Bay Area Man for Dean
Friday, August 08, 2003
Berkeley Walk the Precincts is Tomorrow!
Tomorrow, Saturday 8/9 at 10am, we'll meet at Au Coquelet to walk the Berkeley Precincts (neighborhoods) to get the word out about Howard Dean, and we need your help!
Please come out to support us!
Sign up here. Hope to see you there!
PS - Blogger free doesn't want to let me upload photos. Should I upgrade to blogger pro or switch to movable type? Email me: areaman AT softhome.net
Thursday, July 31, 2003
Tuesday was my last full day in the Dean offices. I got some great photos with campaign manager Joe Trippi, outreach director Zephyr Teachout, webmaster Nicco Mele, and some great snaps of the many dedicated volunteers who were getting hundreds of packages ready for the next Dean Meetup.
Wed morning I made a mad dash to the Burlington airport (thanks Kerry!) and... just barely missed my flight. So I sat and read some more of Hillary's book. Did I really want to know that much about Whitewater?
Speaking of which, if you haven't signed up for a Dean meetup yet, please sign up now - it's 7pm Wed. Aug 6th in practically every city in the nation. You'll have fun, trust me! If you're in the Bay Area, come to the one at 1928 Telegraphy Ave (Oakland Box Theatre).
New York, New York
So now I'm in NYC. I had dinner with my sister Allison last night at the Candle Cafe (an amazing vegan restaurant on par with SF's Millenium only a bit cheaper). Josh and I visited the WTC site today which was overwhelming. But, the designs for the new buildings look far more impressive than I had supposed. I will be seeing my aunt and cousins tonight for dinner, and Josh again tomorrow. Then back to Berkeley Sat.
Tuesday, July 29, 2003
Walk the Berkeley Precincts
If you're in the SF Bay Area, please sign up to walk the Berkeley Precincts for Dean on Sat. August 9th.
So, a kind soul donated $50 to my Dean fundraising efforts. It feels really great to see my thermometer moved up! Thanks to this person - and to everyone else, please give some money even if it's a small amount.
So, the man himself stopped by the office for a few hours yesterday morning. I got to shake hands and say a few words to him about our upcoming Oakland Box Meetup. Assuming my eyes weren't closed as usual, photos of my brief but glorious handshake with our next President will be posted here when they're developed (yes, still on a film camera), scanned, and I figure out how to use blogger to post photos.
As I'm sure you know, Dean nearly doubled Dick. Cheney raised 300K, we raised 500K. And now we're first in the national polls.
The Cutest Thing...
...I've ever seen in my entire life is here.
So I'm about halfway through Living History. Is anyone else reading it? Email me comments! We can have our own little book club.
New York, New York
So I think I'm going to take off from Burlington and go see my dear, recently married friend Josh and my sister Allison on Wed. Can't wait! I've done some exciting stuff here but I think my volunteer time is coming to an end.... for now....!
Friday, July 25, 2003
Rachel, one of the horde of fabulous hard-working interns, had a birthday party at the "flop house" tonight. The flop house just a big house where a bunch of interns live on air mattresses. It's sort of like Animal House, exept everyone's pretty responsible and hardworking and don't get into food fights. They know how to party though - we were all dancing the night away to a pretty extensive MP3 collection.
Bringing Out the Bat!
Yup, the bat is on display again on the Dean homepage. If you want to help beat the fat cats, give something. Please do so through my personal contribution page - the money will count to both the "bat" and to my thermometer.
Bikes and Lakes
So I went and rented a bike to cruise around Lake Champlain, where my father and his family used to vaction during summers when he was growing up. Hopefully the swimming will be nice. Tomorrow, I'll probably go to the lake if I don't end up at the office. If that happens, I'll definitely be out there Sunday.
Thursday, July 24, 2003
TV Ad Campaign Concept
Hey, I posted a new Dean TV ad campaign concept to the SF4Dean.com Forums.
Please take a peek and let me know what you think!
If you have a moment, please register with the sf4dean forum and post a comment to the thread on the actual board where the concept appears. Registration only takes a minutes, and I'd really appreciate reading your feedback.
Wednesday, July 23, 2003
So, I'm working my butt off at the Dean HQ. I've only been here a day and a half and it feels like a week, like I belong here. I'm working without pay. And I'd like to invite you to contribute - not to me, but to the campaign.
Dick Cheney is attending a fundraiser on Monday in an attempt to raise $250,000 in a single day. It's a private, invitation-only, $2,000 a plate event.
Who does that Dick think he is? His Halliburton buddies do not own our government! We will not be cowed by the fat cats! He's oil-powered, but we're people-powered.
What am I going to do about it? What are you going to do about it?
I've set up a private donation page, with a goal of raising $1,200, or $100 for each of the 12 days I'm working in Vermont. Because I am working 12-hour+ days, that means I am asking for $8.33 per hour I work - less than minimum wage! Look at it like a bike-a-thon (except it's a work-a-thon). I do the work, you donate some money to the cause
Please click here to visit my "Dean Team Leader" page and donate some money! Even if it's only a little = $5, $15, $45, or $100 - every dollar counts. Think of it this way: if you can afford to send me postcards, if you can afford to buy me lunch, you can afford to throw in some money. Even if you're just enjoying my blog, look at it as a few bucks for entertainment value of hearing about my quest to help get the regime changed.
(Most of) the entire Dean staff went to see a minor league (and oh boy, do I mean minor) baseball game tonight. In words inspired by those of Ed, and the onion, "Our local professional sports franchise is better than your local professional sports franchise." Speaking of baseball, there's a famous bat icon open on Nicco's screen right now - you might be seeing it again sooner than you think....
The Gov and Dean Peeps
No, in case you're wondering, Dean's not in the office and I haven't met him here yet. He's traveling 28 days out of the month or something so I'll be lucky to run into him. Maybe I'll get to say hi to the famous Joe Trippi at some point. Nicco, Zephyr, Matt, and the entire staff I have met are very nice and exciting people to work with. Also, I got to meet the famous Karl, the second of two major bloggers I've run into (the first being Kos a month ago).
Speaking of which, if you read one blog, read Daily Kos.
What I Want To Know
In March of 2003, what Howard Dean wanted to know was what so many Democrats in Congress were doing supporting the President's unilateral intervention in Iraq .
Today, what I want to know is why there are only 207,222 Americans are signed up for Howard Dean's email list and not 200 million, when news story after news story after news story has proven Dean right?
What I want to know is why today's New York Times (subscription required) makes "the Curse of Golfers" front page news and buries Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen J. Haldey's acceptance of blame for weaponsgate on page A11. Is it just me, or is The Washington Post (which has consistently published weaponsgate stories on the front page) the only major news media that's willing to even take a stab at telling the truth - and conveying the significance of this deception to the American public?
What I want to know is how Bush can make a statement that sounds like it came out of an Alzheimer-afflicted Reagan's mouth - that the war was started because Saddam wouldn't let inspectors back in - and it gets buried in virtually every news story?
What I want to know, is why so many people are choosing neither to participate in the electoral process nor overthrow the American government? Think about it. In the words of my friend Paul Hogarth, "If you don't vote, at least try to overthrow the government." Think about it.
If you haven't already, please sign up for Howard Dean's email list. In fact, sign up for Mosley-Braun, Bush, Edwards, Gephardt, Graham, Kucinich, Kerry, Lieberman, Sharpton, and anyone else who is running for President. Or, find a local militia and start plotting the next revolution. Whatever you do, participate.
Silence is complicity. Period.
Nicco, the webmaster extraordinare for Dean For America (hereinafter "DFA"), let me crash on his couch last night. Jeff advised me not to spend any money on this trip, considering I'm not being paid to volunteer, so I'm following his advise. Along with all the other cool icons and graphics on the homepage, Nicco is the genius designer who brought us the infamous "baseball bat thermometer" at the end of the June Q2 fundraising cycle.
I'm still working on promotional flyers for the campaign. My first bit of handiwork went on the web last night. It's not terribly exciting - all I did was add the text "Americans Abroad" a poster design was already in place - but it was a lot of fun to see something I did, however, small, both posted to the site and get mentioned on the official blog 30 minutes after I did it!
Props to Marc Chadwick, was kind enough to get my computer working on Dean's rad 802.11b network!
Dean is one of the only candidates running for President who opposed the war from the start! No wonder there are so many disillusioned Democrats.
I updated the two previous posts with links. A lot of 'em.
Tuesday, July 22, 2003
It's late, around 9pm, and I'm here at Dean For America headquarters helping out with graphic design. Nicco has been kind enough to throw a few projects my way. I've only been here 9 and a half hours and I already feel like I'm part of a team. Jesse, Nicco's cousin, is currently reading my first post - maybe I'll surprise him by updating my blog while he is reading it.
Buildings, Power, and People
Dean HQ is located in a nondescript brick building in Burlington. I was disappointed when arrived not to see a gigantic "Dean For America" billboard hanging in front - in fact, there's not even a clearly marked street address! Then again, maybe the campaign doesn't want the GOP to know *exactly* where the source of the revolution is coming from.... Of course, the *real* revolution is coming from the *people* and our righteous indignation at the administration. That's one thing most of the other Dem candidates, and certainly the GOP, don't get. Dean is the channel, but *we* have the power!
So, What Am I Doing Here?
Many of you have asked, why am I at the Dean campaign HQ? I have two specific projects to propose. If the projects are accepted, they may need to remain confidential, so I may not be posting all the details of the trip here. But, suffice it so say, I'm extremely jazzed just to be here, helping out however I can. Stay tuned! I may even be able to send you links to some flyers I've created which should be posted on the Dean home page soon.
Welcome to Bay Area Man for Dean
So what the heck is this blog? I am Matthew Taylor, a 29-year-old former CEO of a publishing company and current undergrad at UC Berkeley. I'm highly interested in regime change at home. Other than a few mildly remarkable biographical details, I'm just your average guy, the man on the street, so normal I could be the subject of any of the famous The Onion "area man" stories. In fact, numerous "area man" stories have been written about me by others and by me about others, but that's a subject for another day.
I've been working on a local level to support Howard Dean's campaign for President. Dean both has a great chance to beat Bush and he represents my values on a lot of issues. I don't agree with him on everything - in fact, Dennis Kucinich's platform is much closer to my ideal. I see Dean representing the short-term change that we must accomplish in the face of this atrocious administration and Kucinich standing for the long-term evolution that our society must undergo to preserve our planet. So I support both, but right now I'm working for Dean because I'd rather send them a President than a message, in the words of Jimmy Carter.
If enough of us "area people" rally around one candidate maybe a miracle will take place and we'll stop sending our daughters and sons to die invading nations who don't pose immediate credible threats to us, Affirmative Action will be supported and not opposed by the President, we'll have national recognition for lesbian and gay partnerships, health care will be expanded and improved, tax cuts for the rich will be repealed, our federal budget will be balanced, and I'll be able to stop having to ask the Berkeley public library if they're sending my records to the Civilrights Invasion Agency. (Note to John Ashcroft: I checked out one Sendak and three Seuss books last week. Make sure you put that in my permanent terrorist threat assessment file, buddy!)
My (Dean) Story 'Til Now
I got interested in Howard Dean when I was up late one night googling around trying to figure out who the heck was running for president. Seriously. This was either late 2002 or early 03. My first choice was Hillary Rodham Clinton (if for no other reason, that it's high time for a woman President), but she seemed to be waiting on the sidelines 'til 08. Though at the time he was considered a near-impossible long shot (kind of like Kucinich is now!), Dean's signing of Vermont's Civil Unions Act (granting equal legal rights to lesbian and gay partnerships), for which he was the recipient of a Profiles in Courage essay by Stephanie Dziczek, captured my imagination and immediate support.
March '03 really kicked me into gear when my friend Paul Hogarth returned from the California Democratic State Convention in Sacramento and declared, "I think we've found our candidate!" Dean's speech from that convention still gives me shivers. And its incorporation into a techno song was the icing on the cake. What I want to know, is why isn't everyone in America (from all political parties) as furious at our current administration as Howard Dean is?
In the last four months I've: attended several Dean meetups, co-hosted with Paul and Sarah Syed a house party which raised over $3,500 for the Dean campaign, worked the Dean table at the Berkeley farmer's market, and spammed friends and family about Dean more times than the average herbal Viagra peddler. Some of the responses were quite enthusiastic, and some were about as thrilled to receive my emails as they are to get a root canal.
But, obviously that's not enough! I decided to fly out to Burlington, Vermont to see if I could work at the national offices and find out what an insurgent's campaign is all about. Hopefully the Dean staff will be excited to put me to work. If things go well I'll be in the green mountain state for nearly two weeks, 7/22 - 8/3. If not, I can always go back home and start a political spam mail corporation. (Jeff, is there a future for this idea at A-L Research?) Which brings us to right now...
Leaving on a Jet(blue) Plane
I'm writing this aboard a Jetblue plane bound from OAK to JFK. Always wanted to give it a try, and I'm pleased. The seats are comfy, and the actual or illusional presence of a bit more room than a normal airline has me happy. All their planes were built within the last 3 years - modern equipment is a good thing. I recommend jetblue.com, as does the wing of this plane.
Honesty, History, and Polls
I watched MSNBC on the in-flight TV. The previously cowed media seems to finally have the gall to make observations that Bush's reputation as an "honest" and "straight shooting" president have taken a bit of a hit recently. What an understatement. Just a little erroneous data point in the State of the Union address, no big whoop. History repeats itself. When will they ever learn? In Spring of '91, Bush I was considered unbeatable, and CW said any Democrat who dared oppose him in the general election would be walking into a slaughter. Funny how they were saying the same thing three months ago about George "Is our children learning" W. His polls are dropping faster than a MOAB. Does this scenario seem familiar?
Google as Magic 8-Ball
The Magic 8-Ball is a running inside joke between me and non-area friend Jason Costa, incorporated into Onionesque stories like, "Area Magic 8-Ball Fails to Accurately Predict Dating Status of Coffee Shop Patrons." This makes no sense to any reader of this blog but Jason. I told you it was an inside joke.
But, for shits and giggles, how about Google as our new Magic 8-Ball? Just go to google, type in "Who will be President in 2004?" and click "I feel lucky."
I've brought along a whole bunch of books, like Hillary Clinton's Living History (check out those photos of Bill as long haired hippie!), Discounted Casualties (detailing the horrors of depleted uranium), On the Road, and a Kafka collection. I fully expect to read none of them, but who knows, maybe I'll surprise myself.
Does everyone on the planet pack the same way I do? Like, bringing was too much shit, packing books you know you'll never read, and waiting until the absolute last, last second?
Now I've landed and there's no wireless internet access in this otherwise beautiful jetblue terminal. Why isn't 802.11b (or g?!) a freely available public commodity like radio? Damn, I wish I'd listened to Ezra Ekman's advice and downloaded the software and bought the cable that would have enabled me to get online using my Treo. Now I'll have to wait 'til I get to Burlington to post this!
Now I'm in Dean's campaign office!!!!!!!! The flight into Vermont was beautiful. The people here are friendly and there's lots of great energy in the air. More soon.