Strategy Session Recap

Team LeaderMESH and OfA held a combined strategy session on Tuesday March 16 at the Castle Shannon Fire Hall. We had a great attendance, with 49 people present, half of them first timers. After the meeting, MESH had at least 16 new members.

While we were signing people up, congressional candidate Dan Connolly dropped by and gave short talk. Then we got started when Mike D'Armi gave a 20-minute presentation on OfA's accomplishments of the past year and how volunteers have helped make that happen. The list is impressive:

  •      Recovery Act
  •      Health Insurance Reform
  •      Appointed Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor
  •      Credit Card Reform
  •      Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act
  •      State Children’s Health Insurance Program
  •      Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act
  •      Addressed the housing crisis to keep people in their homes

Mike talked about upcoming issues as well at the 2010 electoral races. Jobs, financial reform, energy, education -- these are all in our near future. We also have our work cut out for ourselves in November because, with few exceptions, every mid-Term election sees a loss of seats for the party in power. One of Mike's most powerful slides was one showing how OfA's massive voter contact effort in the one week leading up to the Massachusetts election narrowed the gap between Brown and Coakley from 14 to 3 percentage points. Imagine if we had had a little more time and a few more volunteers. One of our highest priorities this year will be to reach out to people who were first-time voters in 2008. These people are likely supporters of President Obama and his supporters in the legislature.

Team LeaderThe time is now to build our organization because otherwise, come the fall, if we are still organizing when it's time to start doing, we will fail. What we need to do soon is organize volunteers into teams, with team leaders representing the teams during planning. Team leader recruitment right now is critical. A copy of Mike's presentation is available for you view here.

Next I gave a similar presentation on MESH, which you can view here. Please take a look at it if you were unable to attend, particularly the end where we talk about future projects. We'll have a poll here soon so you can vote of which one you want to do next.

We broke up into several 8- to 10-person groups to discuss the presentations and hear suggestions for how best to implement our goals. After we got back together these suggestions were read aloud and compiled live on the presentation screen as they were mentioned. Here is the raw list of suggestions or comments we received. My personal favorite was the suggestion to combine complementary talents within each team.

After that we had open discussion for another 20 minutes or so while people filed out. I can honestly say it was one of the best meetings of this size I've ever attended.