| I'm now sitting in a rather large ballroom type venue in the LA Convention Center. All around me is an amazing collection of LGBT (and allies) leaders. In some respects, no matter the forum, it has to be a positive thing just to get these people all in one room. I'm ready to play the name game or something with all these cool people.
After an inspiring invocation, the meeting actually began with a panel discussing what happened. The panel sounded great, like it was the Obama team calling down from on high about their great victories. The only problem, of course, is that we didn't win. The field team discussed their goals and what actually happened. And as somebody who did some volunteering on the campaign, I can affirmatively say there were some big ol' rose colored glasses going on here.
There was glorification of the Let California Ring program. Don't get me wrong, it was an enormously successful education campaign, but that's where the successes ended. When the transition to the campaign occurred, it seemed like we lost our way. But yet, we learned of the goals of the campaign, and their numbers. They reached 180K voters, but volunteerism could have been so much stronger. Their best laid plans either never came to fruition or suffered from poor execution.
I appreciated the information, but the problem is still the same. This is a top-down lecture, with little interaction. That is, until Mollie McKay and the Marriage Equality USA Team came on to point out what went wrong with the campaign. Mollie went on to provide a real-world look at what happened. What we heard for the next 15 minutes was the best summary of the failures of the campaign. They had a great powerpoint presentation, that I hope to get a digital copy to post online soon. I don't know that I've seen an applause like that on a speech regarding Prop 8 since, well, the election. Their main points:
* Clergy leaders were underutilized by the campaign
* Leaders of color were underutilitzed by the campaign
* No on 8 ads lacked heart and LGBT people
* Prop 8 creates dangerous situations for children and families
* No on 8 field plan lacked visibility and missed potential volunteers
* The No on 8 Campaign abandoned the Central Valley
You can also find their reports at http://marriageequality.org
More to come.