Thursday, April 19, 2007

DL @ LL, 7pm

The Portland chapter of Drinking Liberally (their motto: "Promoting Democracy, One Pint at a Time") meets tonight at its regular place, the Lucky Labrador Brew Pub, SE 9th and Hawthorne.

(DL meets on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month.)

A mere 640 days (and counting) until George Bush leaves office. It will fly by. Really.

Sometimes DL'ers lose sight of the bigger picture (microbrews can do that): Living Liberally, the uber-group that first developed the idea of Drinking Liberally, and created the support and communication infrastructure we count on, had something bigger in mind than just knocking back IPAs two nights a month.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Here's an excerpt from an article cross-posted by Chris Bowers at Huffington Post and MyDD last week:
Contemporary progressivism has become more than just about our political beliefs, but also about the way we conduct many other aspects of our daily lives. In fact, it is pretty safe to argue that is the increasing prominence of progressive values in our everyday lives--how we work, how we meet new people, how we shop, and how we re-create ourselves on a regular basis--that jumpstarted the political side of the progressive movement, rather than the other way around.

Within the progressive movement, there is probably no organization that better represents the connection between a progressive lifestyle and progressive politics than Living Liberally. This is an organization that helps progressives and liberals connect with one another in a variety of ways that, while not overtly political, often have positive repercussions for progressive politics. By bringing progressives together to drink, laugh, watch movies, eat dinner, discuss books, and many other activities, Living Liberally provides social depth to gatherings of like-minded lefties. In my personal experience semi-regularly attending a Philadelphia chapter of Drinking Liberally, one of Living Liberally's main projects, our gatherings have often led both a great deal of relaxed, non-political discussion as well as to frequent networking with local progressive activists, candidates, and political professionals. In fact, because of the rapid expansion of Drinking Liberally, even when I!
am traveling, I always can find new friends and fellow activists.

Today, Drinking Liberally reached a major milestone. With the arrival of Pagosa Springs, Colorado, the Drinking Liberally map has hit 200 chapters across the country. While beer companies should rejoice that more Americans are promoting democracy one pint at a time, it's the progressive movement that has cause to celebrate. With every new social club, Drinking Liberally, and its umbrella organization Living Liberally, are building a community that energizes and expands Liberal and Progressive America.

For the past three-and-a-half years, as it has grown city-by-city through local organizers, word-of-mouth and blog-fueled buzz, Drinking Liberally has never been about the "drinking." These progressive social clubs provide a regular (some are weekly, some monthly), welcoming, informal (a number have guest speakers, but most are more conversational) destination, in which newcomers can engage, activists can connect, and everyone can make progressive politics part of their every day lives. And that's taken different shapes around the country:

* In Reading, PA, Drinking Liberally is about hosting 100 activists to meet grassroot candidates before the '06 election

* In Gooding, ID, Drinking Liberally is about defending the word "liberal" from libelous attacks in the local newspaper

* In Natchez, MS, Drinking Liberally is about finding a bar where black and white patrons feel comfortable attending together

* In Louisville, KY, Drinking Liberally is about building a network that pledged thousands of dollars to local public radio.

It's fitting that DL's 200th outpost is in Colorado, which -- with 11 chapters -- is one of the leading states. Colorado, with a fully operational vast-left wing conspiracy, is the center of the rising progressive power of the Mountain West. Wherever the progressive fight is taking hold, it seems more Drinking Liberally chapters are appearing. Insurgent congressional candidates found early support at DL chapters. Anti-war activists find new recruits ready to be organized at the bars. They all help provide that a liberal identity can and will exist for many Americans more than once every four years.

You can read the whole thing here--and you should.

Also, did you know that Living Liberally has launched not only Drinking Liberally, but also
See you tonight. Look for the snazzy new red, white, and blue table signs.

(And remember: DL encourages everyone to drink, and vote, responsibly.)

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