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Nov 16, 2010

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Jeff Rosenberg

Thanks for posting this. Mr. Melendez makes some good points, some of which are similar to Javier Morillo-Alicea's. And if our communication problems were limited to just this year, I might even agree with him.

But we've had serious communication problems for a long time, and they've been particularly noticeable during the legislative session. Like I wrote in response to Javier, this isn't just about the party chair. It's a party-wide problem, and it's got to stop.

I'm sorry, but I think that when Melendez writes "we’re getting smarter every day," he means "we're finding more excuses every day." I'm not interested in excuses, I'm interested in how we'll do better next time.

So we were close. That's good to know. What could we have done to push us over the edge? How can we communicate effectively in 2012 so this doesn't happen again? What can we do in January to win the budget debate against the Republican legislature?

TwoPuttTommy

***
And third, our conversations around the Party’s direction and future should be driven from the grassroots up. . . .
***

Agreed. Which is the point of this post, here.

There's not much time between now and the State DFL Central Committee Meeting on December 11th; the local Elected DFL Leadership needs activist input before then.

TwoPuttTommy

For some reason, the link didn't work; let's try it again:

http://mnprogressiveproject.com/diary/7810/tone-deaf-and-other-comments-from-the-field

Javier Morillo

Maybe I'm just dense, but I don't get all of this "messaging is the problem" talk. It is such a catch-all term, "messaging," at least in the way in which many Minnesota social media folks use it, that I have difficulty ascertaining what they're claiming "the problem" is.

A humble suggestion - perhaps we should focus a little more on using the tools of the internet to ORGANIZE, not just opine.

Phoenix Woman

I wonder if the effect of social conservative groups spending and organizing in rural and exurban districts, combined with the rotten economy, is the culprit here.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: If in early 2009 Obama and the DC Dems had pushed through a $2T stimulus like every economist worth the name had begged them to do since the fall of 2008 -- and they could have done it via reconciliation, as they did for HCR and as Bush did for many of his bills -- we wouldn't be having this conversation because we'd be looking at big wins, if anything. But instead, as the US House Democratic Caucus Chair John Larsen said recently, "We had a Roosevelt moment and responded like Hoover." (http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/129365-dem-leader-party-responded-like-hoover-to-unemployment-crisis)

TwoPuttTommy

Editor's note to the comment --for those coming in via MNPublius' 11/18 post--

A note about commenting on Bluestem:

Tommy Johnson's barb below aimed at Javier Morillo-Alicea is as close as one can come to an attack to the person--and a factual distortion--as I will allow on Bluestem. At issue here is Mr. Johnson's suggestion that Mr. Morillo-Alicea has not used the tools of social media to organize.

This jab is false. As president of SEIU Local 26, Mr. Morillo-Alicea has led an organization which deploys social media to organize workers and to affect change. Mt. Johnson would do well to review the local's efforts --in conjunction with environmental groups--last spring on the Green Jobs campaign for a new contract for janitors cleaning buildings in downtown Minneapolis. In a recessionary times, the workers--with the help of allies--won an innovative and strong contract. Social media was a part of this victory.

Moreover, Mr. Morillo-Alicea has been a leader in the fight for CIR and to fight SB1070, both in Arizona and copy-cat bills here in Minnesota.

He spearheaded and organized the outcry last spring against Steve Drazkowski's HF 3830, using tools provided by Blue State Digital, Facebook, Youtube and so forth to unite dozens of leaders in the immigrant rights, labor, social justice and faith communities.

At the national level, he headed SEIU's immigration committee--overseeing efforts to persuade and organize via social media that drew thousands into the fight to fix the broken system. Those who are more familiar with Mr. Morillo-Alicea's work know of other examples.

Mr. Johnson's shot thus is ill-taken.

In the future, I will not publish remarks that attack individuals commenting here. Stick to the substance of the arguments and respect what others have done in the real world. In the past, I have not published comments in which the poster states information that I know to be false, and I will not allow personal attacks that contradict facts, either.

Two Putt Tommy's original comment:

***
A humble suggestion - perhaps we should focus a little more on using the tools of the internet to ORGANIZE, not just opine.
***

Agreed.

When do you plan on starting, Javier?

Better late than never, I always say.

Dale Howey

Thank you Chair Melendez! Maybe I can get a little more sleep at night. Thank you for your insight. Regroup, stand up, keep fighting for grace and all that is good in this world so our children can have something to be proud of. We are hear only a moment in time. Love and generosity is the way. I feel like I'm watching someone with bi-polar disorder. The mean and the greedy vs. the giving and the needy. Peace to all this holiday season.

Jbohn

Brian needs to step aside so the party leaders can have a serious discussion about moving forward.

There is one person in my mind that has the professional campaign experience and fundraising capability to lead our party back to the majority in 2012. Ken Martin is my choice, and the choice of many others I speak to at local DFL meetings.

Hopefully, for the sake of the party, Ken will decide to run after he leads The Dayton team through the recount.

Rose Marie

Funny how the complaining I'm hearing about the DFL leadership right now was nonexistent back when MAK and Entenza were riding high earlier this year.

Jim

Can we pick up 6 state house seats in 2012?
There were at least 6 very close state house races we lost: 1B, 25A, 25B, 40A, 41B, and 42A

Can we pick up 4 state senate seats in 2012?
There were at least 4 very close state senate races we lost: 12, 15, 31, 38, 40, 47, and 56

Yes we can.

Sally Jo Sorensen, Editor, Bluestem Prairie

A note about commenting on Bluestem:

Tommy Johnson's barb aimed at Javier Morillo-Alicea is as close as one can come to an attack to the person--and a factual distortion--as I will allow on Bluestem. At issue here is Mr. Johnson's suggestion that Mr. Morillo-Alicea has not used the tools of social media to organize.

This jab is false. As president of SEIU Local 26, Mr. Morillo-Alicea has led an organization which deploys social media to organize workers and to affect change. Mt. Johnson would do well to review the local's efforts --in conjunction with environmental groups--last spring on the Green Jobs campaign for a new contract for janitors cleaning buildings in downtown Minneapolis. In a recessionary times, the workers--with the help of allies--won an innovative and strong contract. Social media was a part of this victory.

Moreover, Mr. Morillo-Alicea has been a leader in the fight for CIR and to fight SB1070, both in Arizona and copy-cat bills here in Minnesota.

He spearheaded and organized the outcry last spring against Steve Drazkowski's HF 3830, using tools provided by Blue State Digital, Facebook, Youtube and so forth to unite dozens of leaders in the immigrant rights, labor, social justice and faith communities.

At the national level, he headed SEIU's immigration committee--overseeing efforts to persuade and organize via social media that drew thousands into the fight to fix the broken system. Those who are more familiar with Mr. Morillo-Alicea's work know of other examples.

Mr. Johnson's shot thus is ill-taken.

In the future, I will not publish remarks that attack individuals commenting here. Stick to the substance of the arguments and respect what others have done in the real world. In the past, I have not published comments in which the poster states information that I know to be false, and I will not allow personal attacks that contradict facts, either.

Moreover--and Mr. Johnson has the integrity to post without using these sorts of games and should be respected for that--Bluestem does not publish comments by those not providing names (pseudonyms are fine) and working email addresses; a bizarre string of a bogus yahoo account is not a pseudonym. No exceptions.

TwoPuttTommy

Note to readers: Mr. Johnson contacted me about the comments he left on Mr. Morillo-Alicea's post, as he noted that they had not been released from moderation. I was away from my computer at the time he left them.

I went typepad's editor and didn't see the comments, nor did I receive an email alert that Mr. Johnson's comments on the JMA post were waiting.

I assumed then--and still believe this to be the case--that a software glitch caused the comments to be swallowed, and asked Mr. Johnson to post them again, and that I would release them from moderation.

To my knowledge, he has not yet done so. As I have told him in multiple email exchanges, the offer still stands--and I have today offered to post them myself in the comment section, using the same author information he uses.

The offer still stands: when I receive Mr. Johnson's comments in the section--or in an email for me to post- they will be posted on Mr. Morillo-Alicea's post.

Update: I have found the comments (in an email) that Mr. Johnson did not wish to repost, and posted them over my own name, at the Morillo-Alicea post. You may read them here:

http://www.bluestemprairie.com/bluestemprairie/2010/11/morilloaliceaguestpost.html?cid=6a00d834516a0869e2013489277ad3970c#comment-6a00d834516a0869e2013489277ad3970c

Here's the comment Mr. Johnson left here--on this post-- addressing his perceptions of the situation:

Just to be clear -- you allowed Javier to post a couple of days ago where he started out by calling Eric Pusey, Jeff Rosenberg and I - by name - "defeatists" and that's ok.

But what I wrote isn't.

You're a real stand-up kind of a lady, SJS.

Nikki

From what I saw from indy expenditures, the Republicans were saying, "The Dems voted to raise your taxes and they want to do it again!"
The Dems were saying "The Republicans want to cut such-and-such programs!"

I think the Dem's "messaging" helped to elect Republicans.

That said, I DID NOT see this coming. I was in Nevada doing gotv there. I just don't mean to say messaging is more important than organizing. You can't have one without the other.

Josh

Not sure I agree with a formula that assigns equal weight to the governorship as to 1 house in the legislature. We've seen over the past 8 years that the governor is the heaviest hitter.

I don't disagree with many of Chairman Melendez's points here, but I'm not wild about the tone. maybe I'm overly sensitive, but there's a number of flourishes in this letter that look like direct slaps back to anyone who is criticizing DFL Party leadership.

I also don't agree that discussion of our party's direction & future should be postponed until after the business conference and a new chair is elected, as seems to be inferred here. Part of the decision in selecting a new chair has to be in context of the successes and failures of the last election as well as the last few cycles.

Sarah Barton

Editor's note: Sarah Barton repeated a comment left on an earlier post by Javier Morillo-Alicea in this space.

Repeating earlier comments without substantive changes is a form of spamming; spam is not released from moderation on Bluestem.

Those who want to read the discussion on the Morillo-Alicea post can follow it here:

http://www.bluestemprairie.com/bluestemprairie/2010/11/morilloaliceaguestpost.html#comments

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    Sorensen, editor and proprietor of Bluestem Prairie, serves clients in the business and nonprofit sectors. While progressive in outlook, she does not caucus with any political party.

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