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This is an essay about lists:

Some lists are short.

Some lists are even shorter.

Some lists are a cause for mourning and grief.

Other lists are a cause for hope in the midst of sorrow...

We rush through our daily routines. We use lists to create small islands of sanity and collection in the midst of chaos.

A list can be mundane, a list can be inspiring.

But those are not the kind of lists I want to write about today.  This November 7th, as a nation, we will decide what this list looks like; our votes, in every Congressional District in the land, will determine the make-up of the 110th Congress of the United States.

How that list reads on November 8th will have a profound impact on every single one of our lives.

Now, hard-working analysts like Chris Bowers, have put forward lists that forecast the state of these House races. You can find strategic ACTBlue fundraising lists that aim to impact these races: here and here and here and here. I've even come up with a list I call the k/o list that points to local blogs covering the races where the future of Congress and State Houses will be made this fall.  

But that's not the kind of list I'm talking about either. The kind of list I'm thinking of looks like this.

That's the kind of list that will determine the outcome of the 2006 this election: a precinct walk list.

Don't take my word for it.  Last weekend I had the chance to speak with Jerry McNerney the Democrat running for Congress in CA-11.  I asked him what single factor would make the greatest impact come November in his battle to unseat GOP incumbent Richard Pombo. Jerry's answer, unequivocally, without a pause, "Precinct walking."

That's not true for Jerry in CA-11 alone, either.  That's true for every single race where Democrats are locked in a tight battle with the GOP this November. And, as Jerry pointed out to me, when it comes to precinct walking, November is now. Every weekend from now till election day is critical.  If you can't walk, phone.  If you can't phone, give. The outcome of the 2006 mid-term election will be determined by who wants it more, it will be determined by who executes their ground game.

The website I linked to featuring a precinct walk list belongs to Democracy for America.  They've got a nifty website where you can add yourself to a list that will make a difference in November. It's called DFA-link, and the idea behind it is to link you to your neighbors and provide you with the information you need to take meaningful action near you.

This level of activism and commitment isn't for everyone, but if you haven't heard of DFA-link and are interested, I'd urge you to check it out now. Within minutes of signing up you can find out about groups and actions near you. You can link up with others...and discover local groups like Lefton580 where you can meet up with other Democrats interested in activism just like you.

So, yeah, I'm talking about lists today. But my basic point is that if you didn't like the results of 2004, it behooves you to get listed this year. One way or another, whether it's online or on the ground, what we do between now and election day as activists will help determine who controls Congress.

And, yeah, it's hyperbolic, but, trust me, it's also true: in many ways large and small, November is now.

Originally posted to kid oakland on Tue Sep 05, 2006 at 06:04 PM PDT.

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