FGF-Progressives Working Together Edition

In 2004, a group of bloggers from 15 states and myself organized a fund-raiser for MoveOn here in Nashville.  I had reached out to this band because I was a fan, and I was surprised they agreed to do it for free.  Gretchen Peters and Monkey Bowl also performed, and I gave a short yet forgettable speech. 😉  Eli Pariser from MoveOn agreed to ask their Creative Director, Laura Dawn (Bush in 30 seconds) to participate and she came out and gave a better speech.  Billy Block pitched in and was the evening’s host.

3rd and Lindsey‘s owner was nice enough to toss up his joint for free that night.  Hugh Bennett Productions helped with sound, and The Nashville Scene gave us some ad space.  Congressman Jim Cooper, (no link love for you!) had originally agreed to speak, but bailed last minute.

It was fun, and way cool to see a large group of bloggers who had never met get together for something they believed in.  I mention all of this because there has been a little hub-bub over at Pith about whether or not a small group of Progressives can raise enough money to fund the TNDP.  I think the discussion misses the point. Everbody pitched in to make the event happen.  That night, like the event R. Neal organized, raised some money, raised some awareness, and, for about three hours, raised the roof!

EDIT:  Almost forgot, Southern Beale from Music Row Democrats, who set up a table and registered voters.  My bad.

Progressives will have to work together, volunteer their talent and time, and create a fund-raising framework that isn’t just based in Davidson County.  Don’t tell me it cannot be done.  Anyway, I’m goin to Dizz Knee Land:



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8 responses to “FGF-Progressives Working Together Edition

  1. Great post. And SB is one of the best volunteers progressives in Tennessee has.

    There are still a couple of people who want to make it about them–who are relatively new to politics and once they realize that they need to work with everyone, whether they like them or not,then the progressive bloggers will truly progress.

    And Monkey Bowl! I love them! Didn’t they do the song, ‘ Al Gore lives on my Street?’ That’s one of the funniest songs I’ve ever heard, and thought it was worthy of progressive radio.

    I’m thinking they played at Michael Moore on Oct 9, 2004…yes? (Oct 9 is my bday–that’s why it’s easy to remember the date for me–got Moore for my Bday!)

    Anyhow, people need to work together who call themselves progressives and not be petty about whom they will to go hang with. It’s partially work and not about being a blogger meetup. (though partying afterwards is great, too!)

  2. Whoops. Clicked on the ‘Monkey Bowl’ link after I posted. What’s funny is they have a picture of me and Moore on their site. Small world!

    So what do we do next?
    SB–I know you’re up for some freeway blogging!;)

  3. This is the problem with Big Party politics. Pith, for all its pretended hipness, remains lustful of inclusion in the Status Quo.

    As long as there are folks out there challenging that status quo, Pith will most likely parry and thrust in favour of that which they so desperately wish to be a part of.

  4. Sharon, you did a great job on bringing Moore to town. I volunteered to do crowd control, got to meet him in the green room. (thanks to SB).

    I had my “Draft Phil Valentine/Steve Gill T-shirt on, and Mike commented on it. The crowd was FUN that night.

    Kat, maybe. I’m more inclined to think that too many at Pith have bought into the caricatures of liberals that the loud Right has been crafting. Most of them are young.

    Its good to see you here, btw.

  5. Mack–
    I must have met you back then–in the green room!
    Sheesh–we really need to sit down and have a cervesa, or at least a coke.

    Thank you on the Moore comment. You know what SB was doing? All the work that night–none of the fun stuff. As usual, she was amazing.
    And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention I talked Bob T. into putting up over 30 thousand dollars for that evening. I started at 15 thousand because that’s what Michael wanted to fly in, not for him–he didn’t make any money, but for the G4 plane, but by the time Shane got involved (events manager) it added up to over 30 thousand dollar. God bless Bob T.!
    (BTW–Did you know he’s working in New Mexico with Indian tribes? BB can fill you in on that)
    Anyhow, I was the catalyst, but I couldn’t have pulled it off without Bob, and again, SB doing the work that night and not doing the fun stuff backstage. She’s amazing.
    And thank you for anything you did to help, too!
    Like I said, we need to talk in person. I bet our paths have crossed numerous times.

  6. Almost forgot, Southern Beale from Music Row Democrats, who set up a table and registered voters. My bad.

    Snort. IIRC, I registered one person — your wife!


    It was a very fun evening and I made some amazing friends that night. Community organizing reaps benefits for years to come.

  7. And thanks Sharon for your kind words about the Michael Moore event. That was another amazing evening.

    Seems like MRD got a lot of snickers from folks on the right, just as the TNDP online fundraiser did earlier this month… “it’s just a handful of folks, what can they accomplish, it’s small money,” etc. etc. But from small seeds mighty trees grow.

    Both were first steps in organizing, communicating with one another, reaching out to the community. Tennessee won’t turn blue over night but each action is a step toward that goal.

  8. Kat–
    What does Pith have to do with big party politics?
    Mack, SB and I have been doing it long before there was a Pith or blogs, for that matter, and it’s about rolling up your sleeves and doing the work, not talking about it.
    While the Internet has shown to be a really effective way to raise money, especially at a grassroots level, many of us who have been doing this since before the Internet don’t even think about Pith or blogs being a major part, including our own.
    We’re out there doing the actual work, as noted in the other posts in this thread, and that’s what makes the difference, not sitting behind a computer, unless we’re inspiring people to get involved outside the home, or at least stuff envelopes or whatever inside the home, but it isn’t sitting on a computer pontificating our own thoughts that makes the difference (most of the time), thus Pith, or all of us, for that matter, are irrelevant on that level.
    One has to be willing to roll up ones sleeve and get to work if one wants to be relevant in politics, and I don’t see Pith or many bloggers for that matter,doing that.
    When I was with MRD, just watching the work SB would do in one week would wear me out, and it was more than most bloggers have done in their lifetimes.
    The Internet is great for raising money, but the truth is, it’s getting out and meeting with legislators, or covering them, or going to the headquarters or stuffing envelopes and sending mailouts and making calls that makes the big differences. So again, I don’t see what that has to do with Pith. (Bruce Barry is active and of course his wife is active outside of the Scene, but I don’t think they look at Pith as a way to change big party politics)

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