Dems: Grassroots to Shape Platform

08/15/2008 05:32 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Full byline below.

Attendees of the Democratic Platform Meetings co-organized by the Obama Campaign and the DNC believed their policy proposals and ideas would be strongly considered by the Platform Drafting Committee, according to reports filed by OffTheBus Special Ops. It remains unclear how the DNC and the Obama campaign will accomplish this logistical feat. Recent news reports of the Drafting Committee's progress do not mention any review of several thousand platform submissions. The draft has not been posted publicly for review, but various ideas incorporated into the document have been reported on.


OffTheBus dispatched its Special Ops to more than 100 of the Platform Meetings in the last two weeks. Here's a quick guide to our most recent findings/reports:

* Few Surrogates Dispatched to Obama Platform Meetings: "Despite an assurance made by the DNC and Obama campaign to widely dispatch campaign surrogates to their Platform Meetings, few campaign representatives appear to have shown up to the hundreds of events held nationwide. "The Obama campaign and the DNC will send policy experts and DNC Platform Committee members to as many meetings as possible to serve as facilitators," according to a press release hosted on the DNC website. But surrogates attended only five of the 120 events observed by OffTheBus Special Ops members."

* Some Red State Democrats Turn to Platform Meetings for Support: " should come as no surprise that these meetings attracted some aspiring Democratic politicians, especially those in red states."

* First-hand Accounts from Platform Meetings: Several of our Special Ops members wrote up their experiences at their local Platform Meetings. There are a lot of anecdotal reports out there already, but first-hand accounts straight from volunteers oftentimes provide greater detail and texture. As you read, keep in mind that all four of these Special Ops members are Obama supporters.... Chuck Lasker: "'It was in my home in Westfield, Indiana that a couple of dozen Republicans for Obama met to socialize and discuss the issues on the Democratic platform in 2008. Yes, I said Republicans for Obama.'"

* Organizers Need A Lot of Space for Platform Meetings: "According to reports coming in from our Special Ops members, more than half of the Obama and DNC Platform Meetings were held in private residences, many of which were described as middle to upper-class homes. Maybe that's because organizers need enough space for an average of 20 people to comfortably meet."

* Women And Boomers Attend Platform Meetings In Higher Numbers: "Women appear to have outnumbered men at the DNC and Obama Platform Meetings but by no large margin. Old people generally dominated, with those in their 60s far presiding in significant numbers. Quite a few of our members reported diverse attendance, especially in states like North Carolina, California, Washington. In certain areas of the country, like Colorado, where the population is surging, a disproportionate number of attendees were in their 20-30s. The same held true for metropolitan areas like New York City and Los Angeles."

You can follow our reports on our project blog, Under the Hood.

OffTheBus members who contributed to this reporting include: Heather Alarcon, Constance Bair-Thompson, Fai Borowiec, Beth Borzone, Stuart Brann, Harmon Brody, Carol Anne Burger, Kellie Cameron, Betsy Cazden, Natasha Chen, Denise Chiang, Thomas Cochrane, Ed Cohen, Donna Corey, Bill Dagg, Peter Daly, Cathlyn Daly, Bruce Daniels, Victoria DePaul, Timothy Dillenbeck, Dr. Art Donart, Esther Drew, Patrick Duncan, Joan Easley, Natalie Elmore, Ataa Elnaccash, Maiko Emi Adachi, Chad Ernest, Robyn Ewing, Taye Foster Bradshaw, Suzana Frasheri, Deb Gianola, Lynne Glasner, Anton Goustin, Andrea Graham, Janice Guider, Franklin Gurganus, Sara Haile-Mariam, Janet Hamilton, Cathy Harned, Susan Hass, Bill Hay, Greg Hodur, M.E. Holden, Bette Holmes, Karen Hoving, Pamm Howard, LD Janakos, Cameron Johnson, Rosalyn Johnson, Christopher Johnston, Hazel Kahan, Mary Kenez, Saba Kennedy-Washington, Natasha Kotecki, Henryk Kowalczyk, Jonah Lalas, Chuck Lasker, Erik Lassi, Steve LeMay, Clara Listensprechen, Thyra Lowe, George Manos, Deanna Martin, Sandra Mayse, Nora McDonald, Jan McGirk, Darrell Miller, Sarah Moglewer, Browne Molyneux, Atia Moore, Greg Moran, Amanda Morris, MaryBeth Morrissey, Dean Mougianis, Jay Mucha, Sonya Myers, Marianna Nash, Trish Nater, Albert Nickerson, Daniel Nolte, Charmaine Nygaard, Michael O'Donnell, James O'Gallagher, Ahu Ozyurt, Roy Pearson, Brian Pendleton, Virgilio Perez Pascoe, Lisa Phelps, Marlene Phillips, Deborah Plummer, Rachel Port, Vidya Pradhan, Ted Radamaker, Daniel Raymond, Kristina Reaume, C Roebuck Reed, B.G. Rhule, Pax Riddle, Edward Rotchford, Nancy Ryle, Greg Schwartz, Merry Selk, Karen Sellars, Susana Short, Erica Slead, Rona Smith, Paul Solyn, Dr. Shauna Springer, Jeff Stepper, Jensea Storie, Ruth Stroud, Gale Teschendorf, Crystal Thompson, Garland Thompson Jr., R. Trecker, Sandra VanderVen, Craig Vaughan, John Walsh, Teddiye Walton, Theresa Weathers, Marie Weingarten, Kathleen Wells, Mary Ann West, Joan Wile, Adrienne Williams, Kim Womantree, Jaime Yarbrough, Adam Young.