Jerry McNerney in Alameda: Quite a Success!
We had probably about 50 people in our back yard, connected to us from a variety of ways: old friends from out of town, neighbors to whom I had delivered and mailed invitations, people from nearby who had been sent invitations from the McNerney campaign directly, regulars from local groups like the Alameda Democratic Club, Alameda Peace Network, and Alamedans for Climate Protection, and, surprisingly, three of the candidates for Alameda City Council: Frank Matarrese (incumbent), Lena Tam, and Michael Rich. I guess Progressives attract Progressives! Everybody seemed to have a good time chatting, eating and drinking, and of course there was the reason we were there....
Jerry arrived a bit earlier than I had expected, so he had plenty of time to meet and mingle. Some time after 4, I pulled out the cobbled-together PA (a friend's old microphone and another's electric guitar amp), welcomed everybody to the party, acknowledged the local officeholders and candidates, and then introduced Jerry. Jerry thrilled the gathered crowd with stories about Pombo, about the corruption in Washington, and what he'll do. He then answered a variety of questions about withdrawal, impeachment, Proposition 87, and so forth.
Jerry was able to stay and meet just about everybody there, staying almost to the official end time of the party.
The small group of people that remain at the end of a party is one of the nicest parts; it's like when a campfire has settled down to the warm embers. Our conversation drifted toward local politics, and Lauren Do's blog kept coming up in the conversation. It's turned into an amazing resource, where many points of view are all given an airing. I hope that more and more people discover her blog and subscribe to it (or visit it frequently); each new entry and the comments that people post are always a joy to read. Keep it up Lauren, you're getting a fan club!
I'm really glad we had this event. This was a great way that we can have some effect on the balance of power in Congress. It was clear that it was a success in terms of people being engaged to help out McNerney's campaign, both from a volunteer and financial point of view. I don't have any actual numbers but I was told that we definitely raised enough money for Jerry's campaign to make his trip to Alameda worthwhile. (And if you're reading this and you didn't make it, it's not to contribute online!