Thirty-three energized, committed democrats gathered on Saturday (18 Feb.) for the first general meeting of the year. Many had travelled great distances, some were not even members yet, and others said that they had never before been politically active, but they ALL felt that now was the time to do something. Inaction was yesterday!
First order of business was the election of the new chapter chair Marc Castagnero. Marc´s first words expressed the feelings of the entire group, that the success of the chapter—its activism, dramatic increase in members and willing volunteers was a testament to the determination and dedication of Pamela Cory, its chair for the past two years.
In order to fulfill the wishes of members to be able to protest what they find unfair and to let their views be heard in Congress, Ali prepared a presentation on the most effective way to lobby one´s congressperson, even from abroad. We were encouraged to stay informed online (for example, http://votesmart.org/, or www.govtrack.us/congress/bills#get-alerts) and to make our voices heard, be it by telephone or postcard, individually or in small neighborhood groups. To show how serious we take this responsibility, Sarah encouraged us to sign a pledge to make one phone call every week, and then we each proceeded to write a postcard that was mailed right after the meeting. This was just the start!
Time did not permit a full discussion of all the possible events that we would like to schedule in the near future. Instead there was a suggestion to change the name of our chapter to reflect the valued participation of members from all over northern Germany (Hamburg and Northern Germany or Hamburg Area for example), to be voted on in the future.
Written by Maryann Schmunk
Photos by Eric Shambroom