Thursday, June 16, 2005

''Democrats seek to regain party's soul''

"At conferences and in soul-searching magazine articles, national liberals are in a funk, asking why they keep losing elections. Some Philadelphia liberals recently decided to quit wringing their hands and instead launched a political group, Neighborhood Networks, to change the direction of the city Democratic Party on the ground. The idea, organizers say, is to build a system of division and ward leaders to push for liberal candidates and causes - and clean up city politics. Group founders drew 230 people to a June 4 inaugural meeting, many of them activists still flush from success in mobilizing anti-Bush voters last fall. "It's going to be a shadow party," said organizer Marc Stier, a Temple University professor from West Mount Airy who lost last year in the Democratic primary for state representative.

Organizers hope that, by November 2006, they will have leaders in 400 to 600 of the city's 1,681 voting divisions. These "captains" will work neighbor to neighbor, expanding on the model provided by MoveOn, the Democratic group that organized anti-Bush voters in key precincts last year."-from the story today in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

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