I'm tossing my hat in the ring for the Elector position for the 7th Congressional District.
Five years ago, I walked into my first Democratic Party meeting. Actually, it was exactly 5 years ago, because it was May of 2003. When I ran for an at-large position on the 46th district eboard during the 2005 reorganization, I was focused on three things.
"Infrastructure, Infrastructure, Infrastructure."
I understood then that change only happens when a strong message is combined with a strong infrastructure. One cannot be effective without the other. The Howard Dean campaign gave a glimpse of what strong grassroots infrastructure could be, and what it could do. So I sat down at my computer in the fall of 2003, and self taught myself everything I could about campaigns from Paul Wellstone, Joe Trippi, Markos Moulitsas, and many others. I read books about the original Progressive Movement in the 1800's, and the one before that (c. 1776). I focused on learning what I could about website design and implementation, using PHP for basic sites, and Drupal whenever I needed a content management system. I'm always learning, and always curious.
I've built the website for the 46th LD into one of the most highly rated party websites in the state. We were the first to post the DNC Charter and Bylaws, something that the national party doesn't even have posted. I found and integrated web services made available by others with precinct maps and election history down to the precinct level for the 46th, then for all of King County, with development underway to expand that to all 39 counties and all 49 legislative districts around the state. This won an national award from BlogPac in 2006.
After the 2004 election, I watched the 2008 presidential candidates and campaigns grow and evolve. I worked on the John Edwards campaign because he was the first to come out with a comprehensive Health Care package. (Health Care is one of my top concerns, since I fought and beat cancer in 2003.) When he dropped out in January, I focused on the upcoming caucuses. On February 9th, I signed in for John, then switched to uncommitted. I was the area coordinator, in charge of 6 precincts, and we had nearly 500 people in way too small of a space. (I actually helped a Republican find their caucus location at Nathan Hale.) The Obama supporters in my precinct approached me, saying that they had saved a slot and asking if I wanted it. That act of openness and engagement still brings tears to my eyes, just as it did then. The Obama campaign is made up of some of the best people that I have ever run across. I know from watching and working with people over the last 4 months that the Clinton campaign supporters here in Seattle are equal to that as well. We can, and will, work together after the convention to give Washington's electoral votes to our nominee in November. And then things really get started in January.
I am involved in progressive politics "local to global". I am on the eboard of the 46th LD and King County Democrats. I'm the webmaster for the State Democratic Chairs. I'm the chair of the Washington State Progressive Caucus. I'm one of the state leaders of Democracy for America, and I'm the lead volunteer coordinator of Campaigns.Wikia.com, a mediawiki website that Jimmy Wales launched on July 4th, 2006 to help track and promote issues and candidates around the world in any language.
I have two sons in California. They keep me motivated to make the future something that I can pass to them with pride. I build and manage infrastructure for the progressive movement and Democratic Party. That has been and will be my focus for years to come. In 2008, that translates in sending Washington's electoral votes to the Democrat on the ballot, and I want to be the person who casts that electoral vote for the 7th Congressional District in Olympia in December.
I'm asking for your vote on Saturday.