Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Yes We Did!

Sorry I’ve been incommunicado recently. Since the election, I’ve been trying to get my feet on the ground with a new job, and catching up a little on my sleep. In the weeks leading up to the election, I was working very long days, like many of you, I’m sure. I was out knocking on doors for Barack Obama right up until 6:45 p.m. on Election Day.

What a long road we’ve traveled. We started out saying, "Yes We Can!” later we said, "Yes We Will!", and now we can say, "Yes We Did!". It took thousands of people like you and me, from all walks of life, all over Colorado and all over the country, working hard for many months giving of their time and money to get the facts out about Senator Obama by holding meetings in their homes with their friends and neighbors, making phone calls, and knocking on doors right up through Election Day to change minds, get out the vote, and make it happen. I am so proud of our State for “turning blue”, our country, Senator Obama, and what we all accomplished together.

This campaign demonstrated what is possible when a candidate brings people together around common hopes and goals. This campaign has been transformational. The election of President-Elect Obama has been transformational. It is palpable. I noticed it immediately as I walked out of the Sheraton Hotel Wednesday morning where we stayed election night. As I rode the 16th Street mall shuttle to my office, people looked at each other differently. I looked at people differently too. People of all colors looked at each other in the eye--with fresh eyes, with joy, pride, and hope in their eyes. Have you seen it too?

And now I look forward to watching, and helping in whatever way I can, the further transformation of our national dialog from one based on fear, to one based on hope for what we can and will become individually and collectively.

Thank you again for everything you did, and what I know you will continue to do, to help create the future we all hope for.

Like some of you, my wife, Roxy, and I made our flight and hotel reservations some months ago. We will be in D.C. Jan. 16-23 and look forward to celebrating and participating in what will be a historic Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama! I hope you can make it and join us!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Barack Tells Us, "It's Time to Double-Down"

Barack called us tonight at the South Denver Obama headquarters to thank us for all the work we’ve done, and to ask us to “double-down” on whatever time commitment we had planned to make over the next 72 hours. The 8 p.m. conference call, just before he went to the podium to speak to a crowd in Springfield, MO, included 20,000 field organizers and volunteer team leaders spread all over the country. Several months ago, he asked us to “make this our project”, and tonight he was gracious in his praise for what we have accomplished. He said it was simply “astonishing”, and he was “proud” of everyone that has contributed so far.

In addition to that doubling-down and “spending every waking moment” through Election Day calling our supporters and knocking on doors, he asked us to do two other things. He asked us to bring our friends and family for the final push to get out the vote. And he asked us to help keep everyone’s spirits up—our fellow volunteers, and the voting public. He said we’re on the five-yard line, and we need to “leave it all on the field”—meaning give it all you got and hold nothing back. “We can’t let this slip through our fingers”.

So, this is it. Are you ready to double-down? Are you willing to “go all in” for Barack and your country? Will we let this slip through our fingers? Will you spend even just 3 hours out of the next 72 to help get out the vote, and perhaps change the course of history?

It’s really easy. Just come down to 1355 South Colorado Blvd., or go to www.barackobama.com to find a campaign office near you. We’ll train you in small groups (as shown in the photo) in how to talk to our supporters on the phone or on their doorstep. All we’re trying to do is to get them to return their mail-in ballot or get to the polls Tuesday. I promise--it’s a lot of fun. And you’ll be able to look back, and say, “Yeah, I helped make a little history in 2008.”

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween! Now Let's GOTV!

I must say, I think I really did out-do myself this year! Every year our extended family gets together at a family-member’s home for our annual pumpkin carving get-together. This year, it was at our house, and this photo is of my creation. Can you tell who it is? I hope so! The picture, however, simply doesn’t do it justice. My whole family, including me, was mesmerized by how much it looked like our candidate for President of the United States, Barack Obama!

After we’re all done handing out treats tonight (does anyone do tricks anymore?) and escorting our little ones around the neighborhood, we all need to get to work for the next 4 days. It’s called GOTV, or “get out the vote”! The winning candidate will be the one with the most volunteers, and the most organized GOTV effort. Will it be Barack Obama, or John McCain? YOU decide! You can come out and join us this weekend as we begin “chasing” mail-in ballots on the phone or on the streets of the neighborhood by canvassing. We’ll be doing the same all day Monday and Election Day. We’ll also need drivers for those that need a ride to the polls, and many, many other tasks that need to be done to GOTV. So, PLEASE go to www.barackobama.com to sign-up to help, or call me at 303-907-4664.

Do you want to wake up Wednesday and be sorry you didn’t do more? Or do you want to spend the rest of your life knowing that YOU personally contributed to electing Barack Obama, the most transformative President of our lifetime? What future do YOU choose for yourself, your family, and your country?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Largest U.S. Obama Rally Yet at 100,000 Was a Sight to Behold!

Wow! At 1000,000 strong, yesterday’s rally was a historical event that I am proud to have been part of! I volunteered for the security detail getting people through the metal detectors. I was fortunate to have a birds eye view watching and welcoming people entering through the only public entrance to the venue at Civic Center Park. The diversity of those entering matches the diversity of our City, State, and Nation. I welcomed babies as young as 3 weeks, and seniors that I am sure were in their 90s. I saw black, white, American Indians and Eastern Indians. I welcomed families, gay and straight, holding their kids’ hands, carrying them on their backs or stomachs, or pushing them in their strollers. I even met an entire family from Kenya (where Barack’s Father was from), who were as proud as they could and should be. I saw attendees helping those with canes or crutches, and carrying those in wheelchairs, down the stairs at the Greek Theater where all public attendees entered.

For 3 hours, from 9am to Noon, as they streamed through the gate, the best way I can describe the overall mood is “joyful”. Clearly, everyone was happy to be there. While many said they had waited in line for 2 hours or more, not a single person complained about it. People said they simply didn’t mind waiting in line that long. Many said they it was “enjoyable”, and that they met a lot of nice people. I couldn’t agree with them more.

As Senator Obama began to speak, the gates were closed, and we were released to go into the venue and listen to his speech. I say “listen” because we had about 50,000 [people in front of us, and another 50,000-plus behind us. The only was I “saw” him was to look through my telephoto lense on my camera (smile). But I’m not complaining either. It was more than enough to hear the clear and inspirational words of the next President of the United States. And as good as that was, it was absolutely breathtaking simply to look around me and see the ocean of cheering, clapping, flag and sign-waving people in front of the City and County Building, to the sides, and running all the way back and up to the top steps of the State Capitol. What I saw all around me was America--joyful, and at peace in the knowledge, or at least in the hope, that this extraordinary man would be the one to unite us, and to lead us through the great challenges before us, and into what surely will be a brighter future.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Early Vote For Change Rally Tomorrow!

Tomorrow, Sunday, October 26th, join Barack Obama in Denver, where he will talk about his vision for creating the kind of change we need. It's the “Early Vote for Change Rally” with Barack Obama at Civic Center Park.

The gates open at 10:00 a.m. and the program begins at 11:30 a.m.

Most importantly, bring your undecided friends and family. I guarantee that once they see and hear Barack in person, they will be undecided no more!

The Public Entrance is near the Greek Theater on 14th Avenue between Bannock and Broadway. There is no entry to the event via Colfax Ave. Bring your mail-in ballot to drop off at the Webb Building at Colfax and Bannock, or early-vote at the same place. The event is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required; however an RSVP is strongly encouraged. RSVP at http://my.barackobama.com/page/s/cobodenver

For security reasons do not bring bags and limit personal items. No signs or banners are permitted.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Biggest and Best Organized Campaign--Ever!

I just got home from a training session for Obama poll leads and poll checkers. There were a couple hundred volunteers there for 2 hours to learn about their roles on election day. Of course, it took a very large room to accommodate these people. It's the same room used every day and every night to dispatch volunteer canvassers and to house the phone bank. It's also the same room that will be used to train hundreds more Obama volunteers over the coming days. It's at least 3 times as large as the entire Kerry State campaign office where I spent a lot of time 4 years ago.

This is the biggest and best organized Presidential campaign I have ever seen--maybe in history. I think Obama has 50 offices around the state, and more volunteers than you can shake a stick at. Obama will have a volunteer covering almost every precinct at every polling place in Denver to keep track of our supporters who have voted. Then, we have enough volunteer phone bankers to call those that have not voted until they vote, and enough volunteer canvassers to dispatch to the homes of every Obama supporter and, if necessary, sit on their doorstep until they get home from work and get out to vote before 7 pm. Four years ago, we could have only dreamed of such resources! If we had half the number of paid campaign staff and volunteers 4 years ago, John Kerry would be President today! As it is, the number and enthusiasm of Obama's volunteers is going to ensure that he wins November 4th.

Having said that, we can not let down. We can not get comfortable. We can not back off. We will only win if we continue to get out there and continue to identify our remaining supporters through canvassing and phone banking every day until the election, so we have the information we need to get the vote out. We can win, and we will win, if we keep working hard for the next 2 weeks. And if tonight's volunteer turnout is any indication, our folks are chomping at the bit to do the work that needs to be done!

Monday, September 29, 2008

The Best Place to Get Involved in Politics

The best place to really get involved in the political process and change the world as we know it is “The Denver Dems”, as we dedicated Democrats call it. I could also say your local Republican Party office, but I won’t :-)

You can go there in person by visiting 789 Sherman Street, Suite #145, Denver, Colorado 80203. But save that $4 a gallon gas and visit them virtually at http://denverdemocrats.net/home, or give them a call at 303-830-8242, or email them at info@denverdemocrats.org.

You can sign up at the website to receive regular emails about what’s going on, and identify fun and meaningful events that you might want to attend.

And if you want to do something right now, in the next few weeks, to change the world, go right to www.barackobama.com and find out how you can get involved NOW. Then you will be able to say that you did something tangible, in addition to casting your own vote, to elect the next President of the United States!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Obama--Being the Change We Want to See

I apologize for being incommunicado lately. I have been out of town a lot the last couple weeks, and am putting all of my energies through Nov. 4th into serving as an Obama Neighborhood Team Leader and doing everything I can do to elect Barack Obama and change the direction of our country.

I am so proud of how he handled the debate last night. He is truly committed to being the change he and many of us want to see in the world, and changing the nature of politics. He refused to lower himself to the level of McCain's negative and inaccurate attacks, and remained ever the gentleman and the statesman. It seems the worst they can say about him is that he gave credit to McCain where credit was due, clearly demonstrating how he will always seek to find common ground across the aisle. All this even though McCain refused to even look at him, talk to him, or recognize his presence even while the moderator continued to encourage McCain to do so.

I will continue to blog as I am able. As Barack also often says, he wants us to believe not so much in his ability to create the change we seek, but in our own abilities to create the change we want to see in the world. So when I am not here, that's where I'll be--creating change. I hope you are making a similar commitment. Remember, we get exactly the government and the world we deserve.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Not the Huge Crowds, Not the Speeches, Not Even the Parties are What I Will Remember Most about the DNC

I have to say that being elected at the State Convention to represent my fellow Colorado Democrats at the DNC was the highest honor I have ever received. I am so grateful to have been able to participate in this historic and exciting event, particularly because it was in our home town! However, as exciting and gratifying participating in my first Democratic National Convention was, my most memorable moments were different than you might guess.

Over the last couple weeks, I have often been asked,

--What was the best part about being at the convention?

--What was most memorable?

--What moved you the most, or had the biggest impact on you?

Some of you may have been fortunate, as I was, to attend at least some part of the convention, or some of the related pubic or private events. Many of you probably watched a large part of the convention on TV. I’m sure you each would have your own answers to these questions. Here are my memories, and how I was tangibly and emotionally reminded why we do what we do, and why we must continue working hard to ensure that Barack Obama is elected as the next President of the United States.

Each day, from sun-up to the early-morning hours of the night, we had countless caucuses, other meetings, and late-night parties to choose from. At any given hour of the day, there were far more activities than any one person could possibly attend.

Certainly, being on the convention floor, with the rest of our delegation, in the first few rows, right next to the stage, was a terribly exciting place to be when the gavel went down at 3pm each day! It’s hard to beat a front-row seat to the most important and exciting event to come to Denver in a hundred years!

Maybe you would say one of the many speeches we heard or saw on TV was the highlight of the convention?

Certainly, Sen. Obama’s acceptance speech the last night would be considered by many as the highlight of the entire week. He never ceases to inspire us. Not just with his oratory, and he is the best statesman we have witnessed since JFK, but with his concrete proposals for change in every policy area important not just to Democrats, but to the American people—

--promptly and responsibly ending the ill-conceived war in Iraq,

--rebuilding our devastated economy that has thrown 600,000 Americans out of work in the last year, and tens of thousands out of their homes,

--saving our climate and our planet with concrete proposals that will drastically reduce GHGs and other pollutants, and that will create a new alternative energy industry and millions of new, high-paying jobs, many right here in Colorado!

--diverting hundreds of billions of dollars from the Iraq war into the other pillars of a strong and secure economy—affordable education and health care.

Maybe you thought President Clinton’s or Hillary’s speech, encouraging her supporters to work as hard for Sen. Obama as they did for her, and unifying our Party was the most important thing that needed to get done that week.

Some of you know that I was personally trained by VP Al Gore to present his slide show on global warming and the climate crisis. And maybe you especially appreciated, like I did, VP Gore’s reminder that our addiction to oil is not only destroying the climate, but wrecking our economy and making our world a more dangerous place by enriching countries that don’t like us very much and that are the breeding grounds for future terrorists.

Or maybe you most enjoyed hearing the stories of the everyday people that spoke at the convention, like Republican Barney Smith from rural Indiana, that are losing their jobs and struggling mightily just to survive in an economy that continues to take from the middle class while enriching those at the very top of the economic ladder? I’m sure you’d also like a government that watches out for Barney Smith, not Smith Barney.

And sure, after the convention adjourned around 9pm each night, there were the parties, where we could meet with members of the other state delegations, and if we were lucky, meet or at least lay eyes on, some of the most well-known leaders of our Party and our Government, like Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

As fun and exciting as all these things were, it may surprise you, because it surprised me, that none of these memories are the ones I would cite as the most moving. What moved me most, what had the single biggest impact on me, was my experience on the third day of the convention--“Delegate Service Day”--a day that all delegations were encouraged to participate in an organized community service project.

When Delegate Service Day was first announced, weeks before the convention, I immediately signed-up. There were several different activities we could choose from, and my chosen assignment was to prepare and serve a meal for the homeless.

So, right after our Wednesday breakfast meeting, a half-dozen or so of us from the Colorado delegation walked down to the Denver Rescue Mission. We were first led on a tour of this homeless shelter by the Director and one of longer-term residents whom I’ll call Brian.

The most telling thing that I saw was the huge dormitory room. The room had a sea of bunk beds. It was pointed out to us that we could see a couple dozen of these beds had personal, differently-colored linen on them. Each of these beds represented a resident holding a job, but still not earning enough to survive in this desperate economy. What was most illuminating is that many of the people relying on this homeless shelter are the head of a family. Or like Brian, were once the head of a family.

Brian was not here because of anything to do with alcohol or drug abuse, but is simply a victim of this disastrous economy. He had a well-paying job, and a family. But like so many Americans, he was enticed by the easy credit offered by inadequately-regulated banks, mortgage companies, and government-owned corporations that back them up. He and many others across the country, were encouraged, and in too many cases misled, to borrow beyond his means, and before he knew it, he was bankrupt, lost his family, and found himself homeless.

I have to tell you I shed more than a couple tears just looking at this ocean of bunks, and thinking of the similar heartbreaking stories each of the 200 people that would be occupying these bunks that night could tell us.

After our tour, we went about chopping, and cutting, and cooking lunch for the long line of homeless people waiting outside the door. My next assignment was handing each person, adult and child, their lunch tray as they humbly filed through the door. I looked each person in the eye as I enthusiastically welcomed them to lunch. And I saw in those eyes nothing but gratefulness and humility.

Why did this experience touch me so? Why do I say this was the most important and most meaningful event I will remember about being part of this convention? Because it put the faces of real people on it. It reminded me why we are doing what we’re doing. Why politics and the policies candidates promote are so important. Why we get involved in politics to begin with. Why it is so important that we redouble our efforts to help Barack Obama win this election.

The polls say this race is a dead heat. The candidates are virtually tied. If we want real change in this country, if we want to repair our economy so people like Brian and all the other people I greeted at the shelter that day, can find a decent job, and get off the streets and out of the overflowing homeless shelters across this country, we must elect Barack Obama.

This will not happen if we sit on the sidelines like too many people did 4 years ago. Each one of us must get out of our comfortable homes, and knock on doors, do phone banking, talk to people, get our people registered, get them to vote early, and all the other work it will take to get out the vote.

That’s what I’m doing as the Obama Neighborhood Team Leader for 14 precincts in House District 6. If you haven’t knocked on any doors or made any phone calls yet, I beg you to get out there NOW! We have only 19 days left to register voters. We have only about 3 weeks until mail-in-ballots are sent out and voting begins.

I want to leave you with one final thought. Democracy is NOT a spectator sport. Will you get out this weekend, fully participate in doing the hard work remaining to be done, and do your share to elect Barack Obama the next President of the United States?

I hope so. We can’t afford 4 more years.

Monday, August 25, 2008

DNC--First Morning

This morning consisted of our daily delegate breakfast where Sen. Salazar and Rep. Perlmutter gave us a great pep talk. Then I was off to a a meeting of the Network of Spiritual Progressives at St. Paul's Church where they spoke about Israel, Palestine, and whether we can avoid war with Iran. I'm now off to the Curtis Hotel to hear about a "Global Marshal Plan".

We just learned that the gavel will go down at Pepsi at 3pm instead of 4pm as originally planned. I have to be on the bus by 2pm for the short ride over there (they won't let us walk due to security concerns).

More later!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Governor Bill Ritter’s Reception for the Colorado Delegation

I just left the Governor Bill Ritter’s reception for the Colorado Delegation. There were many of our Democratic Elected officials there including Senator Ken and Representative John Salazar, and Congresswoman Diana Degette. From left to right is Laura Vanderschaff, Delegate Nate Vanderschaff, my wife Roxy Hart, State Treasurer Cary Kennedy, Lt. Governor Barbara O’Brien, and myself. It was a wonderful kickoff to the convention! Thank you Governor Ritter!

The Governor said the primary reason for the reception was to thank the Delegates for their participation in the process and their dedication to the Party and to the Presidential Campaign. He also said the West is representative of the type of change people in the country want and expect, as demonstrated by the many recently elected Democratic Governors throughout the Western States. The path and the opportunity for change in national politics is through the West! That is why the West will play a pivotal role in the election of Barack Obama!

Come With Me to the Convention!

Convention week is about to take off! It all begins with a reception at the Governor's mansion for the Colorado Delegation today at 11:30 a.m. Following that, my wife Roxy and I will be attending a 2 pm DNC interfaith gathering at the Colorado Convention Center's (CCC) Wells Fargo Theater (which is open to the public). Then it's on to another social event followed by a concert at Red Rocks including Earth Wind and Fire, Sheryl Crow, and Dave Matthews. Then, tomorrow, the real "work" begins :-) I really wish I could take you all with me. I asked for a couple hundred extra tickets, but they just smiled and shook their head :-) However, I hope you will join me "virtually".

I am so grateful to all of you from around the state that voted for me and allowed me to represent you at the convention this week! This is grassroots democracy in action, and I can' thank you enough for allowing me to serve you in this way! The best way I can thank you is to live up to my campaign promises. One of the things I promised during the campaign was to blog throughout the convention. Through this blog, you can ask me questions, give me your input, or just follow me during the week. Now I want to offer yet another way for you to join me at the convention

It's going to be an exciting week! If you want to track my every move during the DNC in "real time", you can do that on "Twitter". If that's a new term to you, it was to me too. This is how they describe it: Twitter is a unique approach to communication and networking based on the simple concept of "what's your current status". What are you doing? What are your friends doing—right now? With Twitter, you may answer this question over SMS, IM, or the Web and the responses are shared between contacts. To find out more about Twitter, visit the link below: http://twitter.com/i/deafe017142140db7044566433da2c1d176ca9b9

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I Love Joe Biden on the Ticket!

I can't tell you how pleased I am that Joe Biden will be the next Vice President of the United States! I have followed him for many years, and have always liked him and his brand of politics. He was my personal choice for VP, and will make an outstanding addition to the ticket. I love his straight-talking style and common sense approach to the issues, and I know the American people will too!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

More Meetings/Events Now Through the Convention

There are far more events, many open to the public, than one could ever hope to attend. For more events associated with the Democratic National Committee, please check out the city’s Event Guide

Also listed below are the primary speakers for each day of the convention.

Sat. Aug 23rd – House District 6A Monthly Meeting
Time: 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Location: Wash Park United Church of Christ, 400 S. Williams St.

House District 7A Monthly Meeting
Time: 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Location: Montbello Rec Center, 15555 E. 53rd Ave.

House Distict 9 Monthly Meeting
Time: 9:00 am – 10:30 am
Location: New York Deli News, 7105 E. Hampden

National Stonewall Democrats Reception for Kansas Gov. Sebelius
Time: 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Location: Renaissance Hotel, 3801 Quebec St.
Admission: free RSVP
This event is followed by NSC’s annual awards dinner (cost: $100)

Sun. Aug 24th – National Convention Interfaith Gathering
Time: 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Location: Wells Fargo Theatre, Speer & Stout St.

Gala & Private Screening: “Golda’s Balcony”
Time: 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Location: St. Cajetan’s Church, Auraria Campus (park free in lot H)
Tickets: $100
RSVP: Michelle Ariel michellea@cottrellcompanies.com or Elaine Steinberg dsteinb105@comcast.net

Young Dems of America/CO Young Dems Convention Kick-Off Party
Time: 9:00 pm - ???
Location: Bar Standard, 1037 Broadway

Breaking Convention with Scott Blakeman: A Liberal Dose of Political Humor
Time: 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Location: The Bug Theatre, 3654 Navajo St.
Tickets: BrownPaperTickets.com/event/39035

(convention schedule is subject to change and only highlights are reported here)
Theme: “One Nation”
Welcomes from Mayor Hickenlooper, Gov. Ritter, Chairman Dean
Principle speaker: Michelle Obama
Other Notable speakers: Nancy Pelosi, Jesse Jackson, Jimmy Carter
Tribute to Sen. Ted Kennedy

Think Precinct Trainings
Times: 9:00 am and 11:00 am (90 minute sessions)
Location: The Judicial Arbiter Group, 1601 Blake St, Suite 400
RSVP: Register for Training Sessions

Think Precinct Training
Time: 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Location: LoDo Tattered Cover, 1628 16th Street
RSVP: Register for Training Session

Theme: “Renewing America’s Promise”
Keynote Address: Virginia Gov. Mark Warner
Speech by Sen. Hillary Clinton

Time: 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Location: City Park, by the Shell Stage
Cost: FREE
For more details: http://www.denverdemocrats.org/

Canvass with New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson
Time: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Location: SEIU, 2525 W. Alameda (canvassing in House District 2)
RSVP: Jesus Mata jmata@coloradoforchange.com

EMILY’s List Reception with Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, and Michelle Obama
Time: 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm (registration starts at 1:30 pm)
Location: Sheraton Hotel Downtown, 1550 Court Place (former Adam’s Mark)
To Register: https://emilyslist.org/images/register_dnc_event_kd

Think Precinct Trainings
Times: 9:00 am and 11:00 am (90 minute sessions)
Location: The Judicial Arbiter Group, 1601 Blake St, Suite 400
RSVP: Register for Training Sessions

Think Precinct Training
Time: 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Location: LoDo Tattered Cover, 1628 16th Street
RSVP: Register for Training Session

Hula Hooping for Peace
Time: 7:00 am – sunset
Location: Driscoll Green, University of Denver
Contact: Melody Moezzi http://www.melodymoezzi.com/

Breaking Convention with Scott Blakeman: A Liberal Dose of Political Humor
Time: 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Location: The Bug Theatre, 3654 Navajo St.
Tickets: BrownPaperTickets.com/event/39035

Theme: “Securing America’s Future”
Tribute to Service Members and Veterans
Roll-Call Vote for Presidential nomination
Vice-Presidential Nominee’s speech

Think Precinct Trainings
Times: 9:00 am and 11:00 am (90 minute sessions)
Location: The Judicial Arbiter Group, 1601 Blake St, Suite 400
RSVP: Register for Training Sessions

Think Precinct Training
Time: 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Location: LoDo Tattered Cover, 1628 16th Street
RSVP: Register for Training Session

Breaking Convention with Scott Blakeman: A Liberal Dose of Political Humor
Time: 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Location: The Bug Theatre, 3654 Navajo St.
Tickets: BrownPaperTickets.com/event/39035

Hula Hooping for Peace
Time: 7:00 am – sunset
Location: Driscoll Green, University of Denver
Contact: Melody Moezzi http://www.melodymoezzi.com/

Theme: “Change You Can Believe In”
Sen. Barack Obama’s Acceptance Speech (at Invesco Field)

“I Have a Dream” Anniversary Celebration
Time: 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Location: New Hope Baptist Church, 3701 Colorado Blvd.
Presented by US Rep. DeGette and the Congressional Black Caucus

Think Precinct Trainings
Times: 9:00 am and 11:00 am (90 minute sessions)
Location: The Judicial Arbiter Group, 1601 Blake St, Suite 400
RSVP: Register for Training Sessions

Think Precinct Training
Time: 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Location: LoDo Tattered Cover, 1628 16th Street
RSVP: Register for Training Session

Breaking Convention with Scott Blakeman: A Liberal Dose of Political Humor
Time: 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Location: The Bug Theatre, 3654 Navajo St.
Tickets: BrownPaperTickets.com/event/39035

Fri. Aug 29th – Mon. Sep 1st: Take a long holiday weekend to recover!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What I’m Most Looking Forward to Next Week

Someone just asked me what I’m most looking forward to over the next week. The single thing I’m most looking forward to is Barack Obama’s acceptance speech Thursday night at Mile High Stadium (as a long time Broncos season ticket holder, I just can’t bring myself to using the “I” word!). It will be an historic speech at an historic moment. It will be the first acceptance speech by an Afro-American major party Presidential nominee, and will be exactly 35 years to the day since Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech. Isn’t that an exciting coincidence?

What I will be most interested to see, and will be watching most closely, is Hillary Clinton’s speech. I am hoping to hear her unequivocal and enthusiastic support for Barack Obama. I came to the conclusion about a week ago that the best way to ensure real unity would be to have her name be put into nomination, and her delegates to have the opportunity to vote for her on a first ballot. I’m glad that’s exactly what the two Senators agreed will happen next week.

I will also be hoping to hear her very clearly imploring her delegates to cast their final vote at the convention for Obama. Just as importantly, I will be looking for her to enthusiastically implore her delegates to commit to working as hard as they possibly can over the next two months to elect Barack Obama as President of the United States. I fully expect she will do this, and when she does, I fully expect her delegates to do as she asks. I expect that they will do this not just because she asks them to, but because she will have persuaded them, if they are not persuaded already, that he truly deserves their vote and their commitment. Ultimately, I hope they feel that they each came to this conclusion freely, and hopefully, enthusiastically.

And if there remains any doubt in any delegate’s mind after Senator Clinton speaks to the convention, I expect that when her delegates hear Senator Obama speak Thursday night, they, along with the 80 thousand people attending the convention that night, and the millions watching from around the country, will be forever transformed and moved to hit the streets and the phones to do the grassroots campaigning that will be necessary to elect Barack Obama in November.

It will be an exciting week, to be sure. But it is really only the beginning to the most exciting and perhaps the most important Presidential campaign most of us have ever seen! I hope you’ll choose to be part of it!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Denver Dem's City Park Fest '08

Don't have a ticket to join me at the DNC? Then join the Democratic Party of Denver and the Denver Young Democrats and celebrate Denver and Democracy in beautiful City Park!

Denver Dem's City Park Fest '08, Tuesday, August 26, 2008, 5-10 p.m., City Park Bandstand, Colorado & York St.

WATCH THE CONVENTION ON A GIANT SCREEN! They'll be showing all the great speeches and action live from the Pepsi Center including Senator Hillary Clinton, Governor Mark Warner, Mayor Frederico Peña, and many more!

DANCE TO LIVE MUSIC! They've got a beat for everyone. Rock on to awesome local bands.

CHEER ON SPECIAL GUESTS & LOCAL OFFICIALS!(awaiting final confirmation)
Max Kennedy, son of Robert F. Kennedy
A very special guest from the Obama Campaign - Stay Tuned!

Oskar Blues Brewery (available for purchase)
Kiva Restaurant (available for purchase)

The Democratic Party of Denver
The Denver Young Democrats
Mark Udall for Senate
BlueFlower Project
The DenverCrats (progressive merchandise)
PlayGreen Recycling
Denver may not host the Democratic convention again for another hundred years so revel in the excitement and join us in City Park!

VOLUNTEERS: Interested in helping out during the big event? Click here.

Monday, August 18, 2008

"The List" of Exciting DNC Activities

As you know, the Convention is just a week away. From August 25 - August 28, 2008, the Denver area will be center stage as Democrats from around the country will take part in the historic nomination of Barack Obama as the next President of the United States!

I hope you got your ticket, or “community credential”, to attend the convention Thursday August 28th when Senator Obama will accept the nomination. In any case, there will be many exciting opportunities to participate in Convention events for the general public, and I encourage you all to get involved and be a part of history. From caucus meetings, to presidential memorabilia, jazz & blues music to green energy and solar displays - there is something for everyone during this week.

The most complete list I have seen anywhere can be found at http://www.denverconvention2008.com/index.cfm?page=calendar. You simply won’t believe how many important meetings are open to the public, and how many other fun and exciting things are going on. You couldn't’t possibly attend them all even if you wanted to! Don’t miss out on being a part of this exciting time in history—for Denver, and our Nation!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

First "Expanded Neighborhood" Team Meeting

26 enthusiastic Obama activists attended our first “Volunteer Team Action Meeting” yesterday, Saturday, August 9th, from 9-11 am at my home.

Several other Obama volunteer leaders and I accepted responsibility for about half of House District #6A. This "exapanded neighborhood" includes my own pct. #639 and 13 other precincts covering the neighborhoods of Cory-Merrill, Bonnie Brae, Belcaro, Stokes, Polo Club, and Cherry Creek (basically everything from Colo. Blvd. to Univ., and I-25 to 6th Ave.)

We listened to Julia Sanders from the Obama campaign, and then attendees left to canvass door to door, do some phone banking from home, or went to a nearby neighborhood music festival to do register new voters.

Everyone was clearly excited about taking action and making a difference for Barack Obama, the next President of the United States!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Obama Neighborhood Leadership Training

Karen Tomb, Margit Henderson, and I attended an outstanding Obama Neighborhood Leadership Training event Saturday at Overland High School from 10am-3:30pm along with several hundred other Obama supporters. Obama State Field Director Kevin Puleo and several other Obama campaign staff expertly led the training.

Karen, Margit, and I accepted responsibility for one of 5 "neighborhoods" within HD#6 including my Pct. #639 and 13 other precincts including the neighborhoods of Cory-Merrill, Bonnie Brae, Belcaro, Stokes, Polo Club, and Cherry Creek (basically everything from Colo. Blvd. to Univ., and I-25 to 6th Ave.)

The 3 of us each were given about 60 people to call to invite to an “Volunteer Team Action Meeting”, plus another 85 each to call as part of a separate "telephone canvass". So, that's about 435 total people in our "neighborhood" to call within the next several days.

We are holding our “Volunteer Team Action Meeting” this coming Saturday, August 9th, from 9-10 am at my home at 801 South Steele St. If you live within our "expanded neighborhood", or live somewhere else and would like to work with us anyway, please RSVP to jeffshart@comcast.net.

Our "core leadership team" will meet from 8:30-9:00 am with Julia Sanders, our new Obama campaign Field Organizer. All volunteers are invited to arrive at 9 am, we will meet with the whole group until about 10 am, and then attendees will be asked to canvass door to door or do voter registration for about 90 minutes, or do some phone banking for about 90 minutes.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Speaker Romanoff at our House Meeting

My wife Roxy and I were pleased to host a Democratic House Meeting and continental breakfast in our backyard today. The weather couldn't have been better, with sunny skies, and a perfect 70 degrees. Yes, we are indeed fortunate to live in "Beautiful Colorado"!

Our guest of honor, Colorado House Speaker and HD6 Representative Andrew Romanoff, was his always witty self. After charming the crowd, he explained all the virtues of the SAFE (Savings Account For Education) initiative petition drive. SAFE will fix the fiscal mess in Colorado's constitution, dedicate a permanent source of funding to public eduction, and preserve the right of citizens' to vote on taxes. If you haven't already, please sign this petition by July 18 so we can get this important measure on the November ballot!

I spoke about why I am dedicated to the election of Barack Obama as the next President of the United States. I focused on how NO ONE can afford to sit on the sidelines in this election. Four years ago, John Kerry was ahead in the polls, much like Barack Obama is today, and we all know what happened. We can NOT afford to let that happen again. That means we ALL need to make this our "project" for the next 4 months. Some of those other projects on our "to do list" can wait. Our country can NOT wait!

Obama Campaign Representative Noah Glasenkamp told a wonderful story about how he became involved with the Campaign, and then all the other attendees got a chance to say a few words about their own personal story, and what brought them here today. Noah elegantly explained the Campaign's grassroots philosophy, and several attendees immediately signed-up to hold similar Obama House Meetings in their homes. If you haven't hosted one of these meetings yet, please go to www.barackobama.com and set one up. It's a lot of fun, and is a key strategy to winning this critical election!

Lois Court, my personal choice for HD6 State Representative, explained that she is the only primary candidate that is not accepting PAC or special interest money. I have known Lois for many years and I am certain that she is the most qualified candidate to become our next State Representative. She has 25 years of experience in Colorado public policy and Democratic politics. She is a real leader—someone you can look at and say, “Here is someone that knows how to work with others to see our Democratic values come to life!” If you live in HD6, please visit her website at www.loiscourt.com to learn more about her. And don't forget to vote in the Democratic Primary on August 12 for the best candidate to become our next House District 6 State Representative: Lois Court.

Alex Stevens of the "coordinated campaign" or "Forward Colorado" then did an excellent job explaining that campaign's role in helping to elect Barack Obama, Mark Udall, and Diana DeGette. He also explained in detail how to canvass. Several attendees immediately volunteered to canvass our neighborhood after the meeting.

All in all, I think we all learned a lot, are even better prepared to help win this election for all our Democratic candidates, and had a lot of fun!

Friday, July 4, 2008

I Actually Got to Meet Senator Obama!

Last Wednesday night, I actually had the privilege to meet Senator Barack Obama! Fellow Delegate Susie McMahon and I carpooled down to the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs to attend a fundraiser for the Senator. We were joined by our friend and fellow Delegate Lynn Young from Colorado Springs and about 250 other guests. We staked out a spot right in front of the small riser near the door from which we knew Senator Obama would enter. While he went straight to the stage to give his speech, afterwards we were able to introduce ourselves, shake hands, and exchange a few words with him. I promised him we would win Colorado for him, and he said, "With your help!"

That reminded me of something he said in his speech that night. He said, "Make this your project for the next 4 months." It made me realize what a relatively small thing he was asking each of us to do. Simply make working to help him get elected our #1 project, just for the next few months. Many of us are working on another "project" right now, or have taken on a 4 month project before. Maybe it was landscaping our yard. Maybe it was finishing our basement. He was simply asking us to maybe set some of those other projects aside, just for a little while, and take on the important task of choosing the next President of the United States! It's a small price to pay to change the direction of our country in a profound way.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Precinct Meeting & Obama Unity Potluck

My Co-Precinct Committee Person, Anne Murdouogh, and I held a "Unite for Change" potluck dinner and campaign planning meeting tonight. Thanks to Anne (pictured far right) and her husband JB for loaning us their beautiful home for the evening! The food was absolutely delicious, and the company couldn't have been better! We had 40 enthusiastic Democrats (along with a few unaffiliateds and maybe even a Republican :-) there to talk about how we are going to win this election for Barack Obama and all our Democratic candidates down the ballot.

Noah Glusenkamp from the Obama Campaign, and Rachael Outman from the coordinated campaign both shared their thoughts about the campaign, emphasizing they wanted to get to know us and learn what had been successful in the past. It was very refreshing! We also had all three Democratic candidates for State Representative for House District 6 speak to the group--Liz Adams, Lois Court, and Josh Hanfling.

Most importantly, we talked about how we needed everyone to pitch in with canvassing, voter registration (we even registered a couple people tonight!), GOTV, and various other tasks between now and November. I think almost everyone signed up to help.

We will be doing a canvass in Precinct 639 Saturday July 12th. Watch here for more details on that later.

Delegates on the Move!

Many members of the Colorado Delegation participated in two fun events last weekend. Last Saturday, we marched in the Gay Pride parade, and last Sunday, we attended a delegate social hosted by Polly Baca. Pictured at the social along with me are delegates Nate Vanderschaft and Jay Berry. Nate is organizing a fleet of electric cars (including his own) to be displayed and used at the convention. Nate and I are wearing the new "Colorado Delegates for Obama" t-shirts that I designed and ordered for the delegation.

Barack's Sister "Maya" is a Gem!

I was fortunate to attend a wonderful event at the home of Artist Dan Friedlander and Diane Rosenthal in Boulder last Tuesday. Senator Obama's sister, Dr. Maya Soetoro-Ng was the guest of honor, and I must say she is a beautiful gem of a person, and will be a tremendous asset to the Senator on the campaign trail! She spoke very personally about what how she has looked up to him her entire life, and what kind of man, Father, and husband he is. While she has a doctorate in education, she is as down to earth as one can be. She also has a wonderful sense of humor!

More on Why I Support Barack Obama for President of the United States

My wife, Roxanna, saw Barack Obama speak when she was visiting her Father in Illinois when he was still a state legislator in Illinois. We both began to think about him as a great Presidential candidate when we heard him speak at the National Democratic Convention in 2004. However, I was still somewhat on the fence about who I would support for President, Hillary or Barack, until I heard Sen. Obama speak in person for myself. That was it for me. I became convinced that this was a man who really could produce the kind of change I think we need in America. I immediately set about identifying all the Obama supporters in my precinct, and getting them to the caucus on Feb. 5th where he won almost three to one!

Some people say that words are unimportant. I respectfully disagree. It is thoughts that are the seeds of words. It is words then that are the seeds of action. And I believe that Barack Obama believes what he says, and that he can and will take the actions necessary to deliver the kind of change we need to begin to heal our country and our world. Republicans and Democrats. Blacks and Whites. Men and Women. Christians and Muslims. Rural residents and city dwellers. Rich and poor. Business owners and laborers. The economically-disadvantaged people of the “developing world” and those of us fortunate enough to be in the “developed world”. Barack Obama represents the future of what we can be together.

There remain vestiges of sexism in this country. There remain vestiges of racism in this country. There remains economic inequality in this country. And there are many other examples of inequality remaining in this country and throughout the world. Barack Obama is our best hope for beginning to bring our country and our world together, heal our wounds, and eliminate all forms of inequality. I am dedicated to electing Barack Obama as the next President of the United States because he is the single candidate that can bring Americans together around the values of economic and international security, affordable health care, and education. He embodies the kind of change that all Americans desperately want. He alone can restore the United States’ standing in the world and lead us into a hopeful future at home and abroad.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Convention Schedule

Although specifics are not yet available, here is a general view of the convention schedule:
Sunday, August 24th: a welcome reception for the Delegates will be held Sunday evening
Monday – Thursday:
--7:30 a.m.: a state-specific Delegate meeting will be held every morning at the Grand Hyatt Hotel where the Colorado state delegation is staying
--10 a.m.: caucuses and/or training sessions meet at the Colorado Convention Center
--4 p.m. – 9 p.m.: convention at the Pepsi Center
More details will continue to emerge as the party hammers out the specifics. In addition, http://www.demconvention.com/ is an excellent resource for answering any questions.

It's The Economy...

The Economy: Over the next two weeks, Senator Obama will be talking to Americans around the country about the economy and how it’s affecting their everyday lives. He’ll meet with voters where they work and where they live, the places where they are feeling the most strained. He’ll discuss the effects of the economic downturn that people are feeling acutely every day—like higher gas prices and food costs. But he’ll also talk about the long-term solutions he’s proposed to grow the economy, such as investment in green jobs, technology and innovation, advanced manufacturing and education.
· Taxes: Barack Obama will provide a broad base tax cut for the middle class. He’ll provide a tax credit of $1,000 per family or $500 per worker, putting money back in the pocket of 95 percent of workers and their families. He’ll provide struggling homeowners relief by offering a tax credit that covers ten percent of their mortgage interest payment every year, and he’ll eliminate income taxes entirely for seniors making less than $50,000. While it’s that the wealthiest Americans will be asked to pay their fair share, the reality is that under President Obama, virtually every American is going to see a tax cut.
· Education Expenses: Senator Obama will guarantee every student $4,000 a year of tuition in return for a pledge to engage in community or national service. If you invest in America, America will invest in you.
· Fiscal Stimulus: Senator Obama has called for another round of fiscal stimulus, an immediate $30 billion to help those who’ve been hit hardest by this economic downturn. The Senator has proposed expanding unemployment benefits and extending them for those who can’t find another job right away.
· Mortgage Crisis: Senator Obama offered a proposal to crack down on mortgage fraud almost two years ago, and in this campaign he’s called for the immediate creation of a $10 billion Foreclosure Prevention Fund to provide direct relief to victims of the housing crisis. He’ll also help those who are facing foreclosure refinance their mortgages so they can stay in their homes at rates they can afford. And he’ll provide struggling homeowners relief by offering a tax credit to low- and middle-income Americans that would cover ten percent of their mortgage interest payment every year
· McCain’s Policy: in contrast, Senator McCain offers four more years of George Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans who don’t need them and didn’t ask for them. This means four more years of a health care plan that works for the healthy and the wealthy while tens of millions go without care, and families struggle with rising costs. And four more years of a President who sees private accounts as the way to save Social Security.

New Fact-Checker Website

I want to share with you a new site the campaign has developed to counter the false email smears that have been circulated about Senator Obama. Be sure to take a look at http://www.fightthesmears.com/ and share this with your friends and associates. You can find responses to false email rumors about Senator Obama on this site, as well as report emails that you receive.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Why I Am Dedicated To Electing Barack Obama

I am often asked why I support Barack Obama. Here it is as succinctly as I can say it.

I am dedicated to electing Barack Obama as the next President of the United States because he is the single candidate that can bring Americans together around the values of economic and international security, affordable health care, and education. He embodies the kind of change that all Americans desperately want. He alone can restore the United States’ standing in the world and lead us into a hopeful future at home and abroad.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

First Colorado Delegation Meeting

The Colorado Delegation to the National Convention held its first meeting today. We elected our delegation leadership, and the Clinton delegates showed just how passionate they remain about their candidate.

We also learned about the convention schedule and more about what our responsibilities will be. Each day will start with a breakfast meeting, followed by various meetings during the day, and the convention will convene at 3pm each day and run until business is complete. While it sounds like a lot of long days, the evenings will be full of fun with a variety of social events. The first event is a block party on the 700 block of Santa Fe (near the Obama and State Party offices) on Sunday August 24th beginning at 1pm. The same day we have a welcome reception for the Colorado Delegation at the Governor's mansion. I must say, all in all, it's very exciting!

We also learned that it will be very expensive. Each Colorado delegate must stay at the delegation hotel, The Grand Hyatt, at over $300/night!

There will be "watch parties" each night in a ballroom at the Grand Hyatt with a live feed of the convention on a big screen.

We also learned that Sen. Obama will be visiting Denver this Wed.

I'll update this blog as I learn of additional details.

Friday, May 23, 2008

This Blog Will Continue the Blog I Began at www.jeffreyshart.blogspot.com

I established this blog to continue the blog I began at http://www.jeffreyshart.blogspot.com/ under the title "Jeff Hart's Blog". I thought "hart4obama" would be easier for folks to remember. Check back here to follow my path to the Democratic National Convention August 25-28, 2008.

State Convention Election Results In!

I received a call from State Party Chair Pat Waak last night who told me that I was elected as an at-large delegate for Obama to the national convention! I could hardly believe it! I can't wait to tell my family and everyone that helped me get to this point! And if you are one of the delegates to the State Convention that voted for me, THANK YOU! Thank you for placing your trust in me to represent you at the national convention where I will cast a vote on our behalf to nominate the next President of the United States, Barack Obama!