships with online.

Mary O'Sullivan from DeanRR. Michael Harris, John Merritt, and one other person, whose name I don't remember from Westchester for Dean. Mitch Manzella from New Jersey for Dean. Britt Blaser from blogs and DeanSpace.

Other people whom, I'ld met at other events, including Howard Dean's brother Jim, and Michael Silberman from Burlington who organizes all of us Meetup hosts.

We broke for dinner, and after dinner we broke into two separate groups, one for New York State people, and one for the rest of us. There were two from Connecticut, four from New Jersey and four from Pennsylvania.

In the 'other state' breakout session, one of the people started off expressing concern that there wasn't any official organizer in our group to help us. Yet as we talked about what we were doing in each of our areas, and sharing ideas on what we can do.

At the end of the session, the person who had expressed his concern had changed tunes and was expressing amazement at how empowered we all are, and how great it is that the campaign encourages this empowerment.

Passionate Patriotism.

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