Earlier this month, we asked our blog readers, newsletter subscribers and Facebook fans to participate in our first-ever reader survey. This was in anticipation of our first official in-person business meeting since the 2008 election.
Fifty-one of you responded to our survey. It's a small sample, but not a bad one when you consider that we only posted it a few days before our meeting. Here's a summary of what you told us:
Your Suggestions for 2012
The survey concluded with an open-ended section where we asked YOU what you'd like to see us do in the 2012 election cycle, and you demonstrated to us what a thoughtful and engaged audience you are. This is quite a checklist of projects, issues and goals for MOMocrats to explore:
- "I'd love it if MOMocrats could give some ideas for a political neophyte getting involved for the first time (I've attended protests and of course I vote, but I need to do more and I have very little idea how to begin)."
- "Truth about candidates and issues - bipartisan emails for reference and posting and forwarding. Petitions Point out importance of terminology/language used and what to question when ads twist use of words and voting records. Find new terminology rather than Liberal and Conservative. Many think they are conservative with a small "c" and therefore link themselves with Conservatives with a capital "C" whose positions are not really conservative in nature. I think this is a huge problem in our State (and country)."
- "To vote for candidates who support reproductive rights, same sex marriage, true educations reform, and helping to rebuild the Middle class. Just keep doing what you do."
- "Show all progressive and moderate liberal candidates as much as possible. I'd like to know my choices. I want to see social programs given better funding and strict oversight assigned to large corporations."
Several of you said you want to see us cover more progressive candidates, especially women who will support women's health, women's rights, education and families. And that you share our goal of helping the Democratic party take back the House ("Remove the Tea Party from public office," was a common refrain). And you'd like to see more voter registration drives, to combat the disenfranchisement that's accompanied the overreach of Republican-controlled statehouses (such as the ones controlled by Governors Scott Walker in Wisconsin, Rick Scott in Florida and John Kasich in Ohio).
One thing that struck us about your responses is how eloquent you are. Many of your responses would be perfect posts here at MOMocrats, and we urge those of you who penned these responses to expand upon them:
"Can we please get more progressive and moderate women on the ballot? How about spreading the word to inspire more thinking women to run?"
"Find some way to care. I feel molested by my party and disenfranchised completely."
"K-12 & higher education must become a national priority. It is hardly ever a part of the dialogue. We need to continually engage our leaders in a rich active discussion."
"Get Democrats in office at all levels, preferably progessive dems. Stop Repub/Tea Party/Koch Bros. insanity. Would love to start a local F2F Momocrats group to join together w/ other parents for activism, campaign work, discussion, but I don't know if you're interested in doing that sort of thing."*
*(Yes, we ARE interested in this - You sound like you've been privy to some of our back channel discussions!)
"My goal is to only support Progressives only while defeating the corporate-Democrats: Blue Dogs and Moderate-Democrats. I will not vote for Reaganite Obama as I will skip the President section on my ballot."*
*(This could be the basis for a lively debate here. My personal opinion is that distaste for the way the Administration has handled the intransigence of the GOP in Congress kept Democrats away from the polls in 2010, and we all know where that got us. I would hate to see Democrats withhold their votes for the President in 2012 -- especially if any of the current Republican front-runners stand to gain from any Democratic votes lost.)
"Personal goal: be more of an advocate in my community - share information on my blog, how issues impact regular families in language we can all understand. Real mom reactions to the First in the Nation NH Primary. How can MOMocrats help? Access to information, a place that I can link back to for a more complete analysis on topics, a tool kit for using my voice for public service/politics and policy debate - when I established my blog for totally different reasons. How do I convince people that I haven't "jumped the shark" - I just have more to say?"*
*(We do our best to stay informed and spread the word to our readers here, on our Facebook page, and during our weekly podcast, where we parse the latest political news and talk in-depth with guests on subjects of interest.)
"You guys do a very good job as it is. I'm feeling very negative about our government right now, so anything that might improve that would be nice! I appreciate calls to action on issues affecting women and children and immigration and education reform."
Finally, we asked you your thoughts on our main issues heading into 2012. Quite a few of you listed "jobs" and "the economy" (not a surprise, as the survey was conducted during the debt ceiling mess and just before the Standard & Poors Tea Party Downgrade).
A few more of your responses:
"Issues that concern me include protecting reproductive rights, raising taxes on the wealthy and corporations, job growth, protection of unions, funding for education, and getting vacancies on the federal bench filled."
"End war, healthcare for all, protect female rights to choose, term limits for representatives, invest in alternative energy technologies, gut Monsanto... strengthen organics, end corporate welfare, end or severely undermine lobbyists challenge ruling of corporations = person"*
*(WOW! That's what we call a list!)
"Keeping Obama in the White House and giving him a Congress that will work with him, rather than try to tear him down."
So we have our marching orders. Do you have more suggestions? Offer them here in comments.