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Oakland Democracy for America July Meetup

  • Jul 2, 2003 · 7:00 PM
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  • A former member
    A former member

    Easy to find, well run, excellent program. I am in for Dean!

    September 3, 2004

  • A former member
    A former member

    It was standing room only, which was GREAT--much better than being an apparently little group in a huge place. It worked fine. People were in a good mood, amiable, cooperative. Thanks to whoever came up with this idea (the letters to Iowa). This energizes both the writers and (we hope) the receivers. We shall see how they are received. But I think it was a great idea, and I'm an old campaign organizer from way bacj--was head of the precinct organization for McCarthy in Eugene Oregon in 1968--we had a great organization and we won the primary--got organized early, the way the Dean campaign is doing. And were Grass Roots, as the Dean campaign is. GRASS ROOTS are so important. There was NO appeal to the grass roots in 2000--a Big Mistake. Just writing off California as *safe* for Gore FAILED TO MOBILIZE US TO HELP WITH THE OTHER AREAS!!!

    The people who are organizing this are doing a great job. Many thanks for all your wonderful work!

    Judy Bertelsen
    [masked]
    P.O. Box 2774
    Berkeley, CA 94702

    September 3, 2004

  • A former member
    A former member

    we adopted Iowans by writing them letters telling them to help us elect Dean

    September 3, 2004

  • A former member
    A former member

    The farther we get into this thing, the better we all know each other and this is such a great thing. I plan to be at every meetup till we don't need them anymore!!!

    September 3, 2004

  • A former member
    A former member

    We were only able to use the venue for one(1) hour because there was another group coming in at 8. I only had time to write one letter, and I didn't really get to meet more than one or two people. I liked the physical space of the venue, but if we can't have at least two hours we really shouldn't use it.

    September 3, 2004

  • A former member
    A former member

    We need to get larger venues. There should be some way the organizers of the Meetup--i.e. the Dean volunteers--can control the selection of venues.

    September 3, 2004

  • A former member
    A former member

    It was good to see the video but I don't think we needed more convincing...i.e. didn't need to hear reasons to vote for him again. Would have liked more action earlier in meeting because I couldn't stay for the whole thing. I love the grassroots aspect of this and can't wait to get to work for Dean!

    September 3, 2004

  • A former member
    A former member

    We have too many participants for 3 venues. We either need to allow for more than 3 venues in the area or sub-divide the region into Berkeley, Oakland and Walnut Creek (for example). People may get frustrated with overcrowded meetups where you have to stand for 2 hours and stop coming.

    September 3, 2004

  • A former member
    A former member

    Standing room only, energetic crowd of supporters for Dean. He is the right person at the right time with the right message.

    September 3, 2004

  • A former member
    A former member

    Great venue, great meetup.

    September 3, 2004

  • Laura D.

    The letter writing was a great idea, but this venue wasn't suited to it. If we'd had more notice and been able to bypass using the meet-up selected venue, it would have been a much more positve experience. The folks at the plough were very cooperative, it just isn't the right kind of place to get a bunch of people to write letters (few tables, dark, noisy) and we had to be out of there by 8pm because of a poetry slam that was scheduled there the same night. We took the unfinished letters to the other meet-up in our area and got them mostly finished. I will do as many as I can tomorrow.

    September 3, 2004

  • A former member
    A former member

    The group at au coquelet had its sights on Iowa. There is a sense of enthusiasm and a sense of hope. Good show for a first meeting I thought.

    September 3, 2004

  • A former member
    A former member

    We were jam=packed, hard to tell how many as there was sitting on the floor only room and others lined up trying to get in. LOVED writing to Iowa voters. The support for Dean and the grassroots campaign was palpable. NEVER has any candidate asked me for more than just $. Now, I give $ and work as well, and it feel just right. The folks running this campaign are doing a SUPER job. And, Dean....we need you; keep on trucking.

    September 3, 2004

  • A former member
    A former member

    It was great. We'll look for a bigger venue next time, as we were over capacity. Very effective, the personal letter "Adopt an Iowan" technique.

    September 3, 2004

  • A former member
    A former member

    I think we are outgrowing Cafe La Scala!

    September 3, 2004

  • A former member
    A former member

    You need two things to make these meetings better:
    1. Special recruiting of event planners who attend who can help you find decent venues -- this one was chaotic and had poor acoustics
    2. Better writers -- the letter you asked people to work from wasn't very good or convincing, I think. I'd expect something like this from Kucinish. I'd be happy to help you write better communications.

    Jeff Knight

    September 3, 2004

  • A former member
    A former member

    would like to know more about Dean's position on issues, rather rhan the general statements on his web site.such as, now that we are in Iraq, what would he do there, if elected?
    Waht will he do, where will he lead?

    September 3, 2004

  • A former member
    A former member

    Need a bigger space; need more options for helping/getting involved. Can we sign up to table at Farmers Markets? What else can we do? Get people as involved as possible as early as possible.

    September 3, 2004

  • A former member
    A former member

    The venue was noisy and dark and it was difficult to hear the speakers. Not clear about purpose other then to write letters to Iowans. Not enough discussion on issues and how to get more involved. Group was diverse in age but not in color. Need to reach out to the Black and Asian communities.

    September 3, 2004

  • A former member
    A former member

    **VERY** important: One of the problems with us liberals is that we have such a multiplicity of concerns; but we don't always agree on them. I feel that the Dean Meetups should focus **SOLELY** on Howard Dean and his campaign. At last night's Meetup at Au Coquelet in Berkeley, an organizer with a petition for changing the requirement for a budget vote in California was allowed to speak to the crowd and to circulate that petition. This had nothing to do with Howard Dean. I feel that this is establishing a very bad precedent. Next it could be something considerably more controversial--free Mumia, abolish capital punishment, impeach Bush, whatever--and that draws off energy from what SHOULD be an entire Meetup focused on nominating and electing Howard Dean. I sincerely hope that some kind of direction on this can come down to Meetup hosts from the Dean campaign. Once again, it's not that I oppose any of these quests for publicity/signatures: It's just that it splits the energy and also has a strong possibility of stepping on someone's toes. We attended the meeting for one purpose, and I want to see the meetings held to THAT purpose. In all other ways, the Meetup was great, and we LOVED writing the letters! Thanks.

    September 3, 2004

  • apaulruth

    Well organized, committed people, things to do, things to buy.

    September 3, 2004

  • A former member
    A former member

    Frankly there were too many people there--which is exciting, but I left early because I couldn't hear the speakers. But I managed to get a button, bumper sticker, and a list of names of Iowa folks to write too

    September 3, 2004

  • A former member
    A former member

    Cafe La Scala was too small for the crowd that showed up (yea!). People attended is just a guess. The meeting was good although I would have liked some discussion around what we can do outside of voter reg and donating. I think we should be actively working to get the message out. The donation push was worded a little to Republicanesque for many there - need to work on a more people's funds for the people's campaign type message. They announced that Dr Dean would call into any house party that could commit to raise at least $5000. While I understand that he has very limited time to make these calls I hate to see this type of statement which clearly values $$ over time & commitment.

    September 3, 2004

  • A former member
    A former member

    Fascilitator is excellent, event seemed well-organized and all went well. People were friendly and it was a good experience.

    September 3, 2004

  • A former member
    A former member

    Its a nice place, but too small. We should establish more places in the area.

    The organizers did a great job. Each had some pre-assigned task or speaking part. In a small town it might have been more folksy per the Dean website, this was much more like a full scale campaign organizing. I liked it.
    The meetups right now are planned for every month at this venue. I think they should be every two weeks.

    September 3, 2004

  • A former member
    A former member

    We needed a much larger venue, of course. More importantly, since many of us are new to the campaign, it would be nice to hear more about Dean, perhaps in the form of brief testimonies from one or two local leaders of the campaign.
    All in all though, a very good experience. Thank you!
    Molly Oshatz

    September 3, 2004

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hope there is a bigger venue next time.otherwise the speakers were terrific and it was a good turn out.

    September 3, 2004

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'd say that the meetups in Berkeley will have to be better prepared for more attendees in the future. The only problem with last night was that the space was too small and awkward for the crowd, and yet it was also hard to hear what was being said. But overall I'm glad I went.

    September 3, 2004

  • A former member
    A former member

    I ended up at Au Coquelet, because of lack of coordination between venue organizers, I think. I voted for the Plough, then heard from the Dean-bay-area list ([masked]) that the venue was Au Coquelet. It wasn't clear from several inquiries whether these meetups were 'competing' or the one at the Plough had been cancelled or what. Heard later that the Plough meetup only had one hour there, I guess because of some band playing. 100+ people showed up at Au Coquelet. We wrote a lot of letters. I hope the Iowa recipients won't think it's odd getting personal mails from a bunch of strangers.

    September 3, 2004

  • A former member
    A former member

    The number of attendees is just an estimate, but it seems about right. (I've worked for large nightclubs before, so I'm reasonably good at making that kind of guess.) I was very impressed by how organized and knowledgable the organizers were, and I thought the letter-writing campaign was a wonderful idea. Thanks for helping individual citizens take back the political process from corporate lobbyists and fat-kat rich donors.

    September 3, 2004

  • A former member
    A former member

    Don't know how many came. I came late after many had left.

    September 3, 2004

  • sandy

    Loved the adopt-an-Iowan. Missed having any video of Dr. Dean. Even repeats would be welcome. Brought 4 new people last night, some of whom haven't heard Dr. Dean. Appreciated the zeal of the group leader. Thought a second, older person in addition would have been a moderating factor.
    Too white. We need African Americans, Asians, PI's, Native Americans. If we're going to do this, we need all the minority communities.

    September 3, 2004

  • A former member
    A former member

    letter writing a good use of time. Q&A fairly helpful for yet-committed. reach out to African American communities leaders to host next meeting in AA community spot -- like the Imani Church on McArthur. Important to grow in all sectors of community. Dean won't win the primary or the office without a motivated Black vote. Thanks for your efforts. Finally, we didn't track the advertised agenda at all. I had been looking forward to signing onto tasks listed on the agenda. I look forward to follow up on other organizing activities. Thanks for your good efforts and energy. Best, Deb ([masked])

    September 3, 2004

  • A former member
    A former member

    The management was very angry that we had three times the number of people they were expecting. Meetup needs to split us into smaller groupings (no more than 25 people per location) because there are no free locations big enough for our quickly growing group and we're alienating all these business owners. The crowd was so large, with people sitting on the floor and standing room only, that no one was able to even purchase food and drinks. You need to fix this, it's simply not working! -Emily Duffy (East Bay for Dean Organizing Committee)

    September 3, 2004

  • A former member
    A former member

    Disorganized, no clear goals set; not enough time given to meet the agenda (letter-writing). It started at 7:00 -- and had to be out by 8:00 because of a scheduled poetry slam. Bad venue. My hope for a Dean presidency grows every day, but it ain't gonna happen if my experience of last night is any indication of what's going on around the country! We need to be more than a few Berkeley radicals raising hell. We need to be more mature and clear-thinking and organized than that!

    September 3, 2004

  • A former member
    A former member

    I couldn'd find Walnut Creek in the list of meetup photos.

    September 3, 2004

  • A former member
    A former member

    Well organized; efficient use of time; unfortunately another unrelated event was scheduled right after us so we had to leave sooner than we might have wished - is there a way we can find a place that will let us meet for longer next time? A church, or perhaps a building on UC's campus?

    September 3, 2004

  • A former member
    A former member

    Too many people for that space. Space would have been good for smaller group. Size of group made it impossible to do any planning or have real discussion. Woman who spoke/chaired was good. Venue had a poetry slam at 8 so we only had an hour. Insufficient time to do anything but listen. I will still be involved. I would like to help re-register Greens (I'm registered Green) - perhaps at Whole Foods or Berkeley Bowl. We need a single piece of paper that summarizes his key policy positions.

    September 3, 2004

  • A former member
    A former member

    Air brush the tape of Dean's announcement speech to blur the Green Party sign...It's way to distracting. The speech was terrific, anyway.

    September 3, 2004

  • A former member
    A former member

    Writing letters to Iowa Caucus members was a great idea.
    The venue wasn't large enough for all who came. The public meeting room in the Berkeley Public Library (free) would be better next time.

    September 3, 2004

  • A former member
    A former member

    There was not enough room, nor enough supplies, but overall, it was a lot of fun!

    September 3, 2004

  • A former member
    A former member

    Time was short, more time needs to be spent on organizing so that people leave with a job to do.

    September 3, 2004

  • Gene T.

    Couldn't hear announcements. Get
    a megaphone if mike can't be used.
    Use 2 or 3 people to ask for quiet
    during announcements. Get more space at venues.

    September 3, 2004

  • A former member
    A former member

    I went to Au Coquolet instead or the Starry Plough. I wished there were more volunteers who could relay what was going for late comers--it was a bit chaotic, but this probably was because the larger than expected turnout.

    September 3, 2004

  • A former member
    A former member

    The meeting space was much too small. Those at the back really couldn't hear what was said, and there was no room to mingle and meet other people.

    September 3, 2004

  • ahfugyou

    The meetup was good but the place sucked- they hustled us out so fast that I only had time to write a rushed, not very convincing letter to my 3 Iowans. We should make sure we use places that are really committed to helping us out- the Starry Plough here in Berkeley was definitely not a good example.

    September 3, 2004

  • A former member
    A former member

    I loved the idea of writing to Iowa voters!

    September 3, 2004

  • A former member
    A former member

    It felt great to meet with others of similar interests and convictions and actually doing something more than waiting around for 2004. I'm a professional marketing director and fundraiser and I want to get more involved.

    September 3, 2004

  • A former member
    A former member

    there were a lot of people there for the first time who wanted more information on Dean. Most of the time was spent on activities and not on the issues. i am very concerned on how the message is getting out to those not on the internet. I realize it is very expensive to do outreach to those who don't have access to a computer but it is an issue that needs to be addressed. I thought the letter writing campaign was a great idea but it needed to be proofread & edited. There were puncuation errors and unclear sentences.

    September 3, 2004

  • max

    This was my first Dean meetup. It was disorganized, too much to do in 1 hour (which was the limit); there were no activities planned for us to work on in the coming month; there was no discussion about what needs to happen to get Dean support at the Democratic caucus. We need to push the fact that Dean needs to get representatives into the democratic party. There is a lot of work to do but no one articulated what needs to happen. We need to talk strategy about how to move to the next level. We are excited about Dean; we can not loose momentum or people because there is no vision at the local level. I think the meeting could have been much more successful if the organizers would break down the meeting into sections so there is an update on campaign news, who will be educated the public, strategy on how work toward the caucuses and a Q&A section on policy issues. This meeting was a wake up call for me and I will have to become more involved in the process to elect Dean as President. I want Dean to become Prsdient will all my heart; I have been drawn back into the democratic party by Dean...I re-egistered as a Deocratic from the Green Party...we have to move this country forward! Thank you Howard.

    September 3, 2004

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