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


Local politics -- schools, zoning, council elections -- hit us where we live. So why don't more of us actually get involved? Is it apathy? Dave Meslin says no. He identifies 7 barriers that keep us from taking part in our communities, even when we truly care.
This is the YouTube version of a video that has been posted to the main page and by Annabel Park to hers. Watch to see how intentional exclusion keeps participation in local government down. Then think about how to improve participation in local govenment.
neonvincent: Coffee Party USA logo from the Facebook page and website (Coffee Party)
[personal profile] neonvincent

coffeeparty

Open Call-in Hour w/ Annabel

Time: Sunday March 20, 5:30 P.M. EDT
Length: 1 hour

Description: The Coffee Party reached 350,000 followers on Facebook today, a major milestone. Have coffee with Annabel and the Coffee Party members. Call in to discuss what's on your mind. Check out the latest blog post: Choose Reality Over Ideology. Topics that we may cover: democracy movement raging in America, Coffee Party campaign for tax week, budget crisis, Libya, earthquake in Japan, Founding Membership drive, why people join, looking back on the first year of the Coffee Party and looking forward.

ETA: Call in number: (646) 929-2495 Call in!
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
Coffee Party membership card

Today is the last day to join and receive a Founding Member card with a unique membership number and an Official Coffee Party USA bumper sticker with the motto "Incite Civility & Reason." Deadline is 11:59:59 P.M., Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time. That's just one second before 5 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, 4 A.M. Central Standard Time, 3 A.M. Mountain Standard Time, 2 A.M. Pacific Standard Time, and 1 A.M. Alaska Standard Time.

To sign up for a 1-year Founding Membership, click here and to sign up for a Sustaining Membership with automatic renewal, click here. Minimum donation is $10, which is for unemployed and students. The standard recommended donation is $50.

The membership drive was originally scheduled to last only until the end of February, but overwhelming last-minute demand resulted in the extension until just before Midnight March 3 in the farthest west inhabited U.S. states.

As of yesterday evening, more than 3000 people had contributed more than $115,000 since the membership drive began. More than $70,000 of that was donated between Monday afternnon and Tuesday night. This last amount is as much money as was donated during all of 2010!

For more details on Coffee Party USA's membership drive, join me behind the cut. )
neonvincent: Coffee Party USA logo from the Facebook page and website (Coffee Party)
[personal profile] neonvincent
Coffee Party membership card

On Feb. 28 we got a lot of donations all at once, which crashed our on-line donations tool several times. To avoid the overload, we've extended the Founding Members drive until midnight Hawaiian time March 3, 2011, which is 5 AM eastern time March 4, 2011. Despite the interruptions, we blew past our goal of $50,000 and are now over $115,000 with $70,000 raised since Monday afternoon.

Mod note: Coffee Party USA raised more money in the last two days than we did all of last year.

The Truth Is

Dear Friends,

Thank you for persevering despite our donations site overloading several times last night. It takes more than that to deter a Coffee Party Founding Member! This membership drive has surpassed all our goals, and, surpassed our imagination.


The rest of Annabel's post from yesterday, with figures that are a bit out of date but sentiments that are still timely, behind the cut. )
neonvincent: Coffee Party USA logo from the Facebook page and website (Coffee Party)
[personal profile] neonvincent
Coffee Party membership card

Due to Hundreds Joining at Once, Our Donation Site Has Been Crashing!
Dear Coffee Partier,
An extraordinary thing happened today.
We sent out an email at 4pm ET reminding people who have not already joined that today was the last day to become a Founding Member of the Coffee Party.
Hundreds of people started joining at once and our payment site has been crashing!

We apologize for the inconvenience if you've had difficulties or have been unable to contribute. The problem seems to come and go depending on how much traffic we get on the page. To avoid the overload, we are extending the Founding Members drive until midnight Hawaiian time March 3, 2011, which is 5 AM eastern time March 4, 2011.

We are currently working with our service provider to fix the problem so that you don't continue to have this problem.
The great news is that despite the service interruptions, we blew past our goal of reaching $50,000 and we are now nearing $70,000.
Starting tomorrow, please click here and make a contribution of $10 or more to receive a personalized Founding Member card and a Coffee Party bumper sticker.
Thank you all for being part of this movement! We are truly excited about 2011.
-Annabel, Eric, Sabina, David and the Coffee Party National Team
 
Crossposted from the Coffee Party Blog.

Mod note: if the main donation tool isn't working for you, try the PayPal link. It works even when the main tool is down.
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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