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Progressives Ready to Tackle Hispanic Outreach

MViMV Guest Blogger: Nathan Gonzalez, Political Director of Latinos for America

I attended the Progressive Democrats of America Summit in Washington, DC determined to address the need for progressives to reach out to more people of color.  As Latinos, we are often asked to take for granted that progressives will fight for our rights when Republicans won’t.  But the last two presidential cycles have shown that if Democrats are indeed fighting for the Hispanic community, they have a hard time enunciating it.  The Hispanic media and field outreach deficit on the part of the Democratic Party in the last eight years is a symptom of a larger problem that needs to be addressed: People of color are simply being taken for granted.


At the PDA Summit I learned that I wasn’t alone in my thinking. Progressives from around the country gathered to discuss the need to bring more minorities into this emerging and ever-strengthening movement.  This is a movement that stands for tolerance, diversity, and middle-class values.  It is moderate in its sensible respect for human life, through its thoughtful positions on foreign and domestic policy.  More than anything, the leaders of this progressive movement understand that they can do better on all fronts: At least for one weekend, we can say there was humility in Washington, DC.

As the Political Director of Latinos for America, I was asked to sit on a panel that discussed the various facets of this emerging group of activists.  I was honored to sit with Executive Board Member of PDA, Bruce Taub, Alexis McGill of the Vote or Die project, and John Grant of Veterans for Peace.  Mr. Taub had the courage to use the word “racism” when speaking of many contemporary interactions between Americans, and what this means to our movement.

The PDA Summit addressed Latino outreach on several occasions, especially during the regional breakout sessions.

The progressive community that is emerging enjoys the involvement of moderate, forward-thinking people who love America and love our freedoms.  They are people who are willing to use pragmatism in solving issues in ways that the ruling right-wing can never come close. They are also willing to employ an inspiring humility that beltway Democrats have often jettisoned in search for individual career gains.

I look forward to continuing our fight to restore prosperity and opportunity to our country.  We must continue to tackle issues of diversity and tolerance, and the PDA Summit is a great landmark on the road to a better America. Thank you PDA!

Nathan Gonzalez, Political Director of Latinos for America

Posted by Jessica Falker on January 27, 2005 at 11:02 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)

Root Camp Training


Pam Paul of Progressive Democrats of America, Nathan Gonzalez of Latinos for America, and Joe Magid of Grassroots for America unveiled the concept of Root CampTM this Friday at the Progressive Democratic Summit in Washington, DC.

Root Camp is the product of hundreds of hours of thought, preparation and research. It is the grassroots solution to the challenges faced by progressives in seeking to establish a permanent, 50-state advocacy infrastructure that will function on and off election years.

The Root Camp training is based on the staple Latinos for America training, hailed as one of the most effective training programs for activists, campaign managers and candidates in the country.  In addition, Root Camp incorporates the Grassroots Mentor Program,TM which will produce trainers in the local community, and help bring about a level of self-sufficiency for the activist communities it reaches.  Grassroots Mentors will incorporate the skills they learn, and help tailor them to the needs of their state, county, and city.  Grassroots Mentors will become part of a national community of trainers that will have continuous access to information and information-sharing tools, keeping their local training programs current and dynamic.  In addition, Grassroots Mentors and other trainees will be connected to the message framing tools developed by the progressive Rock Ridge Institute.

My Vote is My Voice, Grassroots for America, and Latinos for America, invite you to take part in Root Camp at Democracy Fest 2005. 

The goals of Root Camp are the following:

1)     Honing the skills of grassroots activists, campaign workers and campaign managers.

2)     Introducing potential candidates to the essentials of running for office at any level.

3)     Training Grassroots Mentors to establish a permanent skills-development infrastructure in their community.

4)     Establishing a dynamic, national community of trained, effective progressive campaign managers, precinct leaders, activists, organizers and candidates.

Do you want to bring Root Camp to your city?  Contact Nathan Gonzalez at [email protected].

Posted by Jessica Falker on January 23, 2005 at 10:12 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

Meetup Outreach

On the MViMV Main Blog, a commenter (Agatha) stated,  we need to outreach our Meet-ups to places and neighborhoods that aren't "techie." Every single time I go to a Meet-UP, whether it's DFNYC or NDM, I find myself amongst white, middle-class people. This has to change. I think we should flyer low-income neighborhoods hard and anticipate one person showing up, with the hopes that in the next month, more people will trickle in. And, I think information/activism has to be a 2-way street: DFA needs to go in as pupils first and foremost and then teachers.

Here are some suggestions if your Meetup attendance isn't a reflection of your community.

1.  Select a venue that:

  • Is accessible to public transportation.
  • Is child friendly.
  • Doesn't require participants to bring money.

2.  Advertise to the population that you are missing.  Post flyers in neighborhood libraries, shops, retaurants, and laundromats.

3.  Recruit respected individuals in the community to help you market to the population that you are missing.

-Charlene Johnston

Posted by Jessica Falker on January 23, 2005 at 09:46 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)

MViMV Guest Blogger: Gov. Howard Dean

The Blog Book Club: You Have the Power, by Howard Dean

This is Howard Dean. Thank you for joining us as we discuss my book "You Have the Power." Politics must be powered by people and not by special interests.  America is losing her way and this book is a road map for the Democratic Party to become the party of ordinary Americans again. I believe this is the direction that we need to take to take our country back.

Primarily, "You Have the Power", reflects what I discovered in the American
people during the Dean for America campaign and what I discovered in myself. I believe the principles set down here are true, and achievable, and that it is
crucial to act on them now and forever.

Community is the power. There are more issues that unite Americans than divide Americans, and "wedge issues" won't be able to get a foot in the door of the people and parties that recognize and support their communities. I wrote about our house-parties, that they were and are not about fund-raising or necessarily campaign actions, but that they put people getting to know each other at the center of the grassroots campaign. (p.161) Not issues, not fund-raising, but people and their feelings, their life stories, their personal experiences.

The Blog Book Club online community, it seems to me, is another good example of the power of community. You learn and grow together. You know how to agree to disagree, you empower each other with knowledge, and you energize each other - you do have the power.


Posted by Charlene Johnston on January 19, 2005 at 08:58 PM | Permalink | Comments (248)

Gov. Dean will be here on Jan 19th!

Good news!  MViMV will host a Guest Blog on behalf of the Blog Book Club on January 19th from 9-9:30 p.m. EST.  http://myvoices.blogs.com/blog/

During this blog, Howard Dean will discuss his book, "You Have the Power."   Since "You Have the Power" is considered a personal project for him, this particular Blog Book Club discussion could not be held in its usual venue, Blog for America. 

Details are still being formulated, so keep up to date by signing up for in the Commons  http://organize.democracyforamerica.com/signup.php?eventID=17465.   While in the Commons, ask a question regarding Dean's book, "You Have the Power."  Dean will answer about a dozen advanced questions, and these will be posted during the January 19th blog.

Once again, we look forward to working with Christy and Judy from the Blog Book Club.  Past successful partnerships between MViMV and the Blog Book Club include: Bush Family Fortunes Screenings and Joe Trippi's appearance at DF04. 

If you still need the book, you can get it through: http://www.takeyourcountryback.com/DFABOOKCLUB/

Al, Jessica, Charlene


Posted by Jessica Falker on January 6, 2005 at 09:39 AM | Permalink | Comments (91)