Friday night they'll be dressed to kill
Down at Dino's bar and grill
The drink will flow and blood will spill
And if the boys want to fight, you'd better let 'em--Thin Lizzy
Tomorrow me and my Road Dogs will be down at the 3rd CD Delegate Convention. We've got some folks in both rooms and we're going to compete with about 350 of our closest frineds for the chance to attend a week long party for Democrats in Denver Also Known As the National convention.
Over the past six or seven years we've formed friendships and alliances with other activsts and activist organizations, but in the room, throats will be cut and bodies will litter the floor, because all that matters in a room with so many different power nodes and alliances is What can you bring me?
It's supposed to be about sending the deserving activists as a reward for hard work done, but there are actually all kinds of matchups, since every single aspirant imagines that they are the most deserving or maybe that they can play an activist on TV. Anyhow, there will be the Big Donor Crews, The Campaign Committee Crews, the Union Crews, The Bus Project Crew, and so on. Political Insiders and state legislators will also be in the mix, and they have a leg up with name familiarity, often in a good way, too. Some of these alliances actually have merit and our gang, The Oregon Trail Democrats are no exception in believing that our candidate deserves recognition for outstanding activism.
So here are a few of my picks starting with the Obama side of things:
Susan Gates--AKA the Tough Taco-Our District Leader accepted the post by acclaim two years ago. She was the Executive Director in Nick Lampson's District in Houston, retired to Sandy, and in the past two years has taken our grassroots organization to the next level. She has been prominent in the Sandy area peace effort as well, out every Friday nigh on Highway 26, standing up for ending the war. During the Obama campaign she's organized fundraisers, walks, calling volunteers, and so on, while always keeping in mind the need to bring the Clinton folks along as well. The girl rocks and she is in my opinion the best textbook example of the Dean 2.0 strategy cited by Obama yesterday.
Mac Prichard--Unsung hero in '04 effort for Kerry and back again bigger and better for Obama. This guy's the House Party King and has been the Quiet Monster of fundraising. Mac's a 24/7 guy on the activist front and has his own formidable crew of supporters that overlaps significantly with The Bus and some other grassroots orgs.
Stephanie Vardavas--Honorable Opponent in the recent Merkley/Novick Wars, we've drawn blood on each other multiple times, but still have a mutual respect and I'm honored to get a chance at a conciliatory gesture. Beyond that, she has the activist cred over a long history, both here in Oregon and around the country.
Jefferson Smith and Kari Chisholm--Don't need to Bio either of these guys. Either you're like me and have been watching the huge impact that both have had statewide and even nationwide over the past several years, or you haven't been paying attention. Both have been subject to a lot of crap From the Little Dogs on the Porch, and have stayed with the Long Game through thick and thin.
On the Clinton side, which has two female and one male spot we have a little alliance going as well:
Christine Chin Ryan--AKA The Wild Thing (because she ain't) is fresh off of a term of chairing the Governor's Small Business Council, a group comprised of Dem, Repub, and NAV business owners who worked hand in glove with Senators Bates and Westlund to get Health care for children in the last session. She also chairs Oregon Small Business for Responsible Leadership which is a progressive business alliance originally constituted in '04 as Business Leaders for Kerry. She's been out there fighting Campaign Insider Intertia, to Git 'er Dun for Hillary and Hillary supporters for the past several months, and is currently in the forefront of the Reconciliation efforts.
Joe Mazzara--one of the New Guys (to us) in this cycle, he came storming down out of Welches with blood in his eye, and along with his lovely wife Fran busted his butt organzing fudraising efforts, personally catered and threw a big house party, and most improtantly is committed to working with our loca group going forward. Joe has a lifetime of progressive service, both politically and personally. A guy who walks his talk.
Mary Botkin--If you don't know Mary, you haven't Been There for the past decade or two. Mary's a big union girl and one of the old guard Second Wave feminists that have pretty much spent their lives in the fight. Me'n Mary don't always see eye to eye on specific union intiatives and tactics but she's a true warrior, and on this go around we're in the same tank.
It'll be a big party tomorrow, a microcosm of the process and a snapshot of Anarcho/party solidarity, which is about as close as you're likely to see Democrats get to being organized.
See you down there.