Friday, January 25, 2008

Grassroots politics ... growing a movement

Note to readers: This post also appears on my Election Forum blog.

I thought I'd share with you excerpts from an email I received from Barack Obama today (no, not a personal email -- a campaign email) and especially some videos on, as Barack says, "what hope looks like."

Barack writes:

"In less than 24 hours, voters in South Carolina will head to the polls.

Before they do, I wanted to show you a bit about what kind of campaign we're running here.

When Michelle and I talked about my running for president, one of the core goals we both had for this campaign was to leave the political process better off than we found it.

Here in South Carolina, a state with a history of some pretty divisive politics, ordinary people have challenged conventional thinking about the process and built a statewide organization based on local community organizing and neighbor-to-neighbor contacts.

Our supporters -- men and women of all ages, races, religions, and backgrounds -- have come together around the idea that we are one people, invested in each other and in our common future."

* * *
"In communities across this state, people who have never been involved in politics before -- or who had given up on what they saw as a broken system -- have built something special.

No matter what the outcome tomorrow, our work here will have a lasting impact on those communities and on the Democratic Party for a long time to come.

We're seeing the same story play out across the country as grassroots supporters in 22 states prepare to cast their votes or turn out to caucus on February 5th."
* * *
"[After the South Carolina primary,] the spirit of the grassroots organizing we have done here -- of ordinary people taking back the political process -- will be apparent in thousands of communities across the country.

I believe more strongly than ever that this movement for change can do more than just win an election. Together, we can transform this country."

Here's one video of organizing in South Carolina:

You will find many more here, providing a sense of what the Obama campaign has built in South Carolina and all worth watching.

Friday, January 18, 2008


Monday, January 21, 2008 is Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
2008 is the 40th anniversary of Dr. King's assassination.

Unity Movement organizers and coordinators pay tribute to Dr. King and his spiritual predecessor, Mohandas K. (Mahatma) Gandhi, whose messages of committed nonviolent action in pursuit of social justice are an inspiration to us all.

All members of the community, of all nationalities, cultural backgrounds, religions, and occupations are invited to join us in sustaining the principles and ideals of the Unity March by participating in a Day of Service on Sunday, January 20, 2008, and joining in the commemorative activities organized by the African-American Cultural Preservation Committee in honor of Martin Luther King Day on January 21, 2008.

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King: “Make it a Day ON, Not a Day Off!”

The national organization, notes Dr. King “sought to forge the common ground on which people from all walks of life could join together to address important community issues.” This is the guiding principle and foundation of the Unity Movement.

This year, in recognition of the 40th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination, there is a national initiative, “40 Days of Nonviolence: Building the Beloved Community,” commencing with the King Day of Service. The Unity Movement joins this initiative, and will kick off 40 days of planning and participation in service projects and educational activities promoting Dr. King’s message of nonviolence and social justice, with a clean-up at American Memorial Park on Sunday, January 20, 2008, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

The clean-up will be in preparation for Martin Luther King Day and to enhance the enjoyment of the park by the public for weeks to come. On Monday, January 21, 2008, the Unity Movement encourages participation by all in the Martin Luther King Day events. In particular, workers, supporters, and all members of the community are urged to join the commemorative mini-march and the subsequent keynote program at the American Memorial Park amphitheater.

March orientation and assembly begins at 2:30 p.m. at the American Memorial Park parking area, followed immediately at 3:00 p.m. by the mini-march. The keynote program follows at 4:30 p.m. at the American Memorial Park amphitheater and features Dr. Kathryn Takara of the University of Hawai’i. Join us to reaffirm our commitment to Dr. King’s ideals of non-violence, equality, and justice for all.

Sunday, January 20, 2008
American Memorial Park Clean Up
9 a.m. to 12:00 noon

Monday, January 21, 2008, Martin Luther King Day

2:30 p.m. – March Orientation and Assembly
American Memorial Park parking area.

3:00 p.m. – Mini-March

4:30 p.m. – Keynote Program
Amphitheater, American Memorial Park

Many other activities are planned by the African-American Cultural Preservation Committee, as reported on page 12 of the Marianas Variety for Friday, January 18, 2008; on page 5 of the Saipan Tribune for Saturday, January 19, 2008; and nicely presented online on Unheard No More.

One that may be of especial interest to readers of this blog is the afternoon forum, "Why and how the tenets of the civil rights struggle personified by Dr. King are pertinent here in the Mariana Islands." The forum will be held in the AMP Visitor's Center from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Featured panelists include Senator Maria "Frica" T. Pangelinan, Representative Christina "Tina" Sablan, Dr. Kathryn Takara, Professor, Ethnic Studies, University of Hawai'i, and Representative Edward T. Salas.

Supporting organizations for the Unity Movement include Dekada, the Human Dignity Act Movement, Pilcowa, MOVER, and others.

For more information about these activities, please text or call Boni Sagana at 484-0507, Jerry Custodio at 285-5137, Ed Probst at 483-7361, or Steve Woodruff at 235-3872.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Obama in New Hampshire

It's hard to stay timely, with the New Hampshire vote coming up so quickly and much to review. But I'm making an effort to vet and share with you what strikes me as noteworthy.

The train in New Hampshire is moving at breakneck speed. Here are my snapshots. First, here's a video from the of Michelle Obama talking about Barack and herself:

Also from the is this video of a New Hampshire woman talking about her decision to support Barack Obama instead of Hillary Clinton:

[insert new hamshire resident speaks her mind video] click here for video in new window

Interestingly, it seems even Republican candidate Mitt Romney's ads are helping Obama. The Washington Post reports:

Voters may object to attack ads, but they tend to remember the messages. Melissa Hanson, a stay-at-home mom, says that "I shut down" when negative spots come on. But she mentioned an ad in which Romney says Clinton has never run a state, city or corner store.

"Even though Romney's ad against Hillary was negative, he probably did make a few points," Hanson says. "I thought, 'You're right. What has she really run?' "

The Post is now calling Hillary Clinton the "underdog" and reports that Obama is "spreading consternation and bewilderment through the ranks of Clinton supporters here struggling to make sense of what is unfolding before them."

Friday, January 4, 2008

Barack wins big in Iowa

Barack Obama has won Iowa by a wide margin. Here is his speech:

The commentary here is a must read.

God Bless America! God Bless Iowa!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Your voice can change the world . . .

This literally brought tears to my eyes.

To support Barack Obama and view progress toward his goal of 500,000 people owning a piece of his campaign by January 3, go here. To learn more about who I am, what motivates me, and what I am doing, check out my website and my blogs.