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November 23, 2005

Monday’s Downsizer-Dispatch Message


The future’s so bright I gotta wear shades.

Metaphor alert #1: the shades are symbolic. They represent a strategic slow-down we began a few weeks ago.

Perhaps you noticed. We haven’t been doing as many campaigns recently, or sending you as many emails. Why?

Because our growth was so fast I felt like I was drinking water from a fire-hose.

Metaphor alert #2: The water represents all the growth we were experiencing. The fire-hose is the speed at which the water was coming in. We couldn’t consume it all. The pressure was about to break us – especially me.

You see, every campaign we did brought in dozens, scores, and in a few cases, hundreds of new DC Downsizers with questions, and problems, and needs – too much of each of these things came too fast – a good problem to have, as problems go, but a problem nonetheless. We had to figure out a way to handle all of this growth because we want to grow even faster. So we decided to slow down, temporarily, and do some problem-solving. I’m glad we did. A lot of very exciting things have resulted or are underway. I hardly know where to begin.

First of all, even though we slowed down, the good news didn’t. It just kept pouring in. This was one of the problems we had to solve. How could we share all the good news with you? We couldn’t send more or longer emails, so we had to do something else. And we have.

We’ve started a blog at This is where the good news will go, along with commentary, evidence of private solutions solving social problems, and additional calls to action. I urge you to add our new blog to your daily web reading. Because . . .

The best is yet to come. We’ve already figured out much of what it will take to go about passing the Read the Bills Act, and building our organization into a mighty force than can accomplish the mission of Downsizing DC. Much of what we intend to do, as well as the results we achieve, will be reported in the blog.

I repeat: please start reading our new blog every day. I think you’ll be excited by what you find there.

But that’s not all. We’ve also hired a new part-time person, and will, shortly, be adding another.

The first new hire, Andrew Bourdon, will be handling technical questions from supporters (at present, I do this). He will also do updates to our lobbying system so your messages will get to Congress (our IT guy used to do this). Andrew will free me to do more outreach, while also freeing our resident “I.T.-Brainiac” (Robert O’Gwynn) to create new tools and improve existing ones to help you lobby/persuade/annoy Congress.

The second new part-time employee will help me in countless ways, including, especially, answering questions, comments, and suggestions from supporters. I believe this is very important. We’re trying to build a community of dedicated DC Downsizers, so it’s important that we continue to respond to the needs of our supporters.

But all of this is still only the beginning. Once the Holidays are over we’re going to be launching a new and more aggressive effort to compel Congress to pass the Read the Bills Act, and much more besides. The steps we are taking now will make this possible.

I think you’ll like what we have in mind.

Meanwhile, we’re going to start ramping up our campaign activities again, between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The pieces are falling in place to handle the growth better, and so we’re ready to step on the gas again. Speaking of which…

We’ve just added some new monthly expenses because we’re confident they’ll more than pay for themselves down the road. But this confidence is also tempered with concern. The holidays are always a VERY SLOW time for us financially. So I’m hoping some of you can give us a vote of your own confidence by making a contribution to keep us going. To do so click here.

But if you need a little extra inspiration before making that contribution, please check out the good news at our new blog by clicking here.

And then make that contribution here.

Thank you for being a DC Downsizer.

Jim Babka

President, Inc.

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