As you can see at the top of this webpage Markos lists the three branches of Daily Kos. All three of these powers combined are essential to maximize the political effectiveness of Daily Kos.
Building community has been the focus of my volunteer work here since 2004. I was first inspired by Gina Cooper, the original organizer of Yearly Kos. Back in 2003 or 2004, Gina gathered a few Kossacks at a bar in Berkeley so everyone could meet each other in person. Markos attended. I read about it after the fact and wished I had been there. The attendees raved about the experience. I watched for other events but none came about. So I decided to pick up the reins. Gina came to my first meet-up for the SFKossacks back in June of 2005, one year before the first Yearly Kos convention which she was organizing at the time.
Connecting Kossacks in real life is very rewarding and it was easy to keep inviting locals to join us. I'd write about our events hoping to inspire other regions to join in. A few did. Our annual convention, Netroots Nation, continued to add to the excitement and empowerment of meeting Kossacks. Then I decided to start a community building diary series in July of 2012 with the help of a great team of writers: smileycreek, paradise50, catilinus, Dragon5616, TrueBlueMajority, Phil S 33 and Aji. There was more than one reason to start this series, but ultimately, I felt that organizing regional groups in each congressional district was important. That to create face-to-face networks that get out the vote, support candidates and other local political actions would help our progressive movement.
Markos has always been supportive of my work and has attended many of our SFKossack events. I'm so pleased now to have his official endorsement to keep doing this work.
My plan is to continue to provide support and guidance to new and existing volunteer leaders of each regional and state group to help them with recruiting, organizing and execution of social and action events in their region.
37 groups have formed since New Day started, that's on top of the existing 16. All the reports of all the events from each group have been exciting and energizing to read. Two regions really rose to the occasion. Dkos Asheville's latest events have been getting-out-the-vote and Texas gathered all five of their groups for a state-wide political rally last March.
Our Partners & Mentors team plans to continue creating a welcoming atmosphere for new users in the hopes to encourage people taking their first steps into greater political engagement. This team has done a fabulous job of working together on reviewing the numerous first comments that come in each day. That team is nomandates, a gilas girl, belinda ridgewood, catilinus, BeninSC, smileycreek, paradise50 and peregrine kate with ten-year Front Page veteran Meteor Blades as team adviser. This is a good moment to thank MB for all his support and encouragement of our community building efforts. He is the original community builder here at Daily Kos and he's been advising me in all my projects since 2006. Also in place are the support groups for new users, Welcome New Users, run by smileycreek and New Diarists, run by nomandates. On the planning table for new users is a map I'm going to make of the U.S. with those swell little stick pins with pop-ups that show where all of our regional groups are located. This map will go in the community building diary series. Jen Hayden receives the credit for this great idea.
So I invite you to join in this effort to build our community. There are many ways to pitch in. If there isn't a group near you to join why not start one? I'll help you and please visit our diary series every morning at 7:30 A.M. Pacific to see how you can get involved. The comment thread is fun and light-hearted but we're serious about moving the progressive political agenda forward.