Wisconsin Field Hands Are Organizing

By Al Giordano

If anybody thought for a moment that this would be one of those typical election years in which after the vote people would go home and leave the driving to the usual suspects, think again.

The Wisconsin Field Hands (Local #13) are self-organizing and will gather in Madison on Sunday, invited by organizer JD Stier (the handsome young man in the video below that pledged to convene them and Obama neighborhood team leaders after the election).

Wisconsin Field Hand Kurt Squire sent in the following message:

FYI: we're moving forward! thanks for everything you did with the reporting, and really shining the spotlight on community organizing. I don't think I would have ever picked up a phone or knocked on a door if it wasn't for your constant prodding in the primaries. As I reluctantly put the phone down last night at 7:30 pm central to attend an election party after 72 hours of more or less non-stop campaigning, I realized something indeed already changed in/for me this election.

Thanks again for being a catalyst in all of this.

I've already alerted the fieldhands, the attendees at your talk, my team, etc. I suspect we'll fill the place. Good luck tomorrow night; it will be fabulous I'm sure!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Fieldhands <mail@fieldhands.ning.com>
Date: Wed, Nov 5, 2008 at 9:01 PM
Subject: On Fieldhands: What's next? MEETING: Sunday, Nov 9
To: kurt squire

A message from kurt squire to all members of Wisconsin Fieldhands on Fieldhands!

Obama Field Organizer JD Stier is hosting a meetup this Sunday to follow through on Al's challenge to us all to organize our president (see below). If you're like me, and experiencing a bewildering array
of emotions that are still coming together, I suspect it will be a rewarding experience.

Thanks for all that you did over the last months and years.  Welcome one and all to Madison on Sunday!


Congrats!  We successfully elected Barack Obama as our 44th President.

Together we organized our communities into an efficient unified force.  With spring elections on the way, a country and community to rebuild, we must remain organized.

As an Obama field organizer I realized our potential.  We reached hundreds of thousands of Wisconsin voters with our message.  Hope and change has finally won over fear and prejudice.

Having executed the most successful field operation in history we are now responsible.  We must continue to be the change we seek!

I am calling on all Obama Team Leaders, Staging Location Directors, and strong Obama Team Members to discuss the sustainability of our movement here in south central Wisconsin.

Meet this Sunday, November 9, to continue to change the world

When: 6:00pm Sunday Nov 9
Where: Brocach Irish Pub


7 W Main St
Madison, WI 53703


The Wisconsin Field Hands have moved to the "featured group" category (along with Chicago, Illinois - Local # 1 - who organized tonight's event in the Windy City) over at the Field Hands site: that's the online networking site where readers of The Field have self-organized to be in contact with each other and get big things done one small step at a time without waiting for instructions from me or anybody.

If you're not already a Field Hand, get on board. Sign up here and open a door that steps up into the future, which is now here.

We heard many times this year that change occurs from the bottom up. That's the story of 2008. It can continue to be the story of 2009, 2010 and onward if, like the Field Hands of Wisconsin (and Chicago) you reach out to each other on the local level, continue to meet and identify the vital matters that call for community organizing, and if you do it you will set the national agenda from where you live.

Other Field Hand locals (or individuals!) that schedule local meet-ups will be promoted here. I'll do everything I can to help you succeed. And of course I'll keep the country and the world updated on what you do, before, during and after you do it. What you organize at the local level will be known beyond it, far and wide: it will not occur in silence nor invisibly.

And for those of you in or near Chicago tonight, see you there (7 p.m. at DePaul University, scroll down to the previous post for all the details). Make sure to remind your organizer friends that might have slept deservedly through yesterday.

And ye in Wisconsin: Put Sunday's meet-up on your calendar and alert your email lists, readers and friends in the region that the struggle marches on.

Fired up?

Ready to go?

We have only just begun to organize.


thanks for featuring us -- some encouragement to others...

Thanks for the feature, Al! It will help us get this rolling. It's like you were literally ahead of your time, as the "what now?" mood that you predicted is dominating a lot of the conversation I hear among volunteers.

I really strongly encourage all the other volunteers to reach out and do this NOW. Maybe you're also having this experience, but every Obama volunteer I've talked to (and I literally mean everyone), has been thankful that this is happening because they don't want this feeling of empowerment to end and immediately pulls out their calendars to make sure they can come. You will get very strong positive reactions if you reach out right now before people go back to their normal routines.


Distance and Bucks

Hard to get there, however, I'm off to a US Election Watch 08 Public Forum on Tuesday. Any Sydneysiders reading?



OT: Rep. Waxman

After you've read this article from today's Washington Post, please call your rep in Congress if you support Waxman. This will make SUCH a difference to have him heading this Committee. This is OT from the 'organizing' of Al's thread, but anything we can do to support Waxman will be valuable:



An organizing sentiment from Nicholas Kristof

Given the topic of your post, I thought this gem from Nicholas Kristof's column in the NYT was appropriate:

One of Mr. Obama’s challenges will be to harness the extraordinary idealism that he inspired in his campaign to a larger, national cause. My 11-year-old daughter toiled with her friends this fall to sell lemonade and cookies to raise money for Mr. Obama’s campaign, all on their own initiative. On Election Day, my daughter was still selling Obama buttons in the street, and on election night, she flagrantly defied her bedtime rules to celebrate as history unfolded. Now she’s ready to drop out of school — who needs algebra? — and become a community organizer.

I said a while back that "community organizer" will become the role of the future due to this election - possibly even more significant than, say, small-town mayor!

Thanks for the Waxman post

My personal intention is to be part of organizing the president

around sustainability issues, so it was good to see this post this

am.  I fwd'd it to the local permaculture guild, and will be writing my

senators and reps.

Al Called It!

We won Virginia and -now just called- NC!!!

Quick O/T on Prop 8 and the silver lining therein

This shocked me.  50% of San Franciscans didn't even bother to vote Tuesday:


This even as places like LA had 82% voter turnout.

Before anyone goes blaming African-Americans (who make up 6% of CA's population) for Prop 8, maybe we might want to examine the rather hurried efforts of the No on 8 folk?  Their GOTV stank, as did that of SF mayor Gavin Newsom (who can now forget about any dreams of higher office he may have had -- if you can't rally your home town, how can you command the votes of people outside of it?).

Also: Prop 8 has passed before -- in 2000, as the Knight Initiative.  It won by a much, much bigger margin then:  62% to 38%.  This time around, it barely eked out a four-point margin, 52% to 48%.  And that's with forty million dollars of well-crafted scare ads blanketing the state for months.

Furthermore, the biggest backers of it are the elderly and religious, and the biggest opposers are the young.  In a very short time -- even assuming the court challenges fail -- there will be enough backing to overturn it via a new initiative.  And this time it'll stay dead.  (There's a reason the Mormons didn't want anyone to know they were behind it.  Namely, the LDS' long history of racism, written into their scriptures.)

@ Lisa 11:49

Lisa, thanks for forwarding the Waxman article. It is so important to have him replace Dingell. To have Waxman in a position where he can take a leadership role on sustainability issues will make a major difference.

Also, Lisa, I hope you're a Field hand.


The Obama-Biden Transition Team has a new website:


We here in Missouri are waiting until provisional ballots are counted.  2 weeks is the estimated time for the results.

My community thoughts are with folks in Chicago tonight. Posts and videos would be appreciated.




I've just started looking over the site, but my initial impression is that they want to keep this site available for community input.  So while the barackobama.com website may be going away I am encouraged that it appears they want to keep communication open with the community.

Obama wins Omaha, NE!

1 more EV! Yay!!!  Al called that one, too, didn't he?




Most hilarious comment there: does Omaha [now] get re-classified as "Fake Nebraska"??

Si somos americanos, seremos buenos vecinos;
compartiremos el trigo,seremos buenos hermanos --
canción de Rolando Alarcón

Todos somos americanos.-- Barack Obama

Job application via change.gov

Those looking for a job with the new administration may find this link interesting:


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About Al Giordano


Publisher, Narco News.

Reporting on the United States at The Field.

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