Do More Than Vote
In 2004, the same people who brought you the Drinking Liberally and Laughing Liberally networks saw a need, and had the talent and determination to step in to meet that need. The result was the smashing success of an initiative called Do More Than Vote:
Beginning in May of 2004, the leaders of Cosmopolity, a New York based organization dedicated to providing easy entrance into progressive involvement, worked with over a dozen local activist groups to convene bi-weekly meetings named (with tongues fully in-cheek) the "micro-summit" (now called the "Liberal League"). At these meetings, local progressive leaders of burgeoning activist groups working on the ’04 election shared their plans, opportunities, and needs in order to coordinate.
One of the main problems identified was the scarcity of outlets available in the immediate NYC area for the mass of people seeking to volunteer in the presidential campaign. There were a number of groups that had the ability to take people to swing states or use volunteers in phonebanks, but they frequently did not fill up their capacity. And there were also a number of groups that had large numbers of ready volunteers, but few outlets for them to make a difference.
Enter Do More Than Vote (DMTV).
Cosmopolity members created DMTV in order to connect ready volunteers with groups that had the capacity to use them effectively. The project consisted of a "hotline" that people could call and a simple website listing opportunities to volunteer. The project was a success- in only eight weeks DMTV helped thousands of New Yorkers get active.
So what does this have to do with 2006? They are expanding the program to new cities: Philadelphia and San Francisco. With your local help, they can get rolling in even more cities before the midterm elections in November:
Now, in 2006, Democrats are faced with another round of crucial elections. Do More Than Vote is back and we’re bigger, yet simpler, than before. We’re already up and running in New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco, and will be expanding to several other cities by Labor Day.
Remember, all of us can afford some time and money. But, none of us can afford another two years of a Republican controlled Congress or state house.
Democrats can win if we Do More Than Vote!
We all know how critical it is to take back at least one chamber of Congress this Fall. We can do it, but we have to work, work, work. Sitting on the sidelines is not an option: remember how you felt after the 2004 presidential elections? If we had done more, all across the country, from helping people get to polls to watching the polls themselves, could we have avoided the insanity of these last two years, and the two more we still have coming? Not to make too fine a point of it, but President George W. Bush is, in some sense, all of our responsibility, whether we voted for him or not. Let’s turn our anger, our hope and our thirst for justice into action.
I’m excited to say we’ve developed a strong relationship with the great people at Do More Than Vote and look forward to working with them through the Roots Project. Once we’re ready (in a few short weeks) to make that new community site public, we’ll all have some very serious infrastructure the like of which has never been built or seen before. In the meantime, please get involved with DMTV in New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco, and become part of their network to help them get up and running in other places before November.