Thursday, November 10, 2005

from the battle to the war...an interactive question

imagine you've done your organizing job well ...

you've traveled to an important legislative district in a rural county, slept on a rectory sofa and spent 65 hours walking, talking and meeting folks...

you've talked to 3 church groups, four ministers, the local editorial board, the local college president and campus minister, gathered 6 moratorium resolutions - on a Saturday, and formed a 12 person subcommittee on the death penalty (this is bigger than the committee it is a part of)...

and for the coup de' grace you walk into the house district representative's local office and chat it up with him (or her)...

the rep tells you that she/he is with you on the merits, hands down, no questions - supports a moratorium during a thorough study... BUT

you have to prove to him/her that it's not political suicide, that in this small, rural district it's okay for him to not just vote but for it to move out of his/her committee and onto the floor and gets her/his support...

and after you finish downing a guinness draught or two and quiet your jig a bit you're faced with reality:

how do we do this on a limited budget...how do we demonstrate to this rural person in this rural district that ABSOLUTELY you have the political cover you need to be out front on this issue with this legislation???

okay??? - let's hear from you ... we're waiting ... what advice do you have ... what nuggets of wisdom may we become privy to ... what are the next steps for us (or anyone) in this position to take???

<3

3 comments:

dave said...

Kaine, Corzine, and Bloomberg.

That would be a good start right there. Especially with Kaine. Kaine has shown that you can still win with an anti-death penalty stance. Sure...Kaine said he would continue to allow capital punishment, but everyone knew where he stood at least. That is a huge start.

milo_s said...

If you can't take Mohammed to the mountain, take the mountain to Mohammed. Try to get his or her constituents talking to him or her about the death penalty.

Also, try blogging. We death penalty abolitionist obviously haven't hit the right message with the death penalty, otherwise there wouldn't be one right? Blogs are good places to expirement with message to find which ones resonate with the most people.

Anonymous said...

If the legislator's opposition is on "values" grounds (which your post suggested to me), s/he may be well to be reminded that opposition to the death penalty can play well to communities of faith (both christian conservatives & prayerful progressives). Voters are looking for people who hold true to their beliefs even when conventional wisdom says not to hold true. Opposition to the death penalty, at least from my perspective, worked well for Kaine by reminding voters that he held true to his convictions, that he was a person of faith and courage.