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Friday, June 08, 2007

Applebee's America: A MUST Read

I bought Applebee's America: How Successful Political, Business, and Religious Leaders Connect with the New American Community last summer, after hearing about it from a few liberal blogs as a great new resource for organizers. It exceeded even my expectations. The book attacks many conventional wisdoms that are out there: that policy talks are more critical than community connections, that media buys win elections rather than grassroots organizing. Applebee's was written by infamous Bush strategies Matthew Dowd, Clinton strategist Douglas Sosnik, and journalist Ron Fournier.

Americans are becoming increasingly isolated, and are looking for community. Businesses, political organizations, community groups, and mega churches have figured this out. They do their homework - through demographic data, microtargeting, and long term planning. It is only after these things are accomplished do these institutions build themselves. The name of the game of staying afloat is appealing to niche markets and groups of people. Businesses like Delta have spun off branches such as Song, which appeals to a younger audience. Megachurches have small groups. Because these small groups and niche markets attract people of similar tastes - community is formed.

DECs are institutions which have to pay attention to these lessons. We're on the front lines of the Democratic Party, and its mostly up to us to form these critical community connections. For specifics, buy the book. Its required reading for the Marion DEC Steering Committee. All have found the book to be incredibly informative, eye-opening, and thought-provkoing.

Buy the book by clicking on the picture-link above. Some of the earnings will go to help Reforming Florida's DECs stay in business. Thanks to all our supporters!

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