Not many people know it, but I got my start in politics when I began a small grassroots group called the Citizens' Waterfront Group that was dedicated to the preservation of Burlington's waterfront. In 1973, along with friends and neighbors, I got my first taste of grassroots organizing when we worked to block a plan to develop an abandoned railway that ran along the shore of Lake Champlain. We thought that stretch of land would better serve the community as a bike path; giving public access to the lake.
After years of applying pressure to city officials, we won. Today, the waterfront is one Burlington's treasures, bringing the community together and attracting tourists from around the world for festivals and concerts.
This was one of the most important projects I have ever been involved with because it showed me the power of grassroots organizing -- that a small group of people working together towards a common goal can achieve big things. However, its also hard to forget the struggle we had just getting the whole campaign off the ground. We knew what we wanted to do, but it wasn't always clear how to go about doing it. That's why I'm so excited about Democracy for America's new tool, YouPower.
Whether you're trying to create a bike path in your community or take action on national legislation, YouPower gives you access to the online tools and the offline resources of a one million member national progressive organization to help you create change from the bottom up.
It all starts online. The YouPower platform allows just about anyone to launch, promote, and update their campaign as the issue develops. YouPower then helps you take your fight offline -- giving you access to DFA's dedicated staff of field organizers on the ground all across the country, a nationally-respected training program and a cutting edge communications team committed to helping you win.
To be clear, YouPower isn't just another petition tool. While other organizations give activists access to petition creation tools, no one else can share with you the tested offline resources and proven talent that DFA has at its disposal. From strategy sessions with organizers who know how to take action effectively to contact with DFA members who've been organizing in your area for years, YouPower gives you what it takes to make lasting change in your community.
Change in this country starts with each of us. With Democracy for America's new tool, YouPower, we are giving you a platform that can help you win the fights that matter the most to you and in your community. Whether it is protecting a treasured waterfront or fighting for universal healthcare. Your first campaign on YouPower could start you on the path towards becoming the next great progressive leader -- and we all know that we need a lot more of those. Get started today!
Follow Howard Dean on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@GovHowardDean