By: Harry Waisbren
Our latest call entails some very disappointing news, as the Patriot Act has been extended for another year without reforming the three integrally needed changes. It is difficult to see a sliver of positivity from this, but it exists in the mere fact that it is only a year extension, and the need for our continued effort within this fight continues.
In that vain, we spent the bulk of the call discussing how we can ensure that our effort remains sustainable amidst this extension. You can read through the transcript here, and below you will find the key takeaways from the call that specify how we might best be able to do this:
- Our greatest opportunity to impact the legislation may be after the 2010 elections in November or December, as fear of negative attacks is being cited as the primary rationale for Democratic inaction on this issue. On the flipside, if we are able to insert our issue into a few of these key races, the potential for us to impact the legislation increases that much more…
- We have been working on our mission statement on the wiki, and there are discussion threads at the bottom of the page going over the changes where you can let us know what you think!
- The regular meetings we are holding are cited as being absolutely necessary for holding our diversified coalition together, however, we need to be more strategic about how we can continue them (as well as the improving nature they have exemplified) as we move forward. Specifically, we are asking for others to step up and help promote the event through our various channels (including email lists, Facebook events and messages, Twitter, etc.). We’re working on a system to organize and promote these meetings in a more collaborative fashion, but if you are willing to help out, please let us know as we are actively recruiting participants to take small pieces of the larger effort needed to coordinate these calls and online chats!
- As the 2010 and 2012 elections near, we see a greater opportunity to leverage Organizing for America (previously My.BarackObama.com), or whatever social networking service utilized to coordinate Obama supporters, in our efforts to make real our hopes for change.
- We are discussing holding bigger events, and are contemplating a few different time frames. Jim likes the concept of an April event to coincide with “Patriot Day”, a variety of members would like to hold an event on 9/11 (which would coincide with Tea Party events), and Ben Masel and Jon both like the idea of an October 12 event on the anniversary of the Patriot Act.
- Ben also made the point that, considering the limited impact we can make on the Patriot Act in the meantime, we should broaden our scope, and specifically it may be time to push for a revisit of the wiretap act to add both video surveillance and location tracking.
Thanks to Mark, Jim, and Ben for joining the call, to Jon for joining the online chat, and the anyone else following along! We have to take our lumps in stride, and continue to play the long game to ensure that the dream of America will be…