Sunday, February 1, 2009

Just because you vote don’t let that stop you from doing something that really matters!

The concept of November 5th is to organize citizens at the congressional district level because as the founding fathers envisioned, that is where our power as citizens truly lies. Power is only responsive when it is insecure. Citizens will win and the highly-paid lobbyists and special interests will lose if there is home district organizing that really threatens our elected officials.

Advantages to working in your district:

Congress members pay attention to citizen action in their home district much more than to activists in DC. Media attention is much easier to get outside of DC and has more impact on the elected official because in DC media are busy covering the White House, the Congress, regulatory agencies and the Supreme Court - there is no room for covering what citizens are doing. While citizen actions in DC can be seen or portrayed as “fringy”, at the home district level we are voters who are represented by that member and so we start right away with more credibility.

"Never doubt that a small group of people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." .

Our focus is organizing at the base by educating, activating and organizing citizens. We are organizing on economic issues-with single payer health care as our number one concern- and anti-military issues (Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel/Palestine, and reducing the bloated and wasteful Department of Defense budget).

A thousand people in action

Our strategy is to have a multi-pronged approach to making sure our public servants know where we stand and to keep the pressure on them to serve the needs of people, not the lobbyists. This includes doing outreach to civic groups, having regular engaged citizen Meet-ups, scheduling appearances on radio shows, starting letter to the editor campaigns, meeting with editorial boards as well as having demonstrations inside and outside our representatives offices.

Yes you can!

The goal of local organizers is to identify and put forward the right spokespersons-for instance people without health insurance, someone ripped off by the health insurance industry-or on the war a family member of a soldier or a vet against the war.

Nothing can stop the march of an informed and engaged people

While voting records and funding sources are available from existing sources our goal is to help get that information out to our fellow citizens. We work to coordinate with other nonpartisan organizations like Public Citizen's Congress Watch and other civic organizations to gather information and engage in civic action whenever possible. And we will always make sure that we stay independent of the two parties because we believe that independence is a virtue!

Looking towards the future

Once your districts congressional watchdog group gets cranking there is the potential to expand their mission into local politics as well. Once you've got a group of well organized people in your district it can take minimal effort to use this model for local politics as well. As the saying goes, "All politics is local".

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