Tuesday, June 10, 2008

DFA Campaign Academy: Day Two Report

It took a tornado, local fire regulations, and a persistent LCC police officer to end the Democracy for America (DFA) Campaign Academy on Sunday, June 9, 2008. The Big Blue Tsunami turned out to be a big ass tornado ripping through mid-Michigan. Always be careful what you ask for.

Timing is everything, too. I volunteered to take trainer Michael Cook to the airport on Sunday afternoon. Just after I dropped him off, the storm hit as I drove south on Waverly Road in Lansing. I knew it was bad when it started to rain sideways and trees were leaning over the road. By the time I reached Snow Road, traffic lights were out and a Consumers Power crew was guarding a live wire lying in the street. The conference center was completely dark as I dodged tree limbs along the winding drive leading to the facility.

I got a Facebook friend request from Michael today, so obviously his plane made it safely out of Lansing some way, some how.


Day Two of DFA Campaign Academy was as fast-paced as the previous one. Working the registration table, I spent most of my time in the lobby assisting people and snapping photos between sessions. Still, I had the privilege of meeting and talking with national DFA director Jim Dean who – impressively – arrived on Day Two to spend time with the academy attendees. My one-on-one interview with Jim and his lunchtime remarks will be posted tomorrow.

The full energy of the academy – the energy generated by the enthusiasm of the attending activists – was fully evident after the storm knocked out the conference center’s power. We had one and a half sessions left. You would think that people would want to cut their losses and scamper home at that point. But, no, we finished one session and started the final one before the LCC police told us – twice – that we had to leave the building because there was no longer any fire protection. These activists did not want to leave! That kind of dedication, energy and enthusiasm won a Stanley Cup for the Detroit Red Wings the previous week – and it will do the same for progressives across Michigan this fall. It’s in the air – and the rain and the wind. Can you feel it?

-- Rico Thomas Rico

See all Day Two photos here.

See all Day One photos here.


The conversations and collaboration started over the weekend at the DFA Campaign Academy will continue locally at Mid-Michigan DFA’s monthly meeting on Wednesday.

Mid-Michigan Democracy for America (DFA) meets the second Wednesday of each month at the SEIU building, 1026 E. Michigan Avenue, Lansing, Michigan. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. The next meeting is Wednesday, June 11, 2008 at 7 p.m. All progressives are welcome. Pizza and soda pop are served to feed the on-the-go busy activist.

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