Coffee Party Movement 2.0 Project in step with the “Occupy” movement with colleague Debilyn Molineaux’s help as interim Executive Director.
I’m very pleased to see Debilyn continuing the good work we started last Spring helping the Coffee Party Movement evolve into a Game Changing movement/organization. W.
Birth of the Enough is Enough Rally
By Debilyn Molineaux, Executive Director
“Congress isn’t getting it.” Annabel said when I picked up my phone in early August. The media was running a circus on the potential US debt default. Emotions were high, as the country seemed headed towards the financial cliff. “We need to give people a place to speak, to be heard. We need to be activists, to hold a march. We need something that will get Congress attention. I want us to host a Speak Out!”
As we approach the Enough is Enough! Citizens Intervention Rally on October 29th, 2011, I’m amazed at how much we’ve accomplished since the inception of the idea just over two months ago.
Initially, I was skeptical. I was not in favor of a protest march and rally. Been there, done that. I’ve seen polarization up close and personal. Nothing in any previous protest changed policy or convinced anyone of the “rightness” of my opinion. But Annabel was right that Congress seemed out of touch with constituents. A CNN poll from June 2011 indicates that most Americans believe our elected officials are influenced by pressure from campaign contributors. The same poll shows most Americans also believe elections are generally for sale to the candidate who raises the most money. We need a meaningful and interesting conversation on a national level. Whatever we came up to facilitate the conversation and the shift HAD TO BE DIFFERENT. It was time to bring this conversation to the Transition Team.
The 9-member Transition Team (TT) is empowered to guide the Coffee Party until the elected Board of Directors is seated in January 2012.
After hearing the initial idea, there were mixed feelings on the Transition Team and the decision was postponed until the following week, while the TT conducted due diligence. Items of concern were: 1) Enough planning time 2) Budget details & impact 3) Event success likelihood.
After speaking to many of my friends outside the Coffee Party, most were in favor of some type of action. They wanted to participate. My friends are from across the country and across the political spectrum, from liberally liberal to moderately conservative. They were unanimous in support…even if it meant they would not see me for the next 2+ months. They could sense history in the making and the need for someone to step up and lead. My concerns were eased that people would show up.
The balance of my concerns became about logistics. Who in DC could pull off an event of this unusual type on short notice? Turns out, there are a lot of folks in DC looking for work right now, including top-notch consultants.
At the August 12th TT meeting, all concerns were addressed and the project was given the go-ahead with seed funding to hire consultants for local, on-the-ground assistance. It became quickly apparent the seed-funding was insufficient to cover all the consultants we would need. A second round of seed funding was approved August 28th (minutes not yet available). And the overall event budget was approved by the Transition Team as part of the annual budget on September 25, 2011.
There are two primary goals for the event:
- Provide Coffee Party members an outlet to share stories about the impact of Congressional dysfunction on lives of everyday Americans. (This was tested with an initial FB post that had over 400+ responses)
- Make a REAL impact on the #1 Coffee Party issue, the corrupting influence of money in politics (Launch of Citizens Lobby on 10/31 and continues beyond this event)
As I write this story, we are 10 days prior to the event. We have numerous interesting speakers signed up to speak, including Presidential Candidate Buddy Roemer, Professor Lawrence Lessig, Occupy Wall Street Activist Jesse La Greca and Author Linda Killian. More are confirming each day. In the middle of planning EiE, OWS started which led to TT discussions about what our stance would be. Each week during the Transition Team meeting, we revisit the relationship with Occupy and how supportive or close we should stand with them. Each week, the TT declares their support for the people who have brought attention to the issues on which the Coffee Party focuses. The CP has proposed solutions.
At the Rally, CPM will launch the Citizens Lobby (on Oct 31) in DC and throughout the country in district offices. The Citizens Lobby is a sustaining effort over the next year or however long it takes to get Congress to act. Our intention is to engage with our representatives and senators respectfully but firmly explaining our specific positions on issues we have identified in a Coffee Party White Paper. You are the key to making this a true Citizens Lobby and the impact we bring to the table is our vote! This Citizens Lobby is our best chance to counter the millions spent by corporate lobbyists.
Thank you for your continued support and belief in the Coffee Party USA.
The Coffee Party