We have lined up yet another fantastic speaker for our kossack meetup in Austin on Saturday, February 28th! Longtime-kossack Katherine Haenschen
, editor and publisher of the Burnt Orange Report
, is joining us to share some of her insights regarding the current state of Texas politics. Known here as kath25
, she has quite an impressive bio
Katherine Haenschen is a PhD candidate at the University of Texas, where she studies political participation on digital media. She has previously managed successful candidate, issue, voter registration, and GOTV campaigns in Austin. In addition to serving as the president of Austin Young Democrats, she is also UCONN's #1 fan in Texas.
My personal favorite of Katherine's recent posts at BOR
is In Which We Join The Blame Game and Criticize Democrats Who Tried In Texas
. Here's how she begins:
There’s been a lot of Democratic finger-pointing in Texas over the past week. I open my newspaper or my newsfeed and I see a pretty aggressive effort to assign blame to a bunch of people that worked really hard over the last six months to two years to a lifetime to try and change this state.
Yep, this was posted one week after the November 2014 election, and she accurately sums up most of what I was seeing as well. And then she proceeds to recognize the efforts of so many organizations whose volunteers and staff tried to elect Democrats in Texas last year. I was literally cheering by the time I got to her conclusion:
Far too many people appear excessively eager to condemn the hard, sweaty work of others who left it all out on the field. It never fails to amuse me to see who magically appears for the circle-jerking firing squad pointed at people that busted their asses to do meaningful work.
Sure, there are some serious questions about the outcome of this cycle that need to be addressed — so that we can all learn and do better next time. But I fail to see the value in personal attacks on people who have probably not slept more than 5 consecutive hours since Labor Day.
Was there no way for individuals who are so critical now to contribute meaningfully to anything on the ballot anywhere in Texas or nationally? If the existing organizations fail to suit one’s fancy, there’s nothing stopping anyone from starting their own effort and making a difference at the precinct, district, or county level, before moving on from there.
Believing in a better world in which every Texan is given a chance to succeed is hard. We haven’t seen much of that from our state government in the last two decades. Doing the work to change that is hard. Tearing down those who do it is easy.
So thanks to everyone who left it out there on the field for progressives and Democrats. All of us at Burnt Orange Report respect and admire your courage and commitment to our candidates. You and your energy are what will keep this movement moving forward, and why we will — eventually — prevail.
Yes, we will. I am looking forward to hearing what Katherine has to say at our meetup.
In case you missed our previous Texas Meetup diaries, our other speakers are equally fantastic:
- Meteor Blades will speak about the power of precinct organizing to GOTV.
- Denise Oliver-Velez will talk about the importance of registering, and motivating and mobilizing young voters (especially young people of color) - and her experience with helping them understand how voting directly affects their lives.
- Egberto Willies will share what he has learned about blogging to attract the maximum number of eyeballs to your message.
- navajo will offer pointers for maximizing the DK forum and growing groups.
We hope you're able to join us in Austin on February 28. All Kossacks are welcome, including out-of-staters. And if you're in a part of Texas that does not currently have a Daily Kos group, this would be the perfect opportunity to meet with other Kossacks and maybe even develop a plan to start a group yourself!
Because Daily Kos is sponsoring the lunch and seminar room, there is no charge to attend the event itself. But space is limited, so you must RSVP to attend. Just post a comment or kosmail me to RSVP.