Local Democrats meet up to watch State of the Union By Mitch E. Perry02/01/06
Among those gathering locally to watch the PresidentÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s speech last night was a group of Democrats who convened at MacDintonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s in South Tampa to discuss how they could use their frustration with the current political scene into something positive later this year.
The concept of so-called Ã¢â‚¬Å“Meet UpsÃ¢â‚¬? began a couple of years ago, and were led in part by supporters for Howard Dean. By logging onto the web, Ã¢â‚¬Å“DeaniacsÃ¢â‚¬? were able to spread the word about the Democratic Party presidential candidate at restaurants, bars, or peopleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s homes, to generate excitement and discuss strategy.
Although DeanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s presidential hopes went down to defeat in Iowa 2 years ago, the legacy of that campaign continues in local Democratic Meetups throughout the country.
Edwin Enscisa was the local coordinator of last nightÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s event (roll tape#1 o.q.Ã¢â‚¬? what this country is aboutÃ¢â‚¬?)
Kim Cullen said she came to this Meet UP to hang outwith like minded people who want to change the course of the current political situation in the country. And she says she hopes she can learn from hanging out with other progressive how to influence some of her conservative minded friends (roll tape#2 o.q.Ã¢â‚¬? important to youÃ¢â‚¬?)
Mike Freed lives in Ruskin, and after serving in Kosovo as an air defense artillery soldier, had been on inactive reserve for the for nearly 5 years. But with just one month to go before he would be free from his military obligation, he was called back by the military and will soon head off to Iraq. Speaking minutes before the President addressed the nation, he reacted with skepticism about George BushÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s call for the country to wean itself off of foreign oil (roll tape#3 o.q.Ã¢â‚¬?somebodyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s got to answer for thatÃ¢â‚¬?)
Patricia Palma was attending her first Meet UP (roll tape#4 o.q. Ã¢â‚¬Å“for the Democratic PartyÃ¢â‚¬?)
A gentleman who only gave his first name of Les, said he came to MacDintons to congregate with like minded friends, and had no desire to actually listen to the President speak. He believes the U.S. intervention in Iraq has been deplorable, and he wants it to end now (roll tape#5 o.q.Ã¢â‚¬?to better themselvesÃ¢â‚¬?)
WMNF asked some of the Democratic Party Meet Up members if they fancied any candidate for office in 08Ã¢â‚¬Â¦The Answer? A certain freshman Senator from New York is turning on this base (roll tape#6 o.q. Ã¢â‚¬Å“no mention of impeachment from CongressÃ¢â‚¬?)
To learn more about other meet upÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s in your local area, which are not always political in nature, go to meetup.com