IRREGULAR TIMESWhat is the Sound of Sixty People Organizing?

The Durham, NC Meetup for Howard Dean (August 6, 2003)



On Wednesday, August 6 at 7:00 pm, sixty-six people met at Joe and Jo's Restaurant in Durham, North Carolina in a grassroots organizing effort for the presidential candidacy of Howard Dean. Nearly 80,000 individuals had signed up to meet elsewhere around the country at the same day and time to keep the Dean machine going. This amazing organizational effort is enabled by Meetup.com, a service that lets people self-organize into meaningful local groups. In a sign of Howard Dean's grassroots strength, the next largest meetup (for John Kerry) had mustered only a tenth of Dean's numbers. George W. Bush's meetup is only one hundredth the size of Howard Dean's.

In an effort to record campaign history taking place and better understand the roots of Dean's incredible momentum, we hopped on down to Joe and Jo's and asked a number of those in attendance: Why Dean? Why here? What next? Click Here to hear the interviews.

One of the cleverest activities carried out at today's Dean meetups around the country was a letter-writing campaign: not fancy stationery sent to members of Congress or foreign potentates, but rather hand-written notes sent to undecided voters in New Hampshire. The savvy folks behind this idea recognize that a one real letter is worth a thousand mass-printed solicitations. This Dean Meetup ended with a call to join special Dean service squads such as the Habitat for Humanity work group organized by "Skinny Cats" (think about it) on the Dean team. Helping neighbors in addition to promoting a candidate is sure to leave a lasting impact on the Durham community.

If you like what you hear, consider joining a meetup yourself, either for Howard Dean or another Democratic candidate of your choosing. Whomever you choose to support, what's most important is that you get involved. We'll need a large mass of people applying small bits of leverage to counter the big bucks employed by Bush's elite few.



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