The feeling I could do more was dogging me and others in our meetup group. Talking about the issues with friends and family online and in person only goes so far after all.
Lynne was great at letting us know about a variety of ways we could get personally involved. One of the ways talked about was MoveOn. I had signed a few of their petitions over the years and recently bought 50 Ways to Love Your Country. It’s inspiring stuff and I suggest a purchase. A few of us volunteered for their Leave No Voter Behind effort. It’s focused on helping get out the vote thru one on one personal contact. They empower you with the tools to go canvassing in your own neighborhood. Mithras, a local blogger, has been posting about his work with them. The word that I get from my meetup friends is really positive.
Me? Well I’ve always felt that somewhere out there is a place where I can apply what I do for a living for a positive purpose. So early last month, on a lunch break, I decided to walk into the local Pennsylvania Democratic campaign headquarters and offer my help.
I introduced myself at the front desk, told the fellow who I?ve worked for and what I do, and within minutes was introduced to PA Victory’s Internet Director (and overall technology manager as far as I could tell). He gave me a tour and a review of their work. There was lots of energy flowing all over the place. The site team was a bit understaffed, but the Director was, like many work mentors of mine, someone who could hold together a massive operation on will power alone. I was taken aback at the sheer number of people who have put their lives on the line by taking breaks from work and school to volunteer full time. Here were people believe with all their hearts and minds that Kerry can lead us out of the mess we?re in. Contrary to what some bloggers say, these folks made the choice based on who to vote for not who they were voting against.
To make a long story short, we launched an instance of Movable Type to manage event postings and news items, with RSS flowing out in every direction. There is a great back story to this, and with a follow up piece I’d like to outline the techniques (the right mix of templates, plugins, and some Movable Type source code hacking) we used to pull it off since event listings and editorial workflow are not Movable Type strong suits.
It launched two weeks ago and since then I’ve switched gears and am now assisting with PA Victory’s Get Out The Vote effort. I attended a training class this past Saturday (there are still classes available) and all I can say is to repeat what I did earlier today – we’re going to win folks.