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 k / o
                                       politics + culture

Monday, July 16, 2007

a small, good thing

I'm happy and exhausted.

Howie Klein and Vicki Cosgrove and I are wrapping up the granting and disbursement phase of our program bringing bloggers and activists to Yearlykos Chicago.

17 grantees are going to Chicago and adding the wealth of their experience, their insights and their point of view to the world's largest gathering of bloggers and online activists.

I wish I could wax eloquent right now but I'm too exhausted to do much but offer this reflection.

We did a small, good thing.

In doing so we took any number of small good things and added them together. A $25 donation, an offer of frequent flier miles, a donated Yearlykos registration, a local blograiser, a willingness to share a ride, or offer up a room, the courage to put up a blog post asking for a helping hand.

I don't know what the experience of Ykos Chicago holds for us, but I do know it will be a different convention because of the sum of what we have done. The hard part is over. The interesting part has just begun.

I can't introduce the grantees tonight, I'm too fried. Managing almost one hundred online donations is no small thing. I did that myself. But...then again...that's not true.

Each donor was an email, a story, a word of thanks for the chance to give, and encouragement to make this thing work and stay true.

If I could share the last eleven days with you, the stories I could tell. These have been some of the richest days of my life. The people I've met, the places I've been. And, yeah, in large part I made this thing happen by sheer force of will. But every time I flagged, it was the folks I was working with who spurred me on. We did something really cool together. We dared to do something no one had done.

This project was a small, true thing. A labor of love with its heart in the right place...and its elbows poised to clear a space for new voices and points of view.

Politics is about bringing people together. And I did this, more than anything, because, in that light, I was convinced that Chicago in August 2007 represents an opportunity and a turning point.

The experience of every last participant in Chicago will be richer for what we've all done. But more than that. At the core of this project is something that reflects what US politics is all about: we are only as strong and the fabric of the voices that empower our votes.

That's what I wrote about in 2004 when I talked about Moshing the vote...that's what we are going to see in 2007 and 08 as a new generation emerges as the face of U.S. politics.

We did something remarkable with that insight and vision in two short weeks. Time will tell if this was the start of something, or just a serendipitous moment.

I'm pretty convinced this project bringing fresh voices to Yearlykos is a part of something much bigger. We asked...and people said yes.

That means something.

7 Comments:

  • Congrats man. Good work!

    By Blogger noahnoah, at 10:00 PM  

  • it means a great deal, paul.

    you are literally changing people's lives. the potential impact of this on each of these bloggers -- and their impact on the bloggers they meet in chicago -- is incalculable.

    with all due respect to howie and vicki, you are a one-man "George Bailey of the blogosphere".

    love you man.

    eden

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:27 AM  

  • You did an awesome thing and did it really well.

    Thanks!

    --Nolan

    By Blogger Nolan, at 6:33 AM  

  • Just listening to John Mayer's "Waiting on the World to Change" and remembering that it is the ONE guys at a time like you that step up to make good stuff happen. Thanks!

    By Blogger mainsailset, at 8:07 PM  

  • you really are special, in a special kind of way.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:07 PM  

  • Great job, you've made it possible for my friend Bernita to attend, and we are enjoying her dispatches already!

    Warmest Regards for all you do. Mad love!

    Juliana Illari
    Marietta GA

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:40 AM  

  • you're a good soul, kid o. i got your back any day.

    By Anonymous nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez, at 2:23 PM  

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