Why getting involved locally completely rocks

One of the reasons it’s nice getting involved locally, and not just on-line, is that every once in a while, you have an experience or hear someone speak that completely restores your faith in the democratic process and your hope for where our poor, battered country is headed. Sometimes you even get a couple of these at one meeting, which is how last night’s Noe Valley Democratic Club meeting went.
Mary Hughes, a local consultant, was the headliner, and she gave a concise but thorough overview of the House & Senate landscape for this year. Her main advice to candidates was to stick to the big issues and not get distracted by the day to day headlines, even if those headlines are that of an ongoing series of Republican scandals and implosions. Just because they’re falling apart doesn’t mean we’re improving.
But the high point came in response to fielding a question about what Democrats stand for. Her answer focused on the Democratic belief in investing in people, society and the future, and how they’re better caretakers of our reputation in the world. She was much more eloquent than that, but her pitch had the main thing that makes pitches successful – heart – in spades.
Later in the meeting, there was an impassioned yet civil discussion of the Green vs. Democratic parties and strategy. One of the particpants made an impressively strong, historically grounded case for why chartering grassroots Democratic clubs according to the bylaws of the state party matters, even if that inconveniences some Green party members at times. The party is the coalition was the crux of her argument.
I was struck by how great it is to be in the presence of those who can think quickly and speak clearly about these incredibly complex issues. It’s a skill I don’t have; perhaps this makes me even more appreciative of it. As great as on-line communications are for this stuff, there’s something fundamentally right about a bunch of smart, experienced people in a room dropping science.
Go to the website of the party of your choice and find a local group to hook up with. The CDP’s is here. Do something local, something state, and something national.