We spoke about structure for our meetings, and Adrian commented that we could use the Grover Norquist model, because perhaps the conservatives have been so successful by narrowing to one talking point per week, that we might use that as a beginning model. We'll change it if we hate it.
So our beginning goal: Choose one subject/issue per week to support and drive that point home. We can use the blog as an organizational tool.
Several topics were thrown out on the table for consideration:
RACHEL spoke about her friend in Ohio, who suggests Blue States focus their money and energy on getting important candidates in Red States or Swing States elected. Ryan suggested: see www.dailykos.com, and check out the section "Daily Dozen" for suggestions on that.
KHRISTIAN spoke about education in two ways: the educational system and it's need for reform, and also how do we educate people on issues, since most people seem so misinformed or ignorant to very basic information.
STEGS sparked a lot of discussion with the topic of Immigration. Who wants what? Driver's Licenses for illegal immigrants? What does this have to do with the Intelligence Bill? This is something people seemed really interested in pursuing in the future.
BRENDAN started with a fun fact: a recent Gallup poll said 45% of Americans question Darwin's Theory of Evolution. So... that's great. But then he went on to bring up Hollywood Bashing -- and specifically, that Hollywood is mostly a working class town, and it's diverse both racially, ethnically, and economically. He would like to see us rehabilitate Hollywood's image in the political arena. Also talked about was union busting, and how the networks and cable outlets have succeeded in circumventing WGA wages and rules for writers. Part of the solution is, tipping a hat to Lakoff, reframing the definition of working class -- plus we need to retake our own community.
MIKE COLEMAN suggested, can we do a page on our blog that is dedicated strictly to debunking myths? A page that we can send people to that keeps the facts straight. Everyone agreed it was a great idea, and we just need a volunteer to start that up and we can all contribute.
REED talked about how during the Kennedy era in the 60's the culture seemed to be one that appreciated and strived for looking out for others. Where has this gone? And is that time too far past us to recapture? This went on (somehow, I'm not a perfect secretary) to the discussion of outsourcing and Walmart and China/India. But to summarize, the fact is something radical has to shift -- with both the Democrats and the culture -- in the priorities and the thinking. All reason seems to be lost. What is the idealogical movement, and where is it heading?
MIKE COEN talked about how insane it is that it's 2004, and yet in Alabama, citizens just voted against a proposition to remove segregation language from the state constitution. Why can't we even win that?! He also talked about Tort Reform and trial lawyers and dismantling workers rights. Tort reform seemed to spark a lot of debate, and will be an issue we discuss in the future.
RYAN carried the torch from last meeting's discussion and talked about how we need to brand Democrat. What do we stand for, and how do we use language and slogans to get that across? We need to use P.R. theory -- and get the word out to local, state, and national democrats that it's time for them to turn their act around.
LAURA spoke about how people are tuning out from the war in Iraq, and how we need to keep the subject/issues alive and in the forefront of the news and our conversations. Neil asked, vehemently: "Who are we fighting?!" Which sparked a lot of debate about what exactly is going on over there, including stories from Laura's brother who's flying into Fallujah daily. And it's true -- why aren't people talking about it? It's depressing, it seems overwhelming, but it's another Vietnam yet people don't seem to want to deal with it. Different from Vietnam, these aren't people who have been drafted, so the excuse is, the troops "volunteered" -- because this is how the war loving Conservative Right has framed the debate. It was suggested that we have daily or weekly updates on the war on this blog, if somebody wants to be War Guy and take charge of that.
BUNIN talked about two things. One: that patriotism is a notion almost completely co-opted by the Right. He's doing an experiment where he's wearing an American flag pin and sees who thinks he's "on their side" when he's not. Two: Sparked by the model of private corporations setting up bounties for space travel breakthroughs... is there a way to inspire other social and medical advancements with corporate bounties? If we cured cancer, what would the medical industry do, it's such a money maker?
JAY suggested we get speakers to come and talk to us. And also brought up the issue: to the progressive party, why is raising money a bigger deal than people involved in the debate of the party? He also said we have to find a way to be able to talk to Republicans and figure out what their deal is. He recommended "What's The Matter With Kansas".
ADRIAN wants us to dedicate some time to voting reform and our flawed voting system.
BETSY talked about the media. How do we change this tidal wave of lack of factual information and biased press? Ryan suggested we can start with demanding real news from our local L.A. news, which is a great idea.
We chose to research and discuss the war in Iraq this week, so see that posting.