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Do You Know Your Way to DemocracyFest?

So you want to go to DemocracyFest on July 14-16, but aren't sure how to do it?

First, go to San Diego. If you are going to fly, we recommend getting your tickets ASAP before rates go up. If you'd rather drive, contact your local Link-Up Host (or DFA State Group leader) and see who else from your area is going. You may be able to carpool! You can also check into buses or trains.

Once you get to San Diego, go to the San Diego State University campus. Luckily, the public trolley stops right on campus, so hop on the city trolley and you'll be there in a jiffy! Rumor has it there are also shuttle services from the airport if you need one in a pinch.

Now that you're on campus, you won't need to leave again. Food services, stores, entertainment, a fitness center, and lodging are available right on campus!

Click below to read more!

Ticket Packages

The Whole Enchilada includes all events, lodging, and meals for a regular weekend stay:

The Whole Enchilada includes:
- Lodging for Friday and Saturday nights
- Friday, Saturday and Sunday trainings, panels, and speakers
- Saturday night BBQ
- Saturday Night Blowout
- Sunday Blogger's Breakfast
- Only $245 per person!

The Enchilada Grande includes all events, lodging, and meals for an extended weekend stay:

The Enchilada Grande includes:
- Lodging for Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights
- Friday, Saturday and Sunday trainings, panels, and speakers
- Saturday night BBQ
- Saturday Night Blowout
- Sunday Blogger's Breakfast
- Only $365 per person!

It's that easy! So buy a ticket package and get yourself to San Diego to join the fun!

Charlene, Jessica, Liane, Pam, Quintus, and Ralph
DemocracyFest Incorporated

P.S. Tickets, meals, and lodging are also available ala carte on the website, but you won't save any money buying them separately ;-)

The DemocracyFest Incorporated Team

Charlene, Jessica, Liane, Pam, Quintus, and Ralph

Posted by Charlene Johnston on May 31, 2006 at 07:28 AM | Permalink | Comments (4)

Red Letter Christianity

Today's blog is inspired by the April/May issue of CrossLeft Matters, "The Red Letter Christianity Issue".  This issue of CrossLeft Matters heralds a new populist approach to the Bible— a Red Letter Christianity, referring to Jesus’ words, highlighted in red in many Bibles. It is inspired by an emerging progressive Christian movement that honors and exalts Christ’s revolutionary love; where compassion, inclusion, and spiritual courage persist in the face of intimidation and fear, where concern for the least among us is forefront, and where Christ’s sacrifice and forgiveness for humanity is not forgotten.

Specifically, CrossLeft has recently formed a think-tank, the Institute for Progressive Christianity (IPC), which seeks to study, translate, and embody Christ’s example in concrete, accessible public words, thoughts, and deeds. IPC’s flagship project will involve comprehensively researching Biblical passages (starting with the “red letter” subset dealing with Jesus’ sayings) tabulating how many and to what extent these passages are philosophically and practically “progressive.” IPC then intends to cross list these under various policy areas (poverty, environmentalism, etc.) for easy reference in public discussions and debates. This will serve as a basis for summaries, rapid responses, and policy positions to be used by the lay public, policy-makers, and other religious groups. We invite you to extend your spiritual, creative, financial support in helping us with these efforts. Together we will succeed.

The articles in this April/May issue of CrossLeft Matters present a simple choice: compassion, inclusion, and love, on one hand, and judgment, exclusion, and violence on the other

  • “Two Christianities” draws forth the central and neglected teachings of Jesus and shows both how those teachings have been ignored or downplayed by dominionist Christian sects interested in narratives of aggressive power, and how the gentle, true strength of Jesus might be reclaimed and embraced by us.

“Two Christianities”

This article draws forth the central and neglected teachings of Jesus and shows both how those teachings have been ignored by Dominionist Christian sects interested in narratives of aggressive power, and how the gentle, true strength of Jesus might be reclaimed and embraced by all of us. Dominionists call for a vengeance-driven and forceful seizing of the governing mechanisms of the world as a way to establish the Kingdom of Heaven. Progressives call for inclusive, compassion-driven action to establish the Kingdom. The Dominionists’ neo-Inquisition tendencies are not simply “fringe”, as no less than Oklahoma U.S. Senator, Tom Coburn, has called for the death penalty for abortion providers. Dominionists mean business. They are as committed as Progressives, and they believe that their views are morally and spiritually justified. As Ms. Hodges points out: “The question becomes, which path do we wish to follow.  Which path leads to the kind of life we want to have?”


  • “In a CNN interview aired October 24th, 2004, Falwell said, “…you've got to kill the terrorists before the killing stops. And I'm for the president to chase them all over the world. If it takes 10 years, blow them all away in the name of the Lord.” The problem with this is that Jesus never killed for the kingdom of God. Nor did he ask any of his followers to kill in his name.  He never started an Army of God. (Citing a progressive Christian bumper sticker) When Jesus said, “Love your enemies,” he probably meant not to kill them.”
  • Progressives Christians do not agree with Jerry Falwell or George Bush.  They look at the stories that Jesus taught and the things that Jesus did and see in them an ethos for living loving and compassionate lives that do not derive from authoritarian means.
  • Though the fundamentalist perspective can be pulled out of various verses, the overwhelming narrative of Jesus is that of love, non-violent resistance to injustice, acceptance of and care for the least of these, and non-judgmental compassion.
  • The practice of justice and love was of paramount importance to Jesus not the outward symbolic gestures of doctrine and dogma.  It was not so much what you believed but how you acted that mattered.  He deliberately ate with outcasts and interacted with women and he touched those considered untouchable showing them a compassion he felt compelled by God to give.  His actions were provocative and offensive to those who lived within the boundaries of traditional conservative thought.
  • The Book of James talks at length about faith (dogmatic belief) and works (caring for the least of these).  “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill," and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. But someone will say, "You have faith and I have works." Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith.  You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder."
  • There are two ways.  One way is building the peaceable kingdom on earth, which is supposed to be a reflection of Heaven. (On earth as it is in Heaven.) This is here-and-now love where the ends do not justify the means. It does not make sense to kill people in order to achieve peace…The other way is apocalyptic fear brought to us by Christians seeking the kingdom of God through annihilation, blood-soaked war, power-filled propaganda, extermination, and obliteration – all in the name of a peace at a future time. 

To see the full article and webzine go to www.crossleft.org.  It will be going live tonight.

Posted by Kety Esquivel on May 22, 2006 at 01:51 PM | Permalink | Comments (27)

3rd Annual DemocracyFest

You may recall that MViMV founded a fun political festival called DemocracyFest and we're a sponsor for this year's event. This year's event is happening July 14th-16th in San Diego, CA.  DemocracyFest Inc. is the event producer and San Diego for Democracy is the host organization.  Together, they are brewing some great stuff for the 3rd Annual DemocracyFest. I hope you'll join us and enjoy Education By Day, Celebration By Night.

Friday is the Grassroots Leadership Summit, followed up by fun night activities including Filmmaker Robert Greenwald screening The Big Buy and then a bowling party. 

Saturday will be filled with workshops and panel discussions with lots of breaks so you can chat with friends and soon to be friends.  Saturday night will be hopping; we start with DemStock:  dinner served outdoors while Flying Other Brothers (FOB) jams.  Those that attended the inaugural DemFest will recall that FOB rocked us into the night. 

Afterwards, we'll continue the theme of Celebration By Night with a Beach Party featuring Gary Hoey, surf guitar virtuoso.  We have wonderful speakers planned and a visit by Howard Dean will cap off the evening.  That brings you up to date with the Fri & Sat developments.

If you want a sampling of who will be presenting during the day on Saturday, read below or visit 3rd Annual DemocracyFest.

Hope to see you there!


David Sirota - Campaign strategist and author, "Hostile Takeover: How Big Money & Corruption Conquered Our Government - and How We Take It Back," regular on the Al Franken Show.



Col. Ann Wright, U.S. Army Reserves (Retired); Former U.S. Diplomat, resigned in protest of Bush Administration's invasion of Iraq; a leader at Camp Casey at Crawford, TX, and in the Bring Them Home Tour

Paul Hackett, Iraq War Veteran and 2005 Democratic Congressional candidate in southeastern Ohio.

David Swanson, Washington Director of Democrats.com and ImpeachPAC.org; co-founder of the AfterDowningStreet.org / CensureBush.org coalition; creator of MeetWithCindy.org and KatrinaMarch.org; board member of Progressive Democrats of America



Senator Debra Bowen - Chair, CA State Senate Elections Committee and candidate for CA Secretary of State

Rob Cohen - documentary filmmaker: Votergate, to be released in late summer 2006.

Alan Dechert - President, Open Voting Consortium and Foundation, whose computer scientists have begun programming open source software for voting machines and have developed a working model.

Warren Stewart - Co-Editor of VoteTrustusa.org. Comprehensive Election Integrity and Election Fracture information from across the US. (Invited)



Wahu Kaara - Executive Director of Kenya Debt Relief Network; 2005 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee; Candidate for President of Kenya, 2007

Debayani Kar -- Communications and Advocacy Coordinator of Jubilee USA Network, Washington, DC; former Communications Coordinator at the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR); author and co-author of several papers on the IMF, World Bank, and globalization.

Dr. William Lesher - Pastor of Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (Berkeley, CA); President of the Board of Trustees, Council for the Parliament of the World's Religions

Bill Harman -- National coordinating committee of the Jubilee USA Network; Board of Directors for the Planned Parenthood Federation of San Diego/Riverside Counties; Southern California representative of the Council for the Parliament of the World's Religions; retired pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)



Prof. Marjorie Cohn, Thos. Jefferson Law School, President-elect of the National Lawyers Guild, co-chair of the Guild's international committee


Childcare is available between 8:00am - 12:00 Midnight. For more information, click here.

Please Purchase tickets now!

Posted by Charlene Johnston on May 18, 2006 at 04:33 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Getting Involved with the Democratic Party

My name is Kate Donaghue.  I am a DFAer and a member of the Democratic State Committee in Massachusetts.  The Democratic Party wants people to get involved, both in campaigns and in the Democratic Party infrastructure.
As activists, I expect that the readers of "My Vote is My Voice" are involved in campaigns.  But are you involved in the Democratic Party?  Today I'm going to talk briefly about why you should consider getting involved with the Democratic Party and how to go about getting involved.
People new to campaigns sometimes don't see the reasons for getting involved in the Democratic Party.  You may believe that it is more time and cost effective for you to volunteer directly with a campaign, rather than with the Democratic Party. 
Campaigns are going out of business.  Win, lose or draw, they are coming to an end.  Even if a campaign wins, it will go into a dormant period for a period of time.
The Company of Other Democrats: The Democratic Party offers a place for you to stay involved after election day.  Building and maintaining an effective network of Democratic contacts is one of the most important reasons to become involved in the Democratic Party.
Candidate Recruitment: The Democratic Party provides a basis for the all important effort of candidate recruitment.  As an aside, I began my adult political activism when Michael Dukakis lost the governorship of Massachusetts to a conservative Democrat.  It was then that I realized the right people don't get elected by accident.  It took me twenty years to realize that the right people don't run by accident.
Meeting Candidates: Potential candidates reach out to the Democratic Party infrastructure.  Active members of Democratic organizations are in a position to get to know potential candidates personally.  This access positions individual members to get to know candidates. The Democratic Party organization also helps candidates by providing a means for them to meet activists.
A Voice at the Table: Decisions of the Democratic Party are made by members.  From the local level to the presidency, the rules that govern our Party's nomination process belong to us.  People who are involved in the governance of the Democratic Party have a vote and a voice in creating the processes that ultimately determine who are our nominees, in establishing the platform and the direction of the Democratic Party.   
There are many other reasons to get involved.  I have highlighted just a few.

Posted by KateD on May 15, 2006 at 07:50 PM | Permalink | Comments (26)

Your Internet Freedom At Risk

Your rights are under attack daily under the current administration.  First our government destroys your vote, then it collects your phone record, now it's eradicating your internet rights.   

The Internet's First Amendment -- a principle called Network Neutrality that preserves the free and open Internet -- is in danger from lobbyists representing AT&T, Verizon, Time Warner, and Comcast.    According to SaveTheInternet.com (a coalition of orgs and blogs coordinated by Free Press):

  • Net Neutrality ensures that all users can access the content or run the applications and devices of their choice.
  • In April, Time Warner's AOL blocked all emails that mentioned www.dearaol.com — an advocacy campaign opposing the company's pay-to-send e-mail scheme.

We owe our increased democratic participation and expanded opportunities for free speech to Net Neutrality. This blog community would not be as powerful without Network Neutrality. 

Use your power to bombard Congress and get your internet network working to protect Network Neutrality.    How to help:

Call your representative and have your friends call too.

Use the power of your Blogs & websites while you still have the power.

Posted by Charlene Johnston on May 11, 2006 at 09:14 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Ohio House District 19 - Marian's running!!!


My first live blog - and my first run for political office! Dave - your questions are terrific. I look forward to addressing the issues you raised at the start of the live blog. We've been under one party rule for more than 12 years and we are living the consequences of one party rule. Hopefully that will change come November.

Start posting your questions at 8 pm and I look forward to answering them.


Posted by MarianOhio on May 8, 2006 at 06:12 PM | Permalink | Comments (31)

Who's Responsibility?

Quintus Jett is scheduled to join us tonight talking about voting in New Orleans. If his post shows up we'll join the discussion - in the meantime I'd like to talk about today's immigrant marches and meetings throughout this country. Particularly disturbing to me is that the current administration continues to turn it's back on the citizens it's represents - making us more and more, as individual's responsible for lack of government presence. Locally, apple growers would be made responsible - with possible fines and jail time, for hiring mirgrant workers without proper documentation - sent to them by the Dept. of Labor. I think we're definitely going in the wrong direction here - what can we really do about this collapse of responsibility by the government?         Bob

Posted by Jessica Falker on May 1, 2006 at 08:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (19)

New Orleans: After April’s Primary Election

When it comes to New Orleans post-Katrina, most discussions that involve race in the progressive community (and elsewhere) are on the wrong track.

  • Most of the residents in the Lower Ninth Ward were homeowners

  • Widespread damage throughout the city consists of 10s of thousands of “flooded homes still standing.”  Yes, most of these homes are owned by African Americans.  However, these owners are typically working and middle class.  Many square miles of white neighborhoods are similarly damaged, including those that house upper/middle class and working class people.  Homeowners of all races and classes scrambled for their lives to attics and roofs.  Those that died in their homes can be found in all kinds of neighborhoods.   

  • A lack of national commitment to preserve the voting rights (and voice) of residents impacted residents of all kinds of background.   It wasn’t only the black and poor who had obstacles voting.   

  • Mayor Nagin of New Orleans was elected before Katrina without a majority of black voters.   Many white voters might choose him in the runoff in May, above the white candidate he is running against – Mitch Landrieu (the state’s lieutenant governor and brother to U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu). 

  • The father of Mitch Landrieu was the Mayor of New Orleans in the 1970s, presiding over desegregation of the city’s public facilities.   Although Landrieu is white, his name carries trust to many black voters.   The Nagin/Landrieu showdown isn’t the stereotypical “showdown” between black and white voters.   Landrieu made it into the runoff because he has lots of black political support.

  • The absentee ballots cast in the April primaries of New Orleans reflect the pre-Katrina racial diversity of the city.   Two-thirds of the absentee ballots were from black voters, which is consistent with the city’s black population before the hurricane.   

The reality at hand in New Orleans is that many tens of thousands of residents in that city, belonging to all races and economics classes of people, who are now at greater environmental and economic risk due to Katrina.  What can we do to address that?   

Posted by Quintus Jett on May 1, 2006 at 08:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (7)