Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Motivation from Merrimac

Last weekend, four of us attended the Democratic Leadership Institute in Merrimac. Dave Wille tried to drown me with the leaking roof on his Miata but, as you can see, I survived to blog another day! The other two who attended were Tom O'Brien and Shirley Koltz. We were simply amazed at the crowd this workshop drew. Our large conference room was filled with adults, while a similar room next door was spilling over with young people who had their own training session. I was surprised that about half the adults in our group were actually running for office. Our time was about equally spent listening to great motivational speeches by several in office or seeking office, and participating in workshops on how to find candidates to run for office, how to use the voter file, how to effectively canvas, how to comply with campaign finance rules, and how to reach out to people of color and young people. One of my favorite speakers was Dr. Steve Kagin.

The high point for me was listening to a presentation by an enthusiastic young man representing the group Fair Wisconsin. This group seems extremely well-organized. They are now conducting training sessions in various cities and towns throughout WI; they are even bringing faith-based groups into their fold. Their main goal is to defeat the proposed amendment in defense of marriage act which appears on the ballot in November. They have a website and I recommend you visit it. You can sign an electonic pledge there to vote no on the proposed amendment, you can contribute online, and volunteer online. The best news of all! Fair American is coming to Marshfield to do a training session next week. Monday, May 8, 6:30-8:00 pm, at the Presbyterian Church located on Lincoln Avenue. There is another session scheduled in Stevens Point the following night. See this website for details:

I was so impressed by this group that I immediately gave money, signed the vote no pledge, and signed up to go to the training session in Marshfield. I do have hope that by educating the public we can defeat this "hate" amendment in the fall. EVERYONE needs to help in this effort!


Ed said...

Thanks for posting that LoLo! I'm so sorry I couldn't attend because it sounds absolutely fascinating. I will try to make it to the meeting of FAIR in Marshfield on Monday. I have a committee meeting at 5:30 but it should be relatively short so I should be able to attend.

The enthusiasm among progressives is wonderful. I think it's at a level now equal to what it was during the '04 campaign. I am cautiously optomistic.


LoLo said...

I will look forward to seeing you at the Fair Wisconsin workshop Monday evening, Ed. I am hoping lots of people will attend.