I started going to Nebraska Democratic political functions when Mike Meister began his run for Attorney General in January of 2002. At the Patriot's Dinner I first met Audra Ostergard, another small, fiery woman who's been active in Democratic politics for a long time. You can't go to a state Democratic function without running into Audra. To tell you the truth, I don't know what official party position she holds (although if I had my way, she'd be the chairman and maybe we'd get something done!). Anyway, she always seems to be everywhere, doing everything, knowing everybody. And she has more energy, more enthusiasm, and more belief in the Democratic Party as a force for the good of this state than a lot of the current Democratic officeholders in the state put together.
Among the hundred or so other things she's doing, she's up to her ears now in an organization that calls itself the Democratic Divas. No, this isn't an "oh, aren't they cute" bunch of girls playing at politics. This is an informal but dead serious gathering of Democratic, liberal, feisty, uppity women who meet monthly, alternating in Omaha and Lincoln. I suspect that they will branch out to other cities as they grow. And you can betcher ass they will grow. Not just because of Audra, but because these are a bunch of women who are Mad As Hell and Aren't Going To Take It Any More.
Here's a souce of energy, organizational skill, and enthusiasm. It needs to be tapped. There are women here who have run for office, managed campaigns, raised funds, organized events -- in short, the kind of skill the party needs. There is excitement here. There is enthusiasm here. There are new ideas here. Over and over again, I hear from active party members that what the state party needs is "new blood and new ideas." Well, boys, here's a source for the new ideas. Don't invite them to an Issues Committee Meeting, though. See if you can get them to let you crash the next Democratic Divas gathering before an Issues Committee meeting. Listen. Take notes. Bring it back to the committee. Just being at the meeting will give you a new excitement that's been missing from party functions. Then put these Divas where a diva ought to be: center stage, impressing the pants off of everyone watching.