« Honesty in Politics | Main | Spring into Action »

Live Blog, anyone?

Tom Hughes, Executive Director of Democracy for America, is going to join
the blog tonight.  DFA is in the midst of a month long "Soring into Action"
campaign that includes four classes of DFA Night School (available on-line
at www.democracyforamerica.com/nightschool) and culminates in a national Day
of Action on May 13, when every member of DFA across the country will be
volunteering for a campaig or cause in their neighborhood.

Posted by TomHughes-DFA on April 17, 2006 at 08:03 PM | Permalink


Hi Bob, Thanks for inviting me to join MViMV tonight! What's the latest?

Posted by: TomHughes-DFA | Apr 17, 2006 8:05:24 PM

Hi Tom - I jumped into action just before you. Glad you could join us and we're ready to hear about the "Night School" sessions currently going on. Are these designed just for Vermont our can anybody join in?

Posted by: Bob | Apr 17, 2006 8:08:19 PM

HI, Tom!

I wasn't able to participate in the last night school session but I'm signed up for tomorrow night's Volunteer Recruitment. Hoping it will help me to find volunteers, solicit their help, motivate and to organize them.

Posted by: Charlene | Apr 17, 2006 8:10:29 PM

By the way, I'm thrilled that DFA has launched this program. It'll be a great tool to the 2006 elections!

Posted by: Charlene | Apr 17, 2006 8:11:33 PM

I have a lot of contact with college students and they're always looking for a way to bring about meaningful change. I'm not sure though that they're looking for more classes to take. ;] What grassroot activity could they do that would make the biggest difference in the upcoming elections this year?

Posted by: Bob | Apr 17, 2006 8:12:09 PM

Hey guys,

You can download last week's PowerPoint and a Quick Time presentation at www.democracyforamerica.com/nightschool and get caught up in time for tomoorrow's session.

Posted by: TomHughes-DFA | Apr 17, 2006 8:12:16 PM


What's the format of the DFA night classes?

Posted by: Charlene | Apr 17, 2006 8:14:11 PM

Bob: Step 1 for leaders on college campuses -- contact Merideth Adams here at DFA. She's running Generation DFA, the youth wing of DFA. She can help an activist become a leader for progressive politics on their campus and in their community at large. She can be reached at 802-651-3200.

Posted by: TomHughes-DFA | Apr 17, 2006 8:14:15 PM

Thanks for the tip, Tom. I'll take a look.

Posted by: Charlene | Apr 17, 2006 8:15:30 PM

DFA Night School is a conference call & on-line presentation wrapped into one. Arshad Hasan -- DFA's Training Coordinator -- leads the sessions, which last from 30 minutes to an hour. I recommend downloading the materials in the afternoon before the call, but you can also click along as you go (tho I only suggest this if you have a high-speed connection).

Posted by: TomHughes-DFA | Apr 17, 2006 8:16:33 PM

Nearly 1,000 people were on the call last week -- which was terrific -- but we couldn't take questions from everyone. So, we created a DFA-Link group for all the Night School "students." Submit your questions on the DFA-Link blog anytime during the week and DFA staff members will try to give you an answer.


Posted by: TomHughes-DFA | Apr 17, 2006 8:19:11 PM

I'm kind of interested in this as an aside. I've noticed alot of military words appearing in the movement recently - boot camp, grassroots army, recruitment. I'm not sure that attracts too many young people to volunteer for political action. Isn't there some other way to label these activities? [This might not be directly related to this conversation, but the thought just keeps on coming up in conversations].

Posted by: Bob | Apr 17, 2006 8:21:59 PM

Last week's session was on crafting and delivering a progressive message. Tomorrow we'll be giving pointers on how to recruit, retrain and promote leadership with volunteers. Next week is onto the "Rules of the Road" for canvassing. And finally, it's "How to Make Phone Banking Fun." All the skills are designed to help you on your next volunteer activity -- whether as a leader or as someone who can only give an hour or two.

Posted by: TomHughes-DFA | Apr 17, 2006 8:22:13 PM

Intersesting point, Bob. Much of campaign "lingo" comes from the Greeks. And much of it has a military history. "Strategy" and "Tactics" being two key terms of both military and political campaigns. We also use terms like "air war" and "ground war" in politics -- but we mean knocking on doors and putting ads on TV.

I'm sure there are other ways of saying we all need to be "marching" in the same direction -- but the military terminology always works its way back in.

Posted by: TomHughes-DFA | Apr 17, 2006 8:26:34 PM

That's great Tom - utilizing an "any time in the week" blog. I've thought about introducing that into my on-line class format but haven't come up with a good way to do that. Perhaps you've found the answer.

Posted by: Bob | Apr 17, 2006 8:27:58 PM

703 activists have signed up for tomorrow's Night School. But fair warning: we do assign homework!!


Posted by: TomHughes-DFA | Apr 17, 2006 8:29:24 PM

OK, all you "listeners" out there. Tom's got lots to share with us tonight - so just jump in and ask away. Like I said last week, if we don't join the dialogue and ask the questions, the other side wins...

Posted by: Bob | Apr 17, 2006 8:32:03 PM

Tom, is there any particular part of the country that's joining in the DFA night school? And is it given in Spanish?

Posted by: Bob | Apr 17, 2006 8:36:26 PM

Well, given a platform, I'm going to keep shouting about "Spring into Action."

The end goal of this month-long campaign is the May 13 DFA Day of Action. Our goal is to have EVERY DFA member across the country volunteer some of their time on that Saturday to a local candidate or cause of their choice. (We'll make plenty of suggestions too!) We need to start knocking on doors and making phone calls, writing letters and recruiting more volunteers to our cause this Spring. If we wait until the summer we're letting too many days slip by. And while Karl Rove and crew may be down this week, we know that they'll fight back with everything they've got. We're the underdogs in this battle, and we need to outwork the Republicans this year.

Posted by: TomHughes-DFA | Apr 17, 2006 8:36:48 PM

Anyone can join the DFA Night School conference call. But, it's important to note that it takes place only once -- at 8:30 PM EASTERN. After that, you have to use the recorded session at:


We haven't been able to translate the materials yet. But I am hopeful we will be able to do that shortly.

Posted by: TomHughes-DFA | Apr 17, 2006 8:39:18 PM

I definitely agree we need to outwork the Republicans. We'll be having some of those candidates here in the months ahead. Just pass the list on to us...

Posted by: Bob | Apr 17, 2006 8:43:02 PM

Tom, how does the financial side of this campaign look right now. Are you going all out to get that kind of backing too during this Spring campaign?

Posted by: Bob | Apr 17, 2006 8:46:07 PM

The Democrats, in general, are doing well financially. Not as well as the Rs, but very well for this stage of a non-presidential election year when we don't have the White House, either chamber of Congress or the governorship in CA, TX, FL, NY or MA -- all big donor states to the Democrats. I'm really excited to see Gov. Dean way, way, way outraising what the DNC has ever been able to do at this time in a cycle. He's not raising as much as the RNC, but he has so much less structure to work with, that even some of the ney-sayers are beginning to take note.

And DFA -- we're doing OK -- but we're going to need more in order to burn all those Night School DVDs!!!


Posted by: TomHughes-DFA | Apr 17, 2006 8:52:20 PM

Hey all, I'm going to have to run in a few minutes. Any last questions?

Posted by: TomHughes-DFA | Apr 17, 2006 8:57:32 PM

Looks like we're about up on time. I truly want to thank you Tom of taking the time to be here and give your thoughts and vision to our political activities. I also want to thank Charlene for being here adding her presence to this conversation. And finally I want to mention that Tara Liloia, DFA, will be with us next week to give us some "concrete" tips for e-mail list management and other ways to use our electronic world to benefit our cause. Please past the word around and come join us.
Again, thanks Tom, hope to talk with you again soon. Pretty savvy stuff you're doing. Keep up the good work. Night!

Posted by: Bob | Apr 17, 2006 8:59:25 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.