Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Support Progressive Issues Organizations

Method number 8 for you to support the effort to elect Michael Arcuri to Congress without having to muddle around with the Arcuri for Congress campaign: Support progressive issues organizations.

I'm often irritated with the slow progress and apparent inaction of the Arcuri campaign. The problem with the candidate-based political campaigning is that, unless a candidate is an incumbent, he or she has got to build an organization from the ground up - and everyone knows that the organization is quite likely to be around for only a short while. For that reason, campaigns of candidates for public office tend to be highly inefficient and disorganized when compared to most nonprofit organizations, which are able to build up momentum over a long period of time through sustained action.

There are less than 100 days to go in this congressional campaign now. So, if you really want to make a lasting contribution to help turn this district Blue, go ahead and put some effort specifically toward the Arcuri campaign, but also support the progressive issues organizations that keep going, year after year, whether there's a political campaign going or not.

Is the Republican attack on our constitutional rights the thing that motivates you? Then support the New York Civil Liberties Union. Are you a motivated environmentalist? Then support the New York "Atlantic" Chapter of the Sierra Club which does direct work for the environment and sends out information about environmental public policy that affects people here in Central New York. Against the war? Consider working with groups like Peace Action of Central New York, or the Cayuga Coalition for Peace.

As you can see from the the conditions of their web sites, these organizations are enjoying different levels of success in outreach, but each one is working to make a difference, promoting progressive values in our district. Invest your time or your money in one of these groups, and you'll be preparing the way for successful congressional campaigns in the future. Some groups are planning communication campaigns or voter registration efforts this autumn that will be contributing to the overall effort to take back Congress, though not coordinated with the Arcuri campaign.

I'm not going to be a pollyanna and suggest that supporting these local groups is going to make a big impact on this year's campaign. The truth is, however, that the foundation of the campaign is already set, and no matter what we do, there's only so much impact that can be made in less than three months. Though time is now short,getting involved in those efforts may yet bear fruit.

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