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San Francisco Democracy for America May Meetup

  • May 7, 2003 · 7:00 PM
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  • A former member
    A former member

    Impossible to hold a meeting. Too noisy.

    May 7, 2003

  • A former member
    A former member

    Terrible location choice: switched at last minute from Cafe Royale to Thirsty Bear Brewing. Impossible to hear speakers. Confusing setup. Disappointing!

    May 7, 2003

  • A former member
    A former member

    A more private venue with appropriate AV hook ups would be great. Wonderful event! Drawing so many talented people ready to help.

    May 7, 2003

  • A former member
    A former member

    Beautiful interior, but could not hear a word spoken. Neither the speaker/facilator nor the attendees could be heard over the noise of the busy kitchen.

    May 7, 2003

  • A former member
    A former member

    I actually went to the Thirsty Bear instead of Cafe Royal. The staff at the Thirsty Bear was obviously irritated that we were there in such large numbers--totally not welcoming, understaffed, and bordering on rude. The space was so incredibly inadequate for the amount of people who were there for our event. I know that they have an upstairs room that could have accomodated us all, but for some reason they didn't want us to have the space. The acoustics at the Thirsty Bear were terrible. I think MeetUp should do a better job of picking a location appropriate for the group of people meeting and the purpose of the meeting. I would recommend that the Dean for America Meetup take place someplace different and I heard that the Meetup people were not very helpful regarding venue choice--I would recommend that the Dean people stop using MeetUp alogether. [Spearding the word isn't the problem--pick the location seems to be]

    May 7, 2003

  • A former member
    A former member

    We need a venue that isn't dual purpose - this one had a loud restaurant/bar crowd plus us in a cramped space, so there wasn't much opportunity for people to talk with one another. And the visuals (very powerful video of the Gov. doing what he does so well, speaking on stage about why he is running) were compelling, but shown on a paper screen taped to a brick wall that was tough for all people to see. But we are troopers, fired up, and so it was OK. But for future events, the venue has to be larger and better equipped and planned.

    May 7, 2003

  • A former member
    A former member

    It was a good meetup, but the venue was a bit crowded. It was hard to hear the info about Dean. They're going to a new place next time, so maybe it will be a better fit.

    May 7, 2003

  • A former member
    A former member

    Good physical location for transit, but BAD setting for audiovisual, hearing speakers. We need another transit central location with sufficient space and ability to set up to be heard & seen as well as to move around without hitting into each other and the the furniture.

    May 7, 2003

  • A former member
    A former member

    I would rather everyone from San Francisco met at one place.

    May 7, 2003

  • Avery M.

    Kelly's did not know we were coming tonight but pulled things together and were very accomodating considering they did not know we were coming. The hosts and organizer's want to have one venue for the next SF MeetUp to keep the organization focused and centralized.

    May 7, 2003

  • A former member
    A former member

    I am one of the coordinators for the SF4DEAN Meetup, and I had to go to Kelly's Mission Rock to be one of the organizers thanks to Meetups very very SHORT SIGHTED decision to split our group into 3 different places, NONE OF WHICH KNEW WE WERE COMING despite being the choices posted on the website. What's up with that? Moreover, as a political interest group we aren't meeting to once a month to exchange receipes, decide where to roadtrip or what are the best features of XBox. We are trying to organize a structure that can be of some use to the Dean Campaign. As the monthly meetups are a primary source of recruiting, all my fellow coordinators need to be at the SAME PLACE, at the SAME TIME and the bar or whereever, needs to know that were coming, that we need space to break up into smaller groups based on interest and there needs to be capabilties for microphone, video projection, sound system, etc. This needs to be done ahead of time, and Meetup needs to do a much better job of vetting venues. Our group also depends on seeing strength in numbers which will be beneficial to the bar in question and make it worth their while to host us in the first place. If you split us up your only killing your own "business model" because, with fewer people at each event, it won't be worthwhile for these venues to host us, and by splitting up the organizers, we give a poorer presentation and thus loose support not increase it. Dean Meetup may be growing right now, but these current practices multiple venues are going to weaken support for Dean. Meetup has got to understand that all of the political meetups, for what ever candidate or party will have very different interests and needs compared to the non-political meetups. Start to take this into account before next month's meeting.

    May 7, 2003

  • Bill W.

    I think it would be better if we meet as one group instead of 3 different locations.

    May 7, 2003

  • A former member
    A former member

    I think Heather and I would prefer one large meeting. Perhaps we can try to meet in one place next month?

    May 7, 2003

  • A former member
    A former member

    perhaps a microphone if people are going to speak. it was next to impossible to hear the speakers or even what dean himself was saying on video. the venue also happened to be freezing.

    May 7, 2003

  • A former member
    A former member

    More coordination with host site would be a good - hard to hear our meeting and there was an empty, unused banquet room upstairs...the people and experience and enthusiasm of the grassrooots involvement were fantastic, though

    May 7, 2003

  • Katrina

    The venue was way too noisy. If we are going to use it again, we need a private room. The upstairs was available for reservation and would be more ideal. We also need a projection screen for our video.

    May 7, 2003

  • A former member
    A former member

    Good video on Dean and enthusiastic participants made for a solid outing.

    Thirsty Bear was a good choice from a demographic point of view, but it was too loud.

    May 7, 2003

  • A former member
    A former member

    1. Don't pick a noisy bar.
    2. Get to business. I don't have an hour or two to stand around in a bar chatting and watching a video of a candidate I already support. It seems that the only work planned for that meeting was signing up for committees --that could have been done in 15 minutes in a quiet, businesslike venue.
    3. I am eager to work for Dean, and happy to discuss committee work, too. But I'm not going to any more meetups. Please have someone call me to discuss in a direct, practical way how I could help.

    David Phillips[masked]

    May 7, 2003

  • A former member
    A former member

    The venue wasn't very good because we didn't have a private area and it was terribly noisy. Even with a microphone, we couldn't hear anything the Dean people were saying. Also, the management of the venue seemed irked by our presence as it was a busy evening for them. (Odd as one would have thought they'd welcome 100+ orders of beer and snacks....) Next time, we ought to go somewhere with a private room.

    May 7, 2003

  • A former member
    A former member

    I would have liked to have found out more about Dean at this event. I was there to gather information but perhaps that was not the primary reason for the meet up.

    May 7, 2003

  • A former member
    A former member

    Bad space - difficult to hear the presentation. Speakers had to shout over the din of the patrons. Next space should be larger, more accomodating for presentations.

    May 7, 2003

  • James G.

    The Venue was AWFUL. It was extremely loud and filled with others who were there to drink after work. Kelly's Mission Rock was MUCH better last month.

    May 7, 2003

  • spivak

    Need a bigger, quieter place.

    May 7, 2003

  • A former member
    A former member

    Better sound system.

    May 7, 2003

  • A former member
    A former member

    The bar was ill prepared for so many people and needed more bartenders, a better set up for tables, etc. Also, get a sound system -- we couldn't hear anything. Had fun and will definitely attend the next Dean MeetUp. Thanks so much for doing this.

    May 7, 2003

  • A former member
    A former member

    I think there was confusion about where people should go. Wouldn't it be better to choose ONE location and be clear than have three for convenience and then send out conflicting e-mails. I know it's hard and that you did your best to recover by blanket e-mailing yesterday, but it sends a message of disorganization to the troops.

    May 7, 2003

  • Mike

    We need a venue with better acoustics. No one could hear the guest speakers, and the video presentation of Gov. Dean was inaudible. Supporters have to be able to hear if they are going to reach out.

    May 7, 2003

  • A former member
    A former member

    It was a little difficult to hear.
    An agenda would help to orientate newcomers who are wondering what will happen and when.
    Having Gov Dean there would make it even better :)
    Overall I was very impressed. This is my encounter with political participation other than voting, and this was a nice introduction by interesting and passionate people.

    May 7, 2003

  • A former member
    A former member

    The turnout was great but we couldn't hear anything because the sound system didn't work and the bar was filled with non-Dean people.

    May 7, 2003

  • A former member
    A former member

    While the room itself was large it was not at all suitable for this type of gathering. There were two rooms, which were separate from the main bar area but they had NOT been set aside for the Meet-Up. Since we were in the middle of a large public room it was extremely difficult to hear both the speakers and the video presentation.

    On the plus side the venue was very accessible to public transportation. Maybe next time you could ask to hold one of the side rooms.

    May 7, 2003

  • A former member
    A former member

    Pick a location with that is quieter or has better acousitcs for speaking without a mike...I like the idea of not having a mike as it encourages people to talk...(some people wont use a mike)

    May 7, 2003

  • Chad A.

    I wasn't expecting much structure, but the Hosts did a fantastic job of putting just enough (handouts, committee announcements), but then leaving a lot of open-ended space as well.

    May 7, 2003

  • A former member
    A former member

    The MeetUps should not be spread over multiple venues. I will help find one central location where all of us can gather. Thanks for providing such a great organizational tool!

    May 7, 2003

  • A former member
    A former member

    I was unable to make the meeting but found the meetup.com website to be excellent and very user friendly. If possible let me know when there will be more Dean 2004 meetups. Thanks. Vala Cliffton

    May 7, 2003

  • A former member
    A former member

    Terrible venue. Noisy. No way to talk to our crowd. No AV.

    May 7, 2003

  • dave s.

    Many were there to check out Dean and find out more, but were not committing without more info. The event was not set up that way, I had some homemade flyers from stuff collected from the website and from interview articles which were passed out. The hosts referred everyone to the website, which does have a lot of info, but I think some of these folks came hoping to speak to a spokesperson for Dean and get answers directly.

    May 7, 2003

  • A former member
    A former member

    I like the Thirsty Bear, but for meeting purposes it is a little loud and was kind of cramped. I know they have an upstairs area which would probably work very well for this type of meeting were this venue to be used again...

    May 7, 2003

  • katherine

    It was actually quite difficult to hear the speakers (great to have such a big turnout but a bummer not to be able to hear). I am 100% behind Dean and talk about him to others. I will attend another Meet-up but I'll try another location next time.

    May 7, 2003

  • steven g.

    Need to be more centralized with larger turnout in SF. There were 3 places for meetup. Better to have one large venue.

    Also, would be good to have some sort of program, even if briefly, around the political issues. after all .. this is a political meet.

    May 7, 2003

  • A former member
    A former member

    Promoters were good cheerleaders but wouldn't discuss substance of campaign positions beyond that provided in preprinted literature. Dean video clips played through laptop speakers in a noisy bar looked terribly hokey, even for a grass-roots event. Nobody really inspired. It felt like a meeting of college kids in a bar behind the dorm. I felt like somebody was going to ask me to hold a bake sale or a car wash for Dean. Certainly nobody was convinced by this meeting who wasn't already a Dean supporter in the first place. Could these meetups really grow into campaign rallies? I don't think so.

    That being said, I do believe in the Governor's positions.

    May 7, 2003

  • j_a_maloney

    The venue wasn't appropriate - too crowded and loud and no accommodations for video screen. Took a long time to get served and staff were pushy and somewhat rude. Would recommend not using this venue again. The speakers otherwise were great, it was just too difficult to hear them.

    May 7, 2003

  • A former member
    A former member

    Any venue with music (live or recorded) and without A/V capabilities is not a good choice for a political MeetUp. People come to get more information on the candidate, but can't hear. Showing a video of the candidate really gets people excited, but without A/V...well.

    May 7, 2003

  • A former member
    A former member

    Great turnout, lots of enthusiasm, but HORRIBLE sound system made it hard to get info and learn about Dean.

    May 7, 2003

  • A former member
    A former member

    PA system would help, especially if crowds get much bigger.
    Spreading the word:
    1) Challenge each attendee to bring 10 friends to next meeting; maybe offer free Dean T-shirt as a prize for most friends brought.
    2) Use the MoveOn model --- they attached "Regime Change Begins at Home" leaflets to email memos for recipients to print up before the Iraq war, and these were ubiquitous at all the rallies, car windows, etc. The same method could be used for Meetup announcements, giving place and date, etc. and people could put them in their car windows, store fronts, whereever. The other model to follow is Nike --- the "swoosh" got plastered everywhere, even before people knew what it was, and now look. The same thing has to happen with Dean --- get the name everywhere so it seaps into the consciousness; if people have seen the name before and if they see it often enough, they will associate credibility and take a closer look.
    2a) Along these lines, at this stage, EVERYONE that attends should leave with a FREE Dean for America sign to put in their window at home,
    or at least 1 for $1, 10 for $2. Get the name out there!
    3) Send out a daily Dean "factoid" to all attendees via email, some sound-bite sized talking point that keep people talking, keep people jazzed.
    4) Post videotaped testimonials on the website from previous Meetups;
    with today's mini-dv technology, it's fairly simple to make decent little Quicktime spots.

    May 7, 2003

  • A former member
    A former member

    Since this is a grassroots gathering and no one attending is an "official" Dean campaign representative, I think the Official Dean Campaign provide (in soft copy of course) Gov. Dean's positions on the issues. A few attendee's didn't really know his positions on issues or his record. They attended to find out information about him. I believe many people don't have access to the internet as easily or readily as some people. Several people attending the event didn't feel comfortable "speaking" on behalf of Gov. Dean, not wanting to misrepresent him or pass on inaccurate information. I would be happy to print out hand outs to distribute to those requesting such information, that I receive from the Dean Campaign and/or his website. I too want to ensure Gov. Dean is represented correctly and accurately as well as legally on my part. I myself have been through Gov. Dean's website thoroughly! and refer to it on a daily basis...On a personal note, I enjoyed the MeetUp and look forward to volunteering for the Dean campaign here in the Bay area! I made my choice to support Gov. Dean back in February and I know I'm supporting the next President of the United States of America!! Gov. Dean has revitalized my interest and care for this great country and our political and electoral process...I was so disinfranchised and disgusted after Bush's "appointment" in 2000...then all of his screw-ups, lies, broken promises, and total destruction of the US and her citizens, that I gave up hope but then Gov. Dean came along to save us all!...Thank you Gov. Dean for helping me believe in something and someone again!!!

    Please feel free to contact me to help in anyway I can!

    Best regards,

    Peter A. Nellis
    San Francisco, CA
    [masked] [masked] work [masked] home

    May 7, 2003

  • A former member
    A former member

    I did not attend. Having had some participation in the past with campaigning, I am revolted by the process and the necessity to dumn down all issues. How are you going to get people like me motivated, when all campaigns devolve to the lowest common denominators?

    May 7, 2003

  • kerrymcglone33

    All printed material promoting Dr. Dean should be printed on recycled paper, at the very least. Dr. Dean's good envrionmental record and positions on the issues, should be outlined on printed materials that highlight his committment to the environment. I'd be happy to help with this endeavor at future SF Meetups!

    May 7, 2003

  • A former member
    A former member

    The building was a little cold. The restaurant had only one waitress and people had to wait a long time for food and drink. I thought that was a distraction to the meeting presentation. Eating is good, it allows more people to come if they can get dinner. The hour was convenient for me. The presentation was energetic and the crowd seemed involved, but I think all of the committees should be represented. I wanted to work on voter reg. and that committee was not represented. I was able to sign up anyway. I enjoyed the meeting, would have stayed longer if I weren't so cold.
    The word is spreading. Do more of what you are doing, have people come with a friend.

    May 7, 2003

  • meditaciousd

    Secure the meeting space -- we were down in the general area of the bar -- and make sure there's A/V equipment, especially a microphone -- couldn't hear a damn thing.

    May 7, 2003

  • spacult

    The event went well. The only suggestions I could make are #1: Instead of doing three meetups at three different sites, try and do one, and have everyone attend. The more the merrier. Also, the girls who ran this meetup were extremely nice, but they were not very organized. Overall, it was great, and I am looking forward to the next Meetup. Take care

    May 7, 2003

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