Sunday, May 16, 2010

Meeting the Congresswoman

The Rogers Park Coffee Party is co-hosting a meeting today with Rep. Schakowsky. The Edgewater Coffee Party is the other co-host. The event is duly noted by Tom Westgard who suspects a connection to the Cohen/Swilley campaign since Baxter is Scott's running mate as Lt. Gov. (assuming they make it to the ballot). I had to laugh. Sorry but I did since I don't equate efforts to notify the public of an opportunity to participate in/learn more about the political process as "touting their political triumph".

There is a list of questions developed by the Coffee Party membership. They have nothing to do with the Cohen/Swilley campaign, or anyone's campaign for that matter. Here they are and judge for yourself:

How do the Democrats plan to get any legislation done with the political climate as it is? It appears that any Republican that has voted with the Democrats since the Obama inauguration is now being ousted out of the party in primaries. Why would any Republican cross the aisle now? Will we be at a standstill for the foreseeable future?

Many of us feel a need for more fact-based discussion and for Democrats to assert themselves against Republicans who are spreading misinformation and to set an appropriate tone and tenor of the conversation as the current majority party. How do you think the Democrats might offer more leadership on this issue?

Where do you see yourself in this process of creating a better debate around issues? Where can you provide leadership that creates a different tone to the conversation and makes debate between oppositional parties productive and based on fact?

What do you think we can do to promote civil discussion as citizens and amongst our politicians?

Are there things going on in congress that we aren't seeing due to the way media is currently covering congress? Is it better than we think? How can we make congress more transparent?

What can people do to combat the inertia we find at all levels of government to act responsibly upon issues that affect the welfare of people?

What role do special issue groups have to contribute to this inertia?

How can we best hold you accountable as citizens?

I think these are all good questions and get to the heart of our concerns as citizens and voters. It will be a moderated Q&A, however neither Scott nor Baxter will be moderating. I don't know if Cohen is even interested in attending, although Tom W. indicates he will try to be there.

I hope he attends. He might be pleasantly surprised to realize that this is really about the political process and making sure Rep. Schawkowsky realizes we do indeed care about how well it is working. We care a lot! Not every meeting with a politician is related to campaigning and not every announcement about a meeting is an effort to show off. Hopefully Tom W. will eventually discern the difference.

ETA: Baxter resigned today as the Facilitator of the Rogers Park Coffee Party.


Thomas Westgard said...

The separation of Swilley and the publication of neutral questions happened *after* I pointed out the problems. You can spin that several different ways.

Kheris said...

There is nothing to spin Tom. The meeting itself was suggested via a national initiative called Coffee with Congress. We began developing the questions while discussing what we wanted out of the meeting. The local membership was asked to submit their questions and did so via email to a member who volunteered to organize them. They were finalized, via email, a few days ago.

The group began discussing Baxter's future as Facilitator immediately upon the announcement that he was Cohen's running mate. We wanted to hear from Baxter and we did.

Your post implied that the Schakowsky meeting was of some value to the Cohen/Swilley campaign without any evidence aside from a publicity flyer. You were wrong. Period.