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November 28, 2006

Update on Congressional Invasion

Here is today’s Downsizer-Dispatch . . .

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence. Recent silence about our plan to form MeetUp groups to Invade Congress might lead you to believe nothing is happening on that front. Not so, and we want to use the current lull in Congressional criminality to bring you up-to-date.

Long time readers will know that we are big believers in gradual, incremental, evolutionary change. This applies to our plans, projects, strategies, and tactics as much or more than it does to our approach to government policy. So it should come as no surprise that our plans for the Congressional Invasion have been evolving behind the scenes.

Our aim from the very beginning was to make this effort so incredibly easy and fun to do that Downsizers would be eager to participate. But we quickly came to the conclusion that our decision to use to organize our delegate parties was not easy enough. charges for its services and has a user interface that some have found difficult to navigate. These factors caused several DC Downsizers to balk. That’s not what we wanted So . . .

We’ve decided to program our own free alternative to MeetUp and integrate it with our blog and Congressional Education System, to empower Downsizers to sign-up for free, and use just one user ID and password for ALL of our online services. This will make participation even easier and COMPLETELY FREE.

But what will be easier for you in the long term was not easier for us in the short term. We have a small staff and a busy Congress to keep track of, which necessitated a period of silence about the Congressional Invasion while our programmer programmed and the rest of us focused on Congress’s end-of-session rush to harm the Republic.

But the work has preceeded apace and our new online organizational tools will soon see the light of day. And with them will come a new and vigorous visibility for our efforts to Invade Congress. We will also be initiating new efforts to support those who start local groups. Meanwhile . . .

Those who have started groups have continued to meet with varying degrees of success. My own group has met four times. We’ve had as many as seven people at a meeting and as few as two. Our most recent meeting had four attendees. At present, four people are committed to join our Congressional Invasion. That leaves us only one person away from our goal of sending 5 people from our district to Washington, DC.

It hasn’t required much effort to achieve this, and the effort it has required has been fun. Better yet, our little group shows signs of gaining momentum and achieving critical mass, so that we can not only meet our goal, but soar beyond it.

Other groups have not been so successful. This is temporary. The new system and the new support efforts we are building now, and will be creating throughout 2007, will break the logjam. All who care to participate will be able succeed. All we need is patience and tenacity and ever-improving tools and techniques.

What we want to impart to you is the idea that DownsizeDC is a ZEN-movement. It matters not to us how little we may accomplish on any given day. What matters to us is that we achieve some progress, no matter how small, every day, and that any progress we do achieve builds on previous progress, and prepares for future progress.

We are calm. We are serene. We know we will get where we are going because everything we do builds on what we have done and builds toward what we will do. We urge you to join us in our Zen-like state. Improving the world can be fun, if only it is done in the right way, with ease and grace and without strain.

This is one of the reasons we keep our staff small, our focus narrow, and our operating budget low. We aim to improve the world without burning the candle on both ends. We want that for ourselves, and for you too. We believe in simplicity — a simple government, and a simple approach to achieving that kind of government.

Which brings us to our simple needs for today. We are still about $2,800 away from meeting our budget for November. If you could make a contribution or start a monthly credit card pledge to meet that goal we would greatly appreciate it. You can do so HERE.

Thank you for being a DC Downsizer.

Jim Babka
President, Inc.

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