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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

You are Invited to Serve!

We're certainly living in exciting, albeit difficult times, aren't we? It's gratifying to see that my experience ten years back as an avid online campaigner and webmaster for an innovative television series hasn't been lost on the current presidential election, inauguration, and upcoming Day of Service which by and large have been managed online.

It all started for Benny and me before Christmas when, in response to an email request from the President-Elect's transition team, we hosted a Change is Coming Meeting at our local Barnes and Noble in which participants were asked to plan a service event. Up til then, our involvement in the 2008 political process had amounted to a couple of small donations and a sign in our yard - which was actually pretty good for two "old-timer" refugees from the 20th century, but fairly minimal compared to what others have done in this ground-breaking election.

However, when I read the the transition team's request in the December email, I thought, "This is something I can do. This is something I have done."

I had witnessed firsthand how people all over the world met one another online, followed up one another with face to face, formed friendships, and challenged and extended themselves to collaborate up close and over distance to get things done. So, I entered a Change is Coming event at the transition team site and seventeen people in the Lafayette area showed up to our Barnes and Noble meeting on a chilly December evening!

As already noted, at that meeting we were asked to plan a service event to coincide with the Martin Luther King Holiday and with the Presidential inauguration. Early in January, a member of the inauguration committee called and requested that we post our service event on their website. Just this morning I received a call to service and link to a video by Michelle Obama inviting us to join her and the President-elect in a day of service. She and President-elect Barak will perform their day of service in their new community Washington D.C. However, in her email she also included a link where everyone can search for service events (or add them) for their local communities at Our Change is Coming Service event is listed there - if you're from the Lafayette area, look us up!

During the presidential campaign and afterwards, there have been myriad sites - the mybarackobama site, the transition team site, the inauguration team site to name a few that I know of. It's nice to see the Washington folks have come up with some hopefully enduring names that communicate an ongoing, inclusive, and bipartisan collaboration for change:


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