It’s the tail end of the 1st day of Our Revolution! Road Trip and as we drive from Washington DC to Greensboro, NC with a mix of Billy Joel, Phil Selway, and Jason Schwartzmann (I was surprised too, he’s actually pretty good) sitting in the passenger seat I have a few moments to reflect on what we were able to accomplish today.
“Where did you get the idea for this trip”
“What were your expectations?”
“Why did you choose us?”
That’s a lot to answer upon just arriving in a community like Wilmington, DE and later in Washington, DC. I started this trip with lack of sleep from late planning nights, friends & strangers who trusted enough in our goals to sign on as city ambassadors, and some ideas and strategies on how to approach each city but no idea as to how they would play when put into action. Those who showed up and hopefully will in other cities don’t care about that. Haha, they do in some regards and understand, but when it comes down to it they don’t care. They’ve welcomed us, followed the website, Facebook page, or tweets, and have come ready to share and be heard. We can be tired and prepare all the discussion topics we want, it’s their community and they’ve trusted in what we’ve worked to create, so we have to trust them to make it their own.
I arrived in Wilmington just wondering how the first event was going to go. We packed the venue and had panelists including the Lieutenant Governor. I arrived in DC riding the swell of support and ready for another large group. We had 6 people show up. Both events were a rousing success and neither were what we expected.
The Wilmington community steered the discussion to focus on jobs, tech improvements/options, and the issue of health care. Many residents and business owners passionately shared their thoughts, asked for advice, and implored the panel for support. During the panel, they supported and encouraged each other via twitter using the hashtags #netDE & #OurRev. They stayed even after we left for the next city, both in person and online, talking in groups and starting something.
DC did the same, albeit in a completely different way. The small gathering at Capitol City Brewing Co. enabled each person to learn about the other’s projects, passions, and give voice to where the city has come from/what it’s become for good or bad over time. Each resident was surprisingly discovered to be somehow connected to us on the trip, and started forming those connections amongst themselves. It’s definitely a beginning that I think they’ll build on.
I don’t know what Greensboro and Savannah will bring, but through business cards, interviews, and follows the cities so far have chosen to believe in us. I’m excited to help make it happen.