Thu, 05/27/2010 - 12:00am
Coffee, Tea and VOE: A talk with Coffee Party PDX's Kristy Alberty and Common Cause Oregon's Nate Gulley
The Tea Party has captured the imagination of America's media industry if not the American people, lending it clout that far surpasses its numbers. Tea Party pressure has sent nervous Republican incumbents like Senator John McCain even more to the right. The Tea Party, however, remains a movement remains at heart a movement of negation: no taxes, no immigrants, no federal government. With their "Don't Tread on Me" flags and Obama-Hitler anologies, Tea Party activists have helped accelerate the decline of civil political discourse.
The Coffee Party was founded this year as a way to reverse these trends that are eroding American's desire to be politically engaged and bringing the wheels of government to a halt. The party declares itself a non-partisan movement that believes government is not the enemy and that all Americans need to be engaged in the democratic process in order for our institutions to meet the challenges the nation faces.
This week on Voices from the Edge, Dave talks with Coffee Party PDX Coordinator Kristy Alberty about what the Coffee Party is trying to achieve nationally as well as in Oregon. Alberty is a former board president of the Southern Oregon Chapter of Oregon Action, a community organizer on the "No on 36" campaign and a freelance writer for Indian Country Today. Also joining the conversation will be Nate Gully, Campaign Finance Reform organizer for Common Cause Oregon. Gulley is working with the Coffee Party and other local groups for the renewal of Portland's Voter-Owned Elections which will go before voters in November.
Coffee Party PDX will be tabling at a May 28 screening of Casino Jack (Jack Abramoff) at Cinema 21. For more information, go to "Join the Coffee Party Movement in Portland" on Facebook.
Jo Ann Bowman is a former state legislator, former executive director of Oregon Action, and a long-time leader in the struggle for racial and economic justice. Dave Mazza is a freelance journalist and former editor of who has covered and been involved in Portland's civil rights, peace, labor and environmental movements for 20 years.
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