NOTE: The opinions expressed by our individual bloggers are their own, and not necessarily those of Young Democrats of Atlanta.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

In the Trenches
On early Saturday morning as I'm driving back to Atlanta from a week long all girls beach trip to Tybee Island I was thinking to myself I hope we have a big crowd for this Inman Park thing because if I can make it from all the way to Tybee Island surely others can make it there as well. I get there after picking Will up from his corner we make way over to Inman Park to meet up with the rest our group. Will and I get there and I'm slightly disappointed that there aren't the 30 or so people that I was hoping for, but oh well we were small group with a lot of energy and spirit for this event, but I can't help but to think where is the rest of us that should be here. Sunday afternoon rolls around I get in my car pick up Will again from his corner and we go down to the South Fulton County library to meet up with TJ Copeland and his Campaign manager Nikema Williams to do some phoning banking and it ends up being the four of us trying to reach everyone in District 65 to tell them about him and his Kick Off Picnic on May 13th at 2:30 pm at Welcome All Park and as I'm sitting there listening to what seems to be the hundredth answering machine I'm thinking to myself where is everyone? Why is there only four of us? Its not like his banner isn't on the front page of our web site for nothing. Its a big banner to let every Young Democrat know that TJ needs our help to win his Primary. Last night I was Cox's Campaign educators phone banking for her and I'm thinking to myself where is everyone else? Why aren't there more of us here helping out? This is a sprint for her as well. Of coarse the same could be said for the Taylor Campaign as well I'm sure.

I know we are all very busy people with our own lives to lead, but if we are going to win this November we have to busy and win in July in some cases. We have roll up our sleeves and dig down in the trenches of some these campaigns that really need us and help get the job done for them. Now, I get that some of us work all day because I'm one of those people. I understand some of have school and have to study finish up dissertation and stuff. I get all of that I really do. I'm just thinking now is the time to get down to work. The heat is on and we need to prove that we rise to the challenge of it. What good does it really do us if all we have are meetings about the action that needs to be taken, but no one really does the action that has been discussed. Then the meeting was a waste of everyone's time. We need to get down in the trenches where the fight is taking place and win. I have found out that winning Campaigns is not pretty work. There are times when I want to throw in the towel and walk away, but its that feeling that if I can just knock one more door or make one more phone that might make a difference for the candidate that I'm working so hard for. This is why I join the Young Democrats of Atlanta to make a difference so that I no longer have that feeling of I should I have done something more than I did which was nothing.

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posted by Melissa at 5/02/2006 11:43:00 AM


Blogger Shelby said...

Is it just me, or are guilt trips a recurring theme for this blog on Tuesdays? Hmmm. Well, I'm pretty satisfied with getting a dissertation proposal done and decorating a Prius for a parade in a 72 hour period. Maybe I don't set the bar high enough.

But for the record, some of us didn't hear peep about phone banking for TJ.

5/02/2006 06:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TJ's phone banking as well as the other DAILY volunteer opportunities are listed on his website, which you can access through the link on the Atlanta Young dem's homepage.

5/03/2006 11:56:00 AM  
Blogger Justice said...

I know what you mean, Melissa. It's very frustrating to feel like you're the only one out there working hard to achieve our goals. I have definitely gone over the edge when people have not turned out for what I consider is a crucial event. I always assume that they're at home watching American Idol or some other absurd form of entertainment.

However, as a user and a lover of the guilt trip, I have to confess that it's just not the motivating force I want it to be. It's like the minister who looks out at the congregation at Christmas and says "Where have you all been?" in an accusing tone of voice. It makes you want to sleep in on Sundays and drink mimosas - a much kinder and gentler way to spend the day.

As the campaign season heats up, we will, inevitably, get testy. We need to help each other through the annoyance because what is ultimately more motivating to people than recrimination and guilt is joy, hope and inspiration.

5/03/2006 12:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i agree with justice and shelby. guilt tripping just isnt all that effective. we all have different things going on in our lives and different ways of valuing what is important to us. making me feel guilty for spending my limited time on something else isnt going to make me want to help out the next time around, its just going to make me irritated.

5/03/2006 12:33:00 PM  
Blogger Shelby said...

Ah, got it. I'll check next time. But this opportunity has been online for 2 weeks now and I don't think any of my Dem friends are coming. The interwebs is an awfully big place!

5/03/2006 12:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is an old addage that says that to whom much is given, much is required. It calls upon our sense of duty to do the necessary work to better our lives as well as the lives of our fellow man. Most of us are guilty of not striking the balance between service to others and taking care of self. Undoubedtly, at any age it is a daunting task, and as younger people we tend to be more selfish. And that is OK. However, one thing I know to be true: When you help others, you help yourself. We all are at different levels of that understanding. So the articulation, when made is sometimes not well received. So let us reasses and not be resentful because the call to service has been made yet again. Rather, let us celebrate that the light has not died. To borrow a phrase: though it is frail, it is hard to kill. But it can be nurtured. And although we are tending to our personal pursuits, let us still take the time to behold that light, that call to service. For it is still there to light the way.

5/03/2006 01:56:00 PM  
Anonymous BF said...

What is all this talk about guilt? Melissa said simply that certain candidates aren't getting the support that might be expected from YDA. If you're doing your part and you know you're doing your part, why would that incite guilt?

Justice: If I go to church on Christmas and the minister asks me where I've been, I'll tell him. And I'll tell him the ways that I've been living a Christ-like life. There will be no guilt--unless I have reason to feel guilty.

Shelby: You answered the question. You've been working on your dissertation proposal. You decorated a car. Why do you persist in feeling guilty? It certainly can't be Melissa's fault if you feel you're not doing enough. And if you'd like people to come out and support you as you defend your dissertation, ask. It's that simple.

Melissa is asking everyone to support these democratic candidates. If you're doing your share (and we each must decide on our own what our "share" is) don't feel guilty. If you're not doing all you want to do, answer her call. This state might actually turn blue again.

5/03/2006 02:29:00 PM  
Anonymous TJ Copeland said...

Wow, who would have ever thought that campaign season would cause division within our organization? I think that Melissa has a very good point. It is quite bothersome to think that Cathy and Mark don't have an excessive amount of volunteers on the weekends. It really gets old hearing people talk about what should have been done during any given lost election. I thoroughly appreciate the concern and support on behalf of my campaign, but it goes beyond that. In a matter of months, we have the opportunity to return Georgia back to Democratic leadership. Now is the time for us to come together as a unified entity, volunteering and diligently working in support of each other. At the same time politics doesn’t pay the bills. So congrats to Shelby on the dissertation proposal!
Kudos to Melissa for her hard work and determination.

5/03/2006 03:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Aaron Karp said...

TJ raises a good point - whether this was an intentional guilt trip or the guilt comes entirely from our own sense of what we should be doing, we have chosen to ally ourselves with this organization. We all have different reasons for doing so, and we all have different lives and demands on our time, but in spite of those things, we made this choice to get involved. Presumably, we did so because we want to see the Democratic party gain power. We also want to make that party responsive to our voices and our beliefs. Those things will not come about simply because we say "Gee, wouldn't it be nice if..." Change is hard. It takes a lot of strain and effort and, often, pain and difficulty. If we truly want change, we need to put our backs into it.

That said, it is understandable if our lives preclude us from getting involved on a certain day or from participating in a certain event. Things happen, committments exist. When we can't make it to one thing, or multiple things, it can be difficult to hear someone ask us why that was the case. Our reasons often sound like hollow excuses, regardless of how true they may be. Dwelling on that, however, doesn't change the fact that there's work to be done. If you couldn't make it one day, or couldn't get to one phone bank, don't get hung up on the guilt or recriminations. Get to the next one. If you can't get to that one, find some other way you can help.

Through all of this, remember that we're here to make things better.

5/03/2006 04:46:00 PM  

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