WISCREPORT.COM (03/27/2010) - A grassroots movement from the other side of the fence is growing to be an alternative voice for people who do not necessarily agree with the tactics and apparent goals of the Tea Party. Coffee Party USA instead aims to reinvigorate the democratic process with civility, inclusiveness, and civic engagement. In addition to holding Coffee Party USA group Coffee Party Summit get togethers in many cities throughout the country this weekend, Coffee With Congress is scheduled March 29th through April 9th.
Following up its National Coffee Party Kick-off held on Saturday, March 13th, in more than 350 coffee shops in 44 states, Coffee Party USA is expecting an even larger turnout for its National Coffee Summit, on March 27th and 28th.
"We are inviting Americans across all political spectrums to speak up and be part of the Coffee Summit," says Coffee Party USA Spokesperson, Alan Alborn.
Coffee Party USA is encouraging communities to meet again at coffee houses, homes and other venues to have civil conversations about the issues that matter to them. This time though, the communities will be planning as well. They’ll be planning for coffee with Congress.
Coffee with Congress will take place during the upcoming Congressional recess, March 29th through April 9th, when elected officials return to their districts.
Local chapter members will schedule meetings with their Senators and Representatives, and present for the first time their consensus on the issues. Coffee will be served.
Coffee Party USA is a grassroots volunteer organization that held more than 350 meetings across the United States on March 13, 2010 as part of its National Kick-off Day.
The movement began on January 26 when Annabel Park of Montgomery County, MD posted a series of Facebook status updates that included, "Let's start a coffee party." This led to a Facebook fan page that quickly grew to more than 150,000 members and a website that allows people across the country to organize local Coffee Party chapters.
Concerned about extreme political tactics and partisan bickering that has caused paralysis in the federal government, Coffee Party volunteers represent a wide political and cultural spectrum.
Among their chief aims is to restore civility and fact-based deliberation to the democratic process.
During the April Congressional recess, Coffee Party USA the local groups are organizing Coffee with Congress, inviting elected officials to sit down with their constituents to discuss the choices and challenges facing America today.
The official Coffee Party Mission Statement is listed at the official coffeepartyusa.com website:
COFFEE PARTY MISSION STATEMENT: The Coffee Party Movement gives voice to Americans who want to see cooperation in government. We recognize that the federal government is not the enemy of the people, but the expression of our collective will, and that we must participate in the democratic process in order to address the challenges that we face as Americans. As voters and grassroots volunteers, we will support leaders who work toward positive solutions, and hold accountable those who obstruct them.
The coffeepartyusa.com website urges participants to take the Coffee Party Civility Pledge:
CIVILITY PLEDGE: "As a member or supporter of the Coffee Party, I pledge to conduct myself in a way that is civil, honest, and respectful toward people with whom I disagree. I value people from different cultures, I value people with different ideas, and I value and cherish the democratic process."
The coffeepartyusa.com website also includes a way for individuals to schedule Coffee Party events and activities in their states and local areas. The Coffee Party USA website offers a Local Organizer Toolkit that provides all of the necessary information to promote meetings, and sign up new, community members to be part of Coffee Party USA, and more.
The goal of Coffee Party USA is that it be made up of people acting independently of political parties, of corporations, and of political lobbying networks. In the coming months and years, Coffee Party USA hopes to transform disappointment in the current political system into a force that will return the nation to a course of popular governance, of the People by the People for the People.