Monday, July 18, 2005

Flash: Lafayette Coming Together Gets Quoted!

Today's Advertiser fiber story (which I blogged earlier) has an almost unique event: two members of far and away the largest citizen's grassroots organization (I am a member) are quoted and their affiliation acknowledged.
LUS will be the largest city in the nation with this type of system and it will be successful, said Mike Stagg of Lafayette Coming Together.

Saturday was an historic moment in the city, a moment when residents said they are ready for a change, said Layne St. Julien of Lafayette Coming Together.

"Lafayette is ready to see itself in a new light," she said. "We all want the same thing, a good place for ourselves and our children."
Good stuff right? Pretty presentable?

I find it astonishing that this is exactly the third time this organizaton has been mentioned in the local daily.--According to a search of the Advertiser's archive.

This is the same organization that was responsible for most of the visible campaign outside of press conferences up until the last few days. It is truly a grassroots organization. Begun as a group dedicated to the most basic people to people campaigning it took over more and more fuctions as the campaign matured and its ability to get the job done—cheaply and quickly—became apparent. Every yard sign, billboard, flyer, all the radio spots save one and even one of the TV spots were products of this group. People donated their time, energy and talent to the cause. Every penny raised was spent on materials or media. Not one dime went to design or managment—those talents were donated. In the end what they did was little short of amazing: No doubt thousands of hours of time went into regular meetings, subcommittee meetings, project managment, website design, video work, ad design, viral email, logo design, audio work, leafleting, phone banking, a film festival, yard sign delivery, an endorsement project, campaign strategy, database managment, a newsletter and more. And it was all done locally by local folks for concerned for our community. With nearly 500 names in the actives database and supporters far beyond that number LCT's For Fiber campaign was easily the most visible and influential citizen's group in the campaign.

Everywhere except in the media.

In stark contrast was Fiber 411 whose only visible membership was 3 guys and whose activites, aside from press conferences, consisted of a trash-talking chat room, two last minute disinformation mailers with their name on it, and a lot of still-visible yellow signs planted in the right of way. Oh, and maybe some automated phone calling.

If you search for Fiber 411 on the Advertiser site you'll find 49 hits. Versus 2 for the other (actual?) grassroots orgainization.

The disparity is supposed to be due to fairness issues. Balance. I don't see the balance in this. I doubt if many can.

Sure, I'm biased. As a member of LCT I know the folks I worked with got a real full-blown campaign before the the public. I think it would be appropriate if their voice was recognized occasionally--as Mike's and Layne's was today. Heck, I think, all things considered, that 49 times would have been balanced.

Ok, got that off my chest. Thanks.

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