Tuesday, August 09, 2005

My Focus...

Bruce, I thought this an interesting e-mail exchange I had recently that might shed light on some of the things I've been talking about...

Question: "My husband and I would like to join OTMDems, however, we have two small children, so I am not sure how involved we can be at this time. If we can be members who are involved on a limited basis, I'll proceed. Otherwise, we' ll continue as interested parties..."

Response: "one of things we've talked about from the beginning is that 95% of people's time is already committed to family and work, and everything we do has to be respectful of that. We also have to plan events that occasionally include our families because we want to pass our political values on to our kids so our local culture doesn't do it by default. That being said, with two small children, you do have your very own special issues, I know. My wife and I have been there too, and currently, my sister and her husband have a 3 and 4 yr old, so we don't see them as often as we'd love to either. My niece and nephew are awfully cute in their otmdems tee-shirts though!

From the perspective of OTMDems, we'd love to have your membership on whatever terms we can get it. One of the things that made our participation in the "We Love Homewood" Parade so successful back in May was the inclusion of so many charming children. That's about the only event my sister has really been able to come to. We do hope to have more family-friendly events in the future, so keep that in mind too. (Maybe a Halloween party or visit from Santa come December...) The point we hope to make to the OTM communities is that we are every bit as much a part of the fabric of this town as everyone else, and now we're getting organized and visible, not in a loud and annoying way, but in an energetic and enjoyable way. We're just "outing" ourselves if you will. Because being a Republican seems to have become as much a cultural thing by default as it is any thoughtful reflection on the issues. We're hoping! to change that. And we're all tired of Democrats being represented as having bad values. We won't preach otherwise, we intend to just live it and respectfully, calmly show it.

Lastly, we've set a goal for ourselves to have a membership of 1000 within a year. We know that if we want to have a real voice in the reform of the Alabama Democratic Party, with our elected officials, both Dems and Republicans alike, in our communities, and most importantly, with the media, size will matter. But unlike the Boy Scouts, who inflated their membership numbers for whatever reason, we'll represent only the true numbers as we earn them. The stakes are too high not too. But I'm convinced that Artur Davis would not have come to our last-minute mtg last night and spent an hour and a half talking with us and answering our many questions if we had a membership of 50. And meeting other Democrats after feeling isolated and alone for so long has been one of the most fulfilling aspects of this endeavor for me. I can't tell you how many times I've heard the same thing from others. (I think that's why our socials like the other night have been so popular. We had 140 folks show up in the middle of vacation season. Too cool...)

So please consider joining. I promise to do my part to build a group that is thoughtful and active and works to make being a Democrat in these parts socially acceptable again. And don't worry about how much or how little time you have right now. Work, wealth or wisdom is how someone put it early on about what individuals might bring to the table. We aren't so numerous to be very picky about it! Sorry to ramble on. I hope to meet you sometime soon!"

Reply: "AMEN............ to everything you said.
Pretty inspirational, especially about feeling isolated as a Dem in Alabama (with values!) and about wanting to pass on those values to our kids.
Please give me the address to send my check once more and I'll send it soon. My husband and I both return to school (work) tomorrow, so give me a week or so to get over the shock.
Looking forward to meeting you soon as well..."


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