Consider this an Open Thread that starts with an announcement of something that is coming up tomorrow.
As you know, in his April fundraising post DougJ mentioned that we are planning to bring various political organizing groups to Balloon Juice so we can learn more about them and find out about what we can do to help.
This year (an off-year), I’d like to focus on state parties, county parties, and maybe most of all groups like Fair Fight and Four Directions, with a special emphasis on groups who work on the Latino vote because that’s where Dems’ biggest problem was last time. As we get closer to the midterms and people start getting excited about races and candidates, I’ll shift more to that. How does that sound to people?
I’d like to start with a few places that really came through in 2020 and are continuing to come through (big win in Wisconsin on Tuesday)! We are planning on doing a big one for Four Directions where we talk to the people who run it. I’d like to do the same with a few other groups I’m looking at.
The folks from Voces de la Frontera Action are going to be here with us for a couple of hours on Balloon Juice tomorrow night – Wednesday June 16 at 7;30 pm blog time – so we can ask them anything.
Voces de la Frontera is Wisconsin’s leading state-wide immigrant rights organization, and the advocacy arm of the group is Voces de la Frontera Action.
If you are interested, please mark your calendars!
You’re amazing. And I’m not just saying that because I feel bad.
Wonderful! I look forward to it.
This really is an open thread, but even so, feel free to suggest future groups that we might want to have come talk to us.
Fair Fight Action is (hopefully) up next after Voces, and in my dreams we can actually get Stacey Abrams to spend an hour with us on a Zoom. I’m thinking/dreaming that an hour with Stacey Abrams could inspire a lot of us to get busy working or donating, even more than we are already. :-)
My next group after that is Beto’s Powered by People. I’m sure that DougJ also has a next group in mind, too, but I’m not sure who that is yet.
@Baud: I have to say, I was pretty excited at the end of last week when I learned from Four Directions that the CEO of Fair Fight Action had asked for a phone number and a short write-up about Balloon Juice. (Both of which I gave them, obviously!)
The request came after I had reached out to Four Directions and asked if they could share a Fair Fight contact fairly high up the food chain, in the hopes that they could be our third group for this year.
My mom always used to say: “They can’t say yes unless you ask.”
Let’s be honest, at least half the time would be discussions about her novels.
only half sarcasm…
@Gravenstone: I’m all for whatever inspires us!
@Baud: Oh, and please don’t feel bad. I was sad at first, but I know you were mostly razzing Cole. Plus, i am a terrible grudge-holder. All the grudge-holder genes in my family went to my sisters, and there was apparently nothing left in that department for me. :-)
Speaking of open threads, did everyone see this awesome video? Probably posted by Mary G, but I don’t know for sure.
This is such a wonderful thing you and DougJ are doing. It can make a big difference in the impact of these groups and can cause us to be better informed as to the direction of our donations. I was looking at some percentages, and it seems as if we can win more elections if we break through to Latinos the way we did with Native Americans last time. We could learn a lot from Four Directions and Fair Fight.
@Gravenstone: I am planning on asking the Voces people where to get the best empanadas in Madison and Milwaukee.
Bloomberg has a quite glowing piece about CAs economy.
So, renewable energy isn’t bad for business. Conservation isn’t bad for business. Taxes aren’t bad for business. A $14 minimum wage isn’t bad for business. Unions aren’t bad for business. Worker rights aren’t bad for business. Immigration isn’t bad for business. Investing in higher education isn’t bad for business.
It’s almost like everything the GOP says is bad for business actually isn’t bad for business.
@Omnes Omnibus: I am laughing! But that is also an excellent idea. :-) Really, who wouldn’t want to know that?
@Josie: You will learn tomorrow night that the votes that Voces turned out in 2020 and in the runoff was more than the margin of victory in Wisconsin.
@Josie: I think that after the dust settled, some of us looked at our donations for 2020 and wondered if some of the money we donated to candidates might have been better spent with boots-on-the-ground organizations.
Having said that, I don’t regret a penny of the amazing amount we spent in Georgia. Only 85k total went to Fair Fight, Four Directions and America Votes – Georgia. The rest went to Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, and there are certainly no regrets about that outcome! :-)
If only that fit on a bumper sticker or a rotating tag!
@WaterGirl: You are right about the bumper sticker, but it sure would make a good political ad.
[Quote function is not working with my tech set-up at present]
WaterGirl: I’m thinking/dreaming that an hour with Stacey Abrams
Gravenstone: Let’s be honest, at least half the time would be discussions about her novels.
only half sarcasm…
* * *
I was a volunteer staffer (handing out nametags, dressed in my best attire) at a summer 2019 presentation by Stacey Abrams to promote Fair Fight. It was inspiring – and awe-inspiring – to be in the room.
Although Abrams touched briefly on her authorial career, it was understandably not her focus for that event and she (courteously) made that quite clear.
If we only have an hour of her time, and if the goal is for BJ readers to assist in combating voter suppression, then in my opinion it would be a respectful use of Stacey Abrams’ time to focus on her successful political activism, rather than her successful writing career.
@H.E.Wolf: I think that the people who would participate in something like this do actually know that.
Steve in the ATL
How about Omnes’ barbershop quartet? Or is that the wrong type of group?
Yea WaterGirl. Sounds like a plan. Thank you for setting this up.
Fingers crossed on Stacey Abrams. How could she not??
It never hurts to say that, but I am pretty sure that all of us agree on that. That was just a bit of silly banter on the blog.
If we are able to get some time with Stacey Abrams, we are all going to be on our best behavior.
Even my cocker spaniel puppy – when everyone at work wanted to meet him – instinctively knew the difference between the communications section in the basement where he raced down the halls and ran into offices, and the deans and department heads and other administrators on the second floor, where he walked quietly with me sat down by my side whenever I introduced him to someone.
Even on our worst days at BJ, I think we at least have the *emotional IQ of my cocker spaniel. (*possibly with a few notable exceptions!)
@Elizabelle: It’s a dream, and I will ask if it seems appropriate when I talk with them, but I am certainly not counting on a yes, by any stretch of the imagination.
@Steve in the ATL: Closer to Sweeney Todd than anything harmonious.
@WaterGirl: I for one was on my best behavior with our previous guests. Unfortunately that silenced me completely. But at least it was interesting to read.
@Steve in the ATL: Oh, hey. I made it through Season 1 of The Imposters, and I think I’m in episode 4 of Season 2 right now.
Season 2 is still fun, but so far I would say that Season 1 was far better than Season 2.
Did you guys watch both seasons? What did you think?
I have a request. A wonderful acquaintance is planning a trip to visit his mother’s grave in Cleveland , probably in the Fall.
He’d like to visit areas in 250 miles of Cleveland that are not well known. He’s been to Chicago many times but is thinking of places, and sights, off the beaten track. Satby has made suggestions for South Bend and on the interstate between there and Cincinnati.
He wants to visit Columbus, Indiana because of the amazing modern architecture. I can recommend some sights in Akron, Detroit, and Cincinnati but it’s been 50 years. Back then there was no reason to visit Columbus, Ohio or Indianapolis, which I did. (I’m one of few living relatives of Ralph Mershon for Columbus residents. And my grandmother, father, and aunts were friends of the Seiberlings, as Sab, in Akron, is aware.)
Any suggestions are welcome. Our acquaintance is a wonderful guy – warm, easygoing, a great raconteur, etc.
Steve in the ATL
Say what? Been there several times and seen nothing but shithole. If he finds something worth seeing there, please let me know!
@WaterGirl: 1 was better than 2, but both are worth watching. Liked one character’s arc, but not the other. Still a fun show though!
OK, President Biden nominated ambassadors to Israel, Mexico, NATO, and a few other posts.
But what has WaPost readers talking: Retired Captain Sully Sullenberger gets a nod.
I love that Costa Rica is getting a psychiatric professional. Maybe that should start a trend!
@Elizabelle: Certainly a better trend than appointing third wives as Vatican ambassador.
@Steve in the ATL: Columbus, Indiana has a great collection of internationally renowned modern architecture. And they had done some great urban preservation, at least back in the 60’s and 70’s. At the time it was as exciting as Columbus, Ohio. I have heard that’s changed but in the late 70’s a Seattle friend went to visit a guy he’d met who lived in Columbus. He asked what to see in Columbus and the guy, as he headed to work, said there was nothing to see in Columbus. My Seattle friend wandered through downtown and the OSU campus and was in agreement but baffled by how there were tourists everywhere. His acquaintance said, “There are no tourists in Columbus.” My Seattle friend had mistaken Bermuda shorts and I’ll fitting shirt sleeve shirts seen on the Seattle waterfront with “tourists”. He had not realized that an entire section of the country dressed this way.
Someone said you’d have to be crazy to work there. Someone else laid a bet on whether that was so. Now you know the rest of the story!
As with Biden’s other appointees, it’s good to see that Sully’s not there for celebrity value. He’s done a great deal of work in aviation safety. From his website:
@Amir Khalid: Yes. Sully is a solid choice.
You may recall that he was an early Republican to break with the party over its extremism, too. Sully is a very decent guy. His op ed just before the 2018 midterms.
We saved 155 lives on the Hudson. Now let’s vote for leaders who’ll protect us all.
J R in WV
Just wanted to say, if I needed to mark the calendar for an event tomorrow, I would need more help than a calendar can provide.
Fortunately the Mazda shop already emailed me about the oil change appointment tomorrow afternoon. We don’t put many miles on any of the vehicles any more, no commuting any more, so they’ve been reminding I was overdue for months now, even tho I won’t hit the actual mileage when a service interval become due for a couple more weeks.
Will ask for synthetic oil, which lasts longer than traditional lube oil.
J R in WV
Actually, you spilled the beans, we already know that right now!!
J R in WV
@Dan B: What sort of places does he want to see? Historic? Scenic? Architectural marvels? Plants? Forests? Gardens? Blimps? NE Ohio has a lot to offer. Plus a great lake.
@Dan B: Mershon Auditorium! I have been there.
@Dan B: Watergirl has my email. I would like to help but not plan, since everyone has different interests. I live in NE Ohio as you know. My sister has worked at OSU since forever, and her interests are quite different from mine but she would also help.Please contact us.
@sab: I sent your email to Dan B.
Funny. Yeah, we’re all slobs here.
If he’s coming in the fall, there’s OSU football. Even zooier than the zoo.