This past weekend, MoveOn Political Action held more than700 bake sales nationwide as another of its grassroots efforts to garner and increase support for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama and other progressive candidates for Senate and Congressional seats in battleground states.
In Santa Monica, three “Hungry for Change” bake sales were held in Cloverfield Park, at Pico Boulevard and 18th Street and behind Teddy Tillet’s apparel shop adjacent to Trader Joes on Pico Boulevard and 33rd Street.
Baker-activists baked up a storm, producing Obama Brownies, Cookies for Change, and many other favorite family recipes despite the infernal heat wave that drove temperatures into the 90s.
Activists spread the word through viral e-mail. Throngs responded by snapping up tasty treats with words of encouragement and gratitude towards volunteers who stepped up to sell their products in small neighborhood venues in spite of sweltering conditions.
This host/organizer of “Let Us Eat Cake” reported to MoveOn, at the culmination of Saturday’s sale, that the most gratifying aspect of this organizing effort was, “Opening my e-mail and finding 32 responses from local MoveOn activists offering to bake and staff the event. ” Saturday’s sale held behind Teddy Tillet’s shop was so successful that the group decided to extend their effort to Sunday in order to have an opportunity to sell the plethora of treats that remained at the end of the first day.
Most gratifying to our Santa Monica “Let Us Eat Cake” group were the many young citizens who either registered to vote or excitedly said they were looking forward to casting their very first vote in November for Obama.
Barack Obama reinforced his resolution to refuse 527 group funding to fuel his campaign in a letter to subscribers to his website on Friday, June 20. His effort to rely on direct support from individual donors has revolutionized political fund-raising. Many voters proudly mentioned, at our bake sale, that they gave their very first monetary gift to support Obama’s campaign and to support his resolve to “fix what is broken in Washington.” In Obama’s words, “Choosing not to accept these taxpayer funds was not an easy decision. I remain committed to fundamental campaign finance reform, and as president I will work to fix this broken system”. Right now, you can declare your independence and help us run a campaign that is funded by the people and for the people.”
MoveOn’s Eli Pariser announced before the “Hungry for Change” event kicked off, via e-mail to its 3.2 million members on Friday, June 20 that, “While MoveOn Political Action has always been funded exclusively by small donors like you, we’ve held open the MoveOn.org Voter Fund — a separate “527” organization — which can raise money from big donors. We haven’t actually taken any big-money checks since 2004, when MoveOn members matched big contributors to educate voters about George Bush’s policies. But in light of the new politics offered by Barack Obama, I’ve come to believe it’s time to close the 527 forever — and to challenge organizations on the right to do the same thing.” Pariser, in his usual democratic manner, invited MoveOn’s member/activists to chime in on their positions regarding this decision.
Progressive Santa Monica MoveOn activists look forward to holding similar events in the near future across the nation.