I just got off a conference call with President Obama and David Plouffe, and wanted to share a few things that they had to say about the Presidential Election, and what we can do to take the feelings we have about the outcomes, and put them to use in a positive manner.
David Plouffe said that “now is the right time to plant a thousand seeds, and see what grows,” referencing the idea that there are no bad ideas that can be had in helping shape and grow a local political organization. The traditional models of organizing should always be held dear — holding meetings, organizing days of action, and talking to voters and neighbors on the phones and the doors. But we should begin to think about what things we should be working towards; what goals we should seek to accomplish; what will be our motivating factor(s).
President Obama is giving us a few more days to reflect on the outcomes of the election — to be mad, sad, or whatever other feelings you’re experiencing today. But, he noted, “be ready to pick yourself up and get back to work for the good of the progress we’ve worked toward since 2008. Be ready to go by December.”
Progress, the President noted, “doesn’t always follow a straight line; it zigs and zags, sometimes it moves forward or backward or sideways. But progress always moves in the direction of justice, freedom, and inclusion. It’s the result of the work of passionate people with idealism, energy, and enthusiasm.”
He reminded us that now, more than ever, we must stay connected and active. We cannot let the networks and relationships we’ve established erode; to be pushed into isolation. We can’t let the work we’ve put forward to progress stand in the way of what stands before us. Here in Illinois, that’s 2018, when we fight for a Democrat to unseat Rauner in Springfield; where we fight in 2019 to re-elect Alderman Hopkins.
In the coming weeks, keep an eye out for the next steps we take in the 2nd Ward. We will hold a meeting to break down the next steps we take as an organization to outline our pathway to organizing in our neighborhoods, our buildings, and our precincts.
Something that the President did not share on this call, but has stood with me from the 2008 campaign seems so fitting, even today. On a day when things were looking bad in Michigan, he got on the phone with the state field team and reminded us how proud he was of the work we had done, and said, “when ordinary people unite together for a common cause, they do extraordinary things.” I like to think that we are extraordinary people, and by the President’s wisdom, we can do something incredible together.
In closing, I encourage you to follow the 2nd Ward Facebook Page, and 2nd Ward Twitter account. Encourage your friends, relatives, and neighbors to do the same. To those who you know are fired up about the results of the election, forward this email to them. (to those of you who were forwarded this, subscribe to this email listserv!)
Have an idea of what you want to see happen in the future? Want to help plan the 2nd Ward Organizing meeting? Send me an email!
John Geahan, Political Director