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On the Record

techsoldaten (309296) writes | more than 10 years ago

User Journal 2

Went to my first political rally event yesterday after 5 years living in the District of Columbia. It was a meet and greet for Wesley Clark's campaign, I was shocked by how grass roots things are right now.

Went to my first political rally event yesterday after 5 years living in the District of Columbia. It was a meet and greet for Wesley Clark's campaign, I was shocked by how grass roots things are right now.

I received an email about 10 AM requesting some help down at the Capitol dropping of letters and Clark bars to congressional offices. Went down to check it out, met with one of his campaign managers. Naturally, the talk turned to tech - I asked him if he needed any volunteers to help organize Web intiatives. He points to this kid and explains how well equipped they already are. This kid got a whole email campaign set up and ready this morning (!).

Anyways, within 20 minutes I was given a stack of letters and told to go hand them out in the Cannon House Office Building. Left with a group of 3 other people, none of whom had ever met before, and we started handing stuff out, shaking hands in congressional offices, and feeding hungry staffers candy bars (BTW, there is no exaggeration around the legendary hunger of congressional staffers, even the republicans were gobbling up these Clark bars. One person offered to talk to her representative about a statement on P2P if we gave her one).

When I say grass roots, I mean this is people going out to set up a movement by themselves with nothing to get them started. While I knew what this meant, there is a difference between knowing about it and seeing the process up close. To think there are people who do this day-in-day-out for no money, this idea makes me appreciate the work these people do.

I was just thinking how great it would be to develop software to support these kinds of movements. This would be a great open-source deal. Something that lets you track and manage mailing lists, does some project planning, and keeps contact lists.

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2 comments

Hey (1)

Cy Guy (56083) | more than 10 years ago | (#7113069)

Went to my first political rally event yesterday after 5 years living in the District of Columbia. It was a meet and greet for Wesley Clark's campaign, I was shocked by how grass roots things are right now.

I'm curently a Dean supporter, but I am trying to find out more about Clark - I was really impressed by the interview he did with Talking Points [talkingpointsmemo.com] . He has to be one of the most intelligent and learned candidates for President since Stevenson. Quite a change from the current occupant of the White House. BTW if you are interested in a SlashDot like site for Politics, I recommend PLASTIC [plastic.com] .

I'm also in Washington and I try to get to the MeetUp events for Slashdot [meetup.com] , Plastic [meetup.com] , and Dean [meetup.com] each month. I might also be able to get to the Clark MeetUp [meetup.com] , but I'm not sure if I'll be free or not.

I was just thinking how great it would be to develop software to support these kinds of movements. This would be a great open-source deal. Something that lets you track and manage mailing lists, does some project planning, and keeps contact lists.

Maybe you missed this story from Tuesday, but the Dean Campaign has aready done something along those lines - I don't know about the mailing list part though [slashdot.org] .

Re:Hey (1)

techsoldaten (309296) | more than 10 years ago | (#7116154)

Hey Cy -

I am a big Dean fan too, but he doesn't excite me the way Clark does. I suppose it is because I am a Democratic moderate, and Clark's campaign is a little more to the middle than Dean's. But I definitely want to see a Democrat in the White House next year, and will lend my support to either candidate (assuming one of our guys wins the nomination).

As far as campaign software goes, Dean has a nice product but it could use more features. I am not sure if it is good for the grass roots type of organizer.

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