2009 Regional Meetings
This fall, join with AfD in local or regional gatherings

Traditionally, Alliance for Democracy biennial conventions were national events--members traveled halfway across the country, or more, to a gathering hosted by a chapter or regional cluster of members. In 2004, we met in Boston, and in 2007, Tucson. But this past year, well aware of the strain that paying for airfare put on many of our members, and aware of the need to relocalize and limit our carbon footprints, we turned to our members, and proposed an option for regional or local, rather than a single national member convention. The proposed bylaw change was overwhelmingly approved, and many chapters and member groups are already working on organizing regional meetings. We hope other groups will join them! This page is the info hub for planning and publicizing regional meetings. Here you'll find:
  • What you need to do at your meeting, with a link to our bylaws
  • Ideas for organizing meetings and proposals for actions--please feel free to email us your ideas to add to the list
  • Ways we can help
  • A call for candidates for regional representative and National Council.
We hope that you'll plan a meeting this fall that will meet your needs as activists and revitalize the democracy movement in your city, state or region. Remember, this page will be updated frequently, so please check back. Or visit our blog and look for posts tagged AfD 2009 Regional Conventions.

Latest News: New Date for Portland Regional! See Below!

Meeting Calendar

Let us know if you host a gathering by emailing us at

Tuesday, Oct. 6, Blue Hill, ME
Blue Hill Public Library
7:00 pm
AfD national council member Bonnie Preston hosts panel on water with Emily Posner, Defending Water for Life in Maine on bottled water; Sarah Bigney of Maine Fair Trade Campaign on trade and water; Antonio Blasi, a member of Maine Water Allies, active in eastern Hancock County, on ground water; and Nancye Files, of Alliance for Democracy Downeast

Wedesday, Oct. 21, Sacramento, CA
The Crest Theater, 5:30 and 8:00 p.m.
AfD Defending Water for Life Campaign hosts with other co-sponsors the movie “Tapped” on bottled water. View trailer and Ruth Caplan here. Nestlé is coming to Sacramento and we’re fighting back!

Saturday, Nov. 7 (New Date!), Portland, OR
First Unitarian Church
SW 12 and Salmon
Time 1 p.m.
Presenters include Nancy Matela on water privatization, Cascade Locks and Nestlé; Barbara Dudley on the economic crisis, and Margaret Butler of Jobs with Justice on single payer health care. Elections and politics will feature public interest lawyer Dan Meek on Citizens United v. FEC and Janice Thompson of Common Cause on the upcoming vote on Portland's Voter-Owned Elections. Co-sponsor: Economic Justice Action Group, 1st UU Church. More info from David Delk, or at the Portland chapter website.

7:00 p.m., First Unitarian Church Tapped, documentary exposing the environmental, social and health harms done by the bottled water industry. Doors open at 6:30.

Convention is free. Donations accepted for Tapped; no one turned away if they can't donate.

Sunday, Nov. 8
Concord, Massachusetts
Boston/Cambridge Alliance and North Bridge Alliance potluck focuses on corporate personhood and Citizens United v. FEC

Thursday, Nov. 12
Davis, CA
Time/Place TBA: Potluck and discussion of the corporate voice vs. the people’s voice in local land-use development campaigns

Thursday, Nov. 12
Pittsfield or Rochester, NY
Time/Place TBA
Local Potluck Dinner and discussion on “Do Corporations Rule the World?”

Saturday and Sunday,
Nov. 14 -15
Ukiah, CA
Bi-annual Convention of Northern California Alliance for Democracy
“Rethinking Rights of Corporations in Northern California: What Can Local Communities Do Now?” Details coming!

What's required for a regional meeting?
First, your meeting does not have to be more elaborate than you need! It might be a simple potluck get-together to affirm AfD friendships and build solidarity. Invite other friends to join you and talk about making a difference in your community, where results may be easier to achieve and more rewarding. Just writing a group Letter to the Editor or an Op-Ed on climate change, single payer health reform, or another issue makes an important contribution.

The only requirements for your meeting are:
• that you encourage current members to run for regional representative—we would like at least one candidate per region.
• that you encourage current AfD members to run for the AfD National Council, and forward their names to our nominating committee (Jean Maryborn, Jim Tarbell, Vikki Savee and Barbara Clancy)--you can contact the committee through the AfD office.
• that you encourage current AfD members to put their names forward for a national nominating committee for 2011—again, one committee member per region is the ideal.
• that you hold your meeting between October 1 and November 21, so that all candidates for regional representative and national council can be presented to the full membership by a mail-in ballot vote before the end of the calendar year.

For more information on Alliance governance, please see our bylaws, here.

Ideas for organizing meetings and proposals for action
Beyond the potluck, you might want to:
  • Plan a night at the movies, either at your local (independent!) theater for Michael Moore's Capitalism: A Love Story, or at a house party. Screen Tapped, or Health, Money and Fear, available from AfD.
  • Use the Alliance's GANE document to launch a discussion on how to rebuild the local economy. GANE--the General Agreement on a New Economy--outlines a new model for growth emphasizing full employment, sustainable development, economic equity and community federalism, a systemic approach to development that centers on the local community and builds outward to regional and national levels. GANE is a work-in-progress, and it depends on you to read it ( and share your ideas. Answers to our economic problems should come out of a broad public dialogue. and the discussion that starts at a regional meeting can grow into an active coalition to address sustainable, relocalized economic development. The "Deglobalization/Relocalization" and "Money for People Not Corporate Plunder" issues of Justice Rising are also good study resources.
  • Break out of the corporate economy and create a local currency or a local bartering network. Start a "buy local" campaign or investigate the possibility of instituting community-based business zoning.
  • Reduce the carbon footprint: Create a Car-Share or Bike-Share Program
  • Local issues are often good ground for reframing a specific problem --a big-box development, ads for junk food in your public schools, privatization of a public resource--as an issue of community rights or rights of nature. See these reframing worksheets, and open a discussion of how to move away from regulated harms.
  • State level campaign finance reform is not dead--the San Fernando Valley AfD chapter is working hard on behalf of California Fair Elections, and a referendum next year to publicly fund certain state-level offices. What started as a study group has grown into a powerful grassroots movement with broad support for ending pay-to-play democracy. What's possible in your state or city?
We look forward to sharing the fruits of these discussion
with others in the December e-News!

How can we help?

We can discuss program events with you, make suggestions on possible local speakers, and send relevant issues of Justice Rising. We can also help contact other local and regional members, if you are not already connected with AfD'ers in your area.

Call for candidates!

If you'd like to take a more activist role in the Alliance for Democracy, why not run for the Alliance national council?

The council meets once a month by conference call to discuss ongoing and potential new campaigns and approve budgets. Any member in good standing is welcome to run. We invite you to contact the office and find out more if you're interested, or if you have questions about Alliance for Democracy structure and governance in general.

Candidates for all posts on the council are welcome, as well as at-large members and regional representatives. Candidates should expect a minimum time commitment of 10 hours per month, or more if you take a leadership role in a campaign or in coalition-building--which we hope you do! Regional reps should be prepared to do some outreach to members and allied groups in their area. All potential candidates need to be on email, as much pre-conference call discussion takes place online.

We welcome regional representative candidates from all regions (see this page of our website to see what the regions are) , but especially welcome regional representative candidates from New York state and the Southeast Region (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Missisippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee).

We look forward to seeing your hat in the ring!