My Thoughts on How MESH Should Proceed

hi dave and mesh folk everywhere,

It was nice to see you, Nina and Molly Rush again last nite. Here's my thinking on how mesh should proceed.

First of all, methinks we are a de facto Obama-ite group. No getting around that. That's our shared original sin/birthright. We came together to get Barack and a new admin elected. What we do from here on out has to be a concern of his, especially since 2012 ain't all that far away. So I figure somebody in his admin either has or needs to get a handle on what's going on with his post election campaign appendages/lost tribes. And I understand that someone has been hired to coordinate PA recently...and that a Pittsburgh coordinator is also in the works….that’s great!

Since MESH is but one of many Obama’s Change for America post election campaign appendages taking their first baby steps (along with others locally which include "Mesh" West (Moon), "Mesh" East (East End) and "Mesh" Downtown (Squirrel Hill) – along with 25 or 30 others statewide – that means that there could be, and probably are – what? – 1500 little meshes country wide?!...a gazillion worldwide??

Now, if indeed there are so many others out there waiting to be hobnobbed with, I truly look forward to a public convening with our fellow wizards asap. This could prevent our MESH from having to re-invent the wheel in the back room of Molly's bar (a horrible place to have a meeting BTW, - especiallly for middle aged, tone deaf folks (me)- a party yes, meeting no, and on a Pens playoff nite for god sakes!?).

My main point is this - whether we like it or not, whatever MESH does (food drives, earth day, vote recount, Specter letter, etc.), when people ask where did you MESH folks come from?, the answer will always be "OBAMA" (inferring a natural connection and coordination with Barack and all the other meshes out there in Yes We Can/Will Land.

My second point is this – we should – from our bottom up POV – suggest to our emerging Obama leadership that this potential mesh empire function on super-democratic principles in first developing our organizational structure – are we a non-profit or three tier org, charitable or educational, non, bi or multi partisan, etc...- and then on choosing what we do (good deeds) and what we say (published positions). This is the best way to achieve a big happy well-meshed family and insure a 2012 landslide.

I would like to offer one of the Steel City left’s best organizational examples from the last century where many of my brain cells (active or happily snuffed) still reside… Back in the 70s, when I and fellow radical steelworkers started the Mill Hunk Herald Magazine in Pittsburgh, we made sure we knew everyone's agenda (and profession, workplace and mentality) associated with our rapidly expanding writers group - 750 writers over ten years. We all were fighting awful, quasi- fascist higher-ups disrupting our lives and we consciously decided that what went into each quarterly issue of our mouthpiece – the Mill Hunk Herald - would be done so in a exemplary democratic manner, i.e. we had editorial meetings open to all the contributing writers and subscribers where all new manuscripts were passed around and read, commented on and rated and initialed. What had the highest ratings went in to be published, and what did not, didn't. We always attracted at least 20 folks to our meetings, sometimes up to 50, and once nearly 200 (a lot of beer and whatnot flowing). We were sometimes invaded by little lenins, \nut cases and provocateurs but the democracy of the whole effort kept them very much at bay... and they usually went away just as they had come in, mumbling.

This democratic process provided the magazine with a unique left but "centered" focus. Studs Terkel, Kurt Vonnegut, Pete Seeger, Nate Hentoff all applauded it as a great experiment and it had a sense of humor and fun that attracted lots of young folks thru clever local sports, social cause events (a Union Bowl Football game for miners, Volley for Molly (Rush) volleyball game, a Run of the Mill footrace to Homestead, a Sister City Sprint 5K for nicaragua, a Food Bank Soccathon, fundraisers like a Counter Inauguration ( v Reagan), a Shutdown Cabaret, Mill Hunk Munch dinner, a Mill Hunk Ball, Mill Hunk Dunk swim party, Mill Hunk Funk dances, a Mill Hunk Junk flea market, a Reaganomics Depression Fair, and finally a Mill Hunk Defunct dance after ten years of agitation, duly noted by the Wall Street Journal with a gloating sigh of relief.

Seems to me that a similar process might work with MESH and multiple meshes, not just to develop a democratically run publication (although many an old mill hunker has urged me to re-invent that old chestnut) but mainly to use our enhanced technology to continuously define and perfect Obama's stand on issues – his/our platform.

I believe that our most important function in these early goins is to keep Obama connected with his people and on the right track by doing things from the Pittsburgh grassroots that are consistent with the agenda upon which we worked to elect him to carry thru forever more and then some.

Local examples include: Gun Control (who better to help build a groundswell and define new legislation after the Pittsburgh police massacre?), Clean Air (Pgh is currently in a debate over our region being tagged the worst offender!), and of course the running fight for universal healthcare (with the unsinkable Molly Rush at forefront as usual), voting machine reform (Dave's baby), youth citizenship/sportsmanship (my baby), etc., etc., yadda, yadda.

In conclusion, I willingly admit myself into our inner sanctum core of our mighty but nascient MESH as long as we are indeed a functioning Obama appendage – I am not all that up for the lost tribe thing – as I recall that Lord of the Flies adventure went kinda badly...

So let us continually group re-define/perfect ourselves/our bodies/our stands (i am sooo 70s) until we are practically giddy (by blog, twitter or wit-ever) and tackle Obama's struggle with issues (maybe even publish a monthly report card which all mesh members vote on along with the other thousands of little meshes around the world - wouldn't that be nice and bottoms up!?) and let folks do whatever local actions they want but only after their well thought out proposals are voted on by our (minimal) dues-paying mesh membership.

And bingo...we got us a coordinated movement...and maybe, just maybe - an unstoppable 4 more years thru ought 16 for the big guy with the soft left jumper!

Yours in relatively deep thought and just achin’ for action,

Larry Evans