neonvincent: Coffee Party USA logo from the Facebook page and website (Coffee Party)
[personal profile] neonvincent

Christian Science Monitor: Can 'Occupy Wall Street' really get money out of politics?

While 'Occupy Wall Street' has avoided specifying demands, money in politics is a clear target. Supporters of campaign-finance reform hope the movement gives their cause momentum.

The 'Occupy Wall Street' movement has been catching flak for its perceived lack of clear goals, but the protests have already put new energy behind one big idea: reforming the role of money in politics.

Advocates of campaign finance reform say the protesters in New York and elsewhere have, in recent weeks, brought the question of corporate influence closer to the front burner of national discourse, adding fresh momentum to their own efforts.

"I can't tell you how thrilled I am," says Annabel Park, founder and president of Coffee Party USA, a group that promotes campaign finance reform with grass-roots support. "It's like a miracle," she says. Even though many Americans worry about the money in politics, "it's hard to get people's attention on this."

Ms. Park says she's seen synergy between her group and Occupy Wall Street, which has spawned a range of nationwide demonstrations since protesters set up camp in Manhattan's Zuccotti Park on Sept. 17. Some Coffee Party followers have joined in Occupy rallies. And Park says she's seen a rise in public support for her own group over the past month.

Even before Occupy Wall Street began, the Coffee Party was planning an "Enough is enough" rally in Washington on Oct. 29. That event could see its ranks grow, as it now becomes part of a larger season of protest in America.

Similarly, an online petition drive called "Get Money Out" launched in late September, with the goal (shared by the Coffee Party) of amending the Constitution so that corporate money can be banned from politics. Dylan Ratigan, who hosts a news show on the MSNBC network, has spearheaded the effort, which has attracted about 190,000 signers as of Thursday.

Much more (non-Coffee-Party-related) at the link in the headline.
neonvincent: Coffee Party USA logo from the Facebook page and website (Coffee Party)
[personal profile] neonvincent

From the Coffee Party Blog: Taxpayers Take Action — April 10 thru 18

Please join the Facebook group Taxpayers Take Action 2011 to participate in planning and strategy for April 10-18 events.

Wow. So, we're still kind of stunned by the flood of donations this week. Despite the website crashes we suffered, we ended up topping $128,000 in our month-long membership drive, with an incredible $75,000 raised since Monday afternoon. Apart from "wow," the primary words on our minds are "thank you." We don't know what else to say.

More on the membership drive and Taxpayers Take Action 2011 behind the cut plus bonus video of a UK Uncut protest. )

neonvincent: Coffee Party USA logo from the Facebook page and website (Coffee Party)
[personal profile] neonvincent
Why I started Coffee Party USA

...There is a profound relationship problem between the government and the people that it serves. Many Americans feel alienated from the corrupted political process, the dysfunction of the government and the seeming polarization of our society.
...
This is a terrible state of affairs because the public's disengagement from politics is the greatest threat to a democracy.

We are proposing to address this threat, to practice democracy at the local level and create a home in the public sphere. What better place than a neighborhood coffee shop to create that home?

There are three steps to this model of participatory democracy.

The first step is creating a public space for open and civil dialogue. The second step is collective deliberation, considering facts and values to arrive at a decision. The third step is working toward implementing the decision.

We will practice all three steps as a community, pledging to be civil to each other.
Annabel posted the link to this editorial on Coffee Party USA's Facebook page last week to remind everyone that the movement is not just about civil discussion of politics. Civil discussion was both a means to an end and only one of the goals. The movement also had to decide what it was about and then take action. The decision was reached last year to tackle Financial Reform and Election Reform, specifically counteracting the massive wealth inequality in the U.S. and the capture of the political system by wealthy interests exemplified by the Citizens United decision. Now it is time to start to take action.

Stay tuned for an announcement from the website about the next event.
neonvincent: Coffee Party USA logo from the Facebook page and website (Coffee Party)
[personal profile] neonvincent

The Tipping Point

by Annabel Park & Eric Byler

Years from now, we will think of February 2011 as the tipping point in America’s great awakening. After all the warnings and wake-up calls, this be will remembered as the time when the American people decided to come together, confront the plutocracy that plagues our republic, and do something to change the economic inequality/instability that has grown from it. There is a tide. If you don't yet feel it, here are Ten Wake Up Calls that we predict will help define February 2011 in America. The more people who get involved, the more meaningful it will be. So, please share this page with others who may still need a reason to wake up and stand up.

Ten wake-up calls behind the cut. )
neonvincent: Coffee Party USA logo from the Facebook page and website (Coffee Party)
[personal profile] neonvincent
coffeeparty

Coffee Connect Newsletter, Feb 25, 2011, Vol. 1, Issue 4

In this issue:

From the Editors by Lynda Park, Barb Bull, and Tim McDonough

Coffee Party Regional Coordinators by Coffee Party National Team

Only a Few More Days Left to Become a Founding Member by Coffee Party National Team

The Tipping Point by Annabel Park and Eric Byler
Mod note: I'll be reposting this entire article shortly

Meet a National Team Member: Bruce Schuman, Shared Purpose Director

The Shared Purpose Network by Bruce Schuman

New Users guide to Twitter: Part II Hashtags, Retweets, and Replies by Vince Lamb
Mod note: I wrote this article

LA Coffee Party Building Community and Presence by Heather Meyer, LA Coffee Party Chapter Coordinator

Member Commentary: Can Democracy Be Tweeted? by Tim Holton, Emeryville, CA

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Coffee Party USA on Dreamwidth

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