Where is the Grassroots Effort?With the 2006 elections coming upon us quicker than we think, the question of paramount importance is this: where is the grassroots movement to keep the Democratic momentum in Philadelphia moving forward? I believe that Philadelphia, in particular, plays a major role in national politics, particularly in 2006.
Our gubernatorial race is critical, considering that Rendell is interested in the VP slot (he won't run for president, too many skeletons in the closet), as is our Senate race against the Prince of Darkness himself Richard J. Santorum (no one seems to use his whole name anymore). And because we have those two on the ballot, and Bobby Casey as well, Democrats should be planning to take the entire state over in a sea of blue. Particularly in Philadelphia County and the entire SE of the state, we need a monumental turnout to change the leanings of the Commonwealth and the nation shall follow.
PA as a state is the perfect mix for a statewide politician wanting to seek national office. A state that leans Democratic in a conservative way, however, contains a plethora of vastly different interests. Agriculture is key in this state, military installations and a high veteran and aging population makes PA politically interesting. Add to the mix metropolitan and largely Democratic cities such as Philadelphia (clearly the cradle of civilization) and Pittsburgh, you have a state that is as dynamic as it is different.
A conservative state legislature and a centrist Democratic governor are a terrible mix, particularly when the governor is Ed Rendell. Nevertheless, it is key to realize the only way to extend our power in the state is to have the kind of grassroots effort that caused the solid turnout in the urban centers of our state in 2004. It must begin now. We must establish Philadelphia as the preeminent model for grassroots activists. We must rally the troops, and we can afford to start early because we are in a unique position. We have three consecutive election years! In 2006 we choose US reps, state reps (some state senators?) and our governor. In 2007 we choose our mayor and city council, and 2008 everybody else. We can do this, we must do this if we really are interested in addressing the underlying economic issues facing Philadelphia. How do we do it? I have some ideas, but I'll leave that to the bloggers.
Brief aside, Ray Murphy is the man