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March 22, 2006

Nothing but good news!

Today’s Downsizer-Dispatch . . .

In the 80s there was a song with the lyric, “The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades.” Given our recent results at Downsize DC I understand and appreciate that line more than ever.

For those of you reading our blog at www.DownsizeDC.org/blog, you see the constant progress. You can tell we’re excited. You understand.

If you’re ever tempted to be depressed . . . if you wonder whether we’ll achieve the goals we’re seeking… if you find yourself doubting we’ll ever Downsize DC, then visit our blog. It’s like a quick dose of serotonin.

We had four goals for March . . .

1. Raise $14,000 in online contributions. We’ve raised $10,401 as of this morning.

2. Set a new record for media interviews in a single month. The previous record was 9. So far I’ve done 12 in March.

3. Send more messages to Congress than in any previous month. The record is 41,031 from June, 2004. This month we’ve already achieved our second best mark with 28,020, with 10 days still to go.

4. Set a record for recruiting new DC Downsizers. Last June we registered 2,824. In July we registered 1,318. We had super-hot issues to work with in those months, and other organizations helping us, so it was a special situation. But right now, with nothing special going for us, we’re already having our third best registration month, with 766 new DC Downsizers recruited thus far, and a third of the month still remaining.

But the good news doesn’t stop there! We also have a record number of Downsizer-Dispatch subscribers… 21,543.

On Alexa, an online ranking service, we had a record-level traffic day this month, reaching number 21,963 on the entire World Wide Web. We’ve had nearly 2 million hits on our site so far in March!

Our approach at DownsizeDC.org is “relentless incrementalism.” We want to finish each day bigger and stronger than the day before, even if only by a little. Constant forward movement guarantees ultimate success.

Some folks are looking for a magic bullet. Not us. We just show up to work everyday confident that moving one step forward brings us closer to the finish line. But we do believe in serendipity — unexpected breakthroughs that come at the intersection of preparation and opportunity. We also believe in the power of size. Critical mass. The point at which everything “takes off.” All other things being equal, “God is on the side of the bigger battalions.”

When our battalions are big enough, when our army is huge, when we’re leading a massive parade, there will be politicians who want to lead it, by downsizing DC, lest they be run-over.

And our ever-growing size is already paying off . . .

1) Our relentless promotion of the “Read the Bills Act” (RTBA) has already caused two members of the U.S. House to submit “Sunshine” rules. Unlike RTBA, which would be a law, these new proposals are only rules. And they would only apply to the House, whereas RTBA would govern both the House and the Senate. Plus, rules can be waved, while laws like RTBA cannot. And RTBA requires seven days of “sunshine,” whereas these ploys only require 72 hours.

Have our more-than 32,000 messages to Congress, our interviews, our blog posts, our radio spots, and our visits to Capitol Hill made a difference? You bet. And here’s the evidence . . .

One of these “sunshine” proposals comes from Ron Paul, who had previously signed a letter back in December saying he’d sponsor our “Read the Bills Act.” The other proposal comes from a Democratic Congressman who is being backed by an organization called “Read the Bill Citizen Action.” (Yes, it’s read the bill, not bills. I can’t wait to find out which bill they want Congress to read.)

We’ve been asked to join a coalition to support the Democrat’s proposal. I haven’t had time to return the call. I will, sooner or later, but the proposal is anemic and I’ve had REAL things to do. But we’ll endorse it, because it’s a teeny-tiny microscopic baby-step in the right direction.

2) Another organization is using the Downsize meme every chance they get. I’m talking about one of the largest think tanks in the country.

We’re becoming an Idea Factory!

And we’ve only just begun. We’ll be back tomorrow, and every day thereafter, bigger than we were the day before, and ever-closer to our goal of being so big that we seem to be everywhere.

Yes, the future is bright. And it’s about to become brighter still. Very soon we’ll be rolling out our next piece of Downsize DC legislation, as a follow-on to RTBA, as well as our MeetUp Groups for the Invasion of Capitol Hill and the “No Legislation Without Representation Conference.”

So let me ask you.. Do you like the hope we provide? Would you like our increments of progress to be larger?

Then please consider making a donation or starting a monthly pledge. We still need about $3,600 to get through the month. But we want to do more, faster.

Our record-breaking month happened right after we hired a part-time programmer. Since Thanksgiving, we’ve added three more part-time staffers (combined they equal one full-time person). Those moves are helping gain even more momentum and you’ve made it possible.

Let’s keep it going. To make a contribution or start a monthly pledge, click here.

Thank you to Melanie Rogers, H J Bergami, Dale Petschke, and Nathaniel R. Orders, for their recent contributions.

And thank you to you for being a DC Downsizer.

Jim Babka
President
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

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