Saturday, April 02, 2005


Jonathan is ramping up some new activist-classes, it seems. I post it here without an endorsement. J.R. is a staunch Dem.
J. R. is at 154 N. Bellefield Ave. # 66, Pittsburgh, PA 15213 412-683-0237,

Here’s how you can build your own personal political power.

Many people are active politically for various candidates and for causes such as peace, the environment, economic justice, lesbian and gay rights, reproductive rights, and civil liberties. Especially in the wake of the extreme right victory last year, there are many new people.

People want to do politics effectively. If you are in it for the long haul want to increase your own personal political power so that they can better help their candidates and their causes. Building you own political power can help accomplish personal goals for you and your community, and also can be fun

How? There will be a series of seminars to discuss various tactics and techniques.

The first session will be Monday, May 2, at 8 p.m., at St. Andrews Lutheran Church 304 Morewood Ave., corner of Centre Ave.

We will discuss how you can use your involvement in the upcoming May 17 primary to increase your own political power. The session will NOT discuss and recruit you for any individual candidates. We assume that by May 2 you will already have a candidate in whom you are interested. We will discuss how you can help that candidate in ways that do the most for that candidate and also build your own political power. The session will be right after the MoveOn May meetup, which is at that church at 7. However, you are welcome regardless of whether you are associated with MoveOn, DFAPittsburgh, the Sierra Club, the Thomas Merton Center, or anyone or no one.

There will be more sessions later. Possible topics include: the Democratic Party Structure, Duties and Responsibilities of Committeepeople, Circulating Nomination Petitions, Turnout - “Pulling” Voters, The Structure of a Winning Campaign, Electoral Politics and/or Direct Action?, Third Party or First?, Anarchism - the Third Thread in Progressive Politics Today, the Internet and Electoral Politics, Absentee Ballots/Provisional Ballots, and From Paper Ballots to Touch Screens. The seminars will be planned to be especially useful to new committeepeople and people considering running for the Democratic Committee next year. Please share any ideas for topics.

The “Build Your Own Personal Political Power” seminars will be led by Jonathan Robison. Jon is a long-time activist in politics, the peace movement, and the community. He has worked in over a hundred campaigns, going back to Gene McCarthy in ’68, and ran three times for Pittsburgh City Council. He is an attorney and vice-chairperson of the 4th Ward Democratic Committee in Oakland.

The sessions may be on a regular monthly basis, structured so that people can attend ones that interest them. Interested groups will be consulted on the schedule, and those at the May 2 seminar will be asked about dates and a place.

We might have to ask for a contribution of $10, possibly to the Thomas Merton Center, primarily to make people’s RSVP’s meaningful. The introductory session May 2 will be free. There will be no charge of materials distributed at the sessions.

Please pass this on to anyone interested. For further information or comments, contact Jon at 412-683-0237 or

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