I'm pretty sure people had a satisfying feeling of accomplishment, peace, and well, love for humananity, after canvassing in the Wards yesterday in Philly.

I love doing this work.  Stating the obvious: it's ice-breaking in the extreme.  Going into people's lives like this.  Connecting with people that I, for one, would mostly not be connecting with if it weren't for the NECESSITY of fighting the onslaught of anti-democratic slings, arrows and laws rushing around and at us right now.

Which brings up lots of relevancies.

What digs those ruts of comfort where we stay generation after generation?

Only with urgent threats will we break out and enter the land of unfamiliarity and ring a stranger's doorbell?

[ASIDE - Actually knock on a stranger's door is more like it.  Maybe three out of fifty doors had working doorbells yesterday.  I mention this because incremental details get italicized during this kind of activity.  A pleasant, almost silly, ding-dong (doorbells as distinct from NYC's prevalent BUZZZZers), feels less intrusive to me than banging my hands on a door. And, besides uncommonly steep, and uneven steps, Philadelphia's doors often have outer, storm, screen, aluminum type doors first. (I must have canvassed a good 25 times in West Philadelphia, so I've noticed some common characteristics.)

This is another reason why I like it when the doorbell works.  Banging on a door is more intrusive than ringing a bell, but opening up the outer door to be able to get to the more true banging surface of the wooden main door feels like a double step of intrusivity. Then, there are the times when knocking on the door actually opens the door.  Whoooooo.  I don't know about you, but if I was in my house and suddenly the door opens and an out-of-towner with a clipboard stumbles into my living room, I might get off to a less than clubby start with them. ]

However, that was a big parenthetical.  None of this really did happen to us.

I just understand that Yiddish word kvell* deeper and deeper while on these door to door trips.  How many fierce looking tattooed 20 year old boys changing from zero-minus interest to extended farewells 15 minutes later does it take for us to obliterate our ghettoized lifestyles once and for all?

And that's why this work is so much more profound than a simple election victory.

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August 17, 2010

When one of only two (big problem there) 'legitimate' national political parties starts embracing the kind of racist, violence-provoking rhetoric as the Repubs have, we must realize that we have to look to the left. The alternative is to meet them and fall into something that just might look like 1930's Italy. This is not far-fetched. It should be, but it ain't.
Am I right?
As in Correct?

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This piece was published on HuffPo
Dec. 19, 2009 

You may have heard a lotta ugly kill-the-bill crap about our man and our progressive agenda - I just need to remind us all of a few points about this legislation:

- Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, Truman, then Ted Kennedy (turned down a universal health care compromise plan Nixon offered cause it wasn't all Teddy and the Dems wanted and has regretted till the day he died this summer) have all NOT BEEN ABLE TO GET ANY HEALTH CARE PLAN

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This piece was published on HuffPo
Dec. 16, 2009


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Dec. 11, 2009, 12:00 AM
Dear Folks,

Just got off a national conference call with community organizers for Organizing for America, and wanted to share with you where things are at this moment.

Since last November 5, I've been hopeful about transforming our campaign into a people's lobby and folks, it seems we are, indeed, at the very beginnings of the kind of democracy many of us have always dreamed of.  The work we've been doing has had an impact approaching that of the paid lobbyists.

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