Tuesday, November 4, 2008

CROSS-POST: Community Values Vote Blog on Huffington Post

Here's the text of a piece I wrote for the Huffington Post this morning about the Community Values Vote blog:

Since community organizers were front-and-center in this election -- sometimes celebrated, sometimes mocked -- why not hear from community organizers as Election Day unfolds? Check out the Community Values Vote blog, www.communitychange.org/vote, with eyewitness Election Day reports from community organizers and grassroots leaders across the country, with spin-free, on-the-ground accounts of turnout trends, voter suppression and moment-to-moment analysis.

After all, the real story of this election isn't the candidates but communities -- a movement of everyday Americans coming together for the common good. Even more so than the candidates and the enthusiasm generated for them, what is heartening about this election is the new level of enthusiasm for America and for democracy. In Washington State, Washington Community Action's phones have been ringing every 20 seconds for the last few days with new volunteers clamoring to help turnout first-time and unlikely voters. In Virginia, a grocery worker and volunteer with the Virginia Organizing Project has been stuffing non-partisan voter guides in every grocery bag and encouraging shoppers to vote. In Iowa, a member of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement volunteered to register new immigrant voters at community soccer games.

These are the kinds of stories captured on Community Values Vote, a first-ever grassroots Election Day blog that will report up-to-the-minute, eyewitness accounts at a level of intimacy no media outlet can capture. With grassroots contributors from key electoral states and more, you'll find video reports, photographs and moment-to-moment text message updates directly from the grassroots, from the leaders that know these elections best.

The Community Values Vote blog will show why community organizing has been instrumental in getting us to this moment -- the difference that it makes when everyday people are empowered not just to pull a lever but to really have a voice in the future of our country. Hear about the election first-hand from real people in their communities -- not more of those manufactured, attention-hungry "undecideds" but actual people. Including you. Don't forget to log-on and post your own Election Day analysis, photos and more.

And continue to watch after the election, because for grassroots organizations the real fight begins on November 5th. While the Washington pundits will try to push for a middle-of-the-road, more of the same agenda for the new President, grassroots organizations will be pressing the people's demands for big solutions to the big problems we face. Once the election is over, it is these grassroots organizations that will be the vehicle for the American public to continue to press their vision, together, for change. So keep logging into Community Values Vote to join the discussion after the results are in, hear how community organizers are interpreting the results and add your voice to our shared agenda for the future.

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