I arrived last night to Denver after having participated in a 3-day retreat at a ranch in Colorado with several national movement leaders. One of the most interesting conversations we had was about what this election means for our respective movements. One of the things that I took from this truly profound converation was that we, as movement builders, have high expectations of an Obama presidency given the amount of policies that need to be fixed after 8 years of the Bush Administration.
As a result, I have decided to take this opportunity at the DNC to talk to folks throughout the week to see what this election means for their respective movements and how we can help to make this Obama movement a sustainable one.
My first interview today was with Angus McQuilken, Vice President for Public Affairs of the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of MA. Angus is a long time friend who at one point was Chief of Staff for then Senator Cheryl Jaques. He ran for office a few years ago and came very close to winning. At the heart of it, Angus is an activist. As soon as he saw me he handed me a small condom package with a lid that read "Protect Yourself from John McCain in This Election". Loved it! His current movement, as I see it, is to ensure sexual health for all Americans. When I asked him what this election meant to his movement, he replied: "There is alot that hinges on this election. We are one vote away from the Supreme Court reversing Roe vs. Wade. The threat is very real." As a result of this threat, his organization is waging the Million Strong Campaign to ensure that voters turn out in all 50 states. In MA, they plan to conduct phone banking to other states and local door to door activities.
As to the sustainability of the Obama movement he says "We want an administration that will listen." I agree. At the end of the day, that's what democracy is all about. If people feel listened to, they will continue to be engaged.
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