Diane Middleton


The DMF Conference: October 6, 2004

The Diane Middleton Foundation hosted a Conference "Elections, Organizing, and Change in The Belly of The Beast" on Wednesday, October 6, 2004 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

Our Annual Conference provided a terrific opportunity for current and future grantees and other political activists to network with each other and with members of the DMF Board (who make all funding decisions).

Our 2003 Conference (see "Funding Priorities in Times of Global Expansion and Repression") combined political education, a vision for America, and sharing how to apply these political concepts to our practical work. This article includes comments from folks who attended last year's Conference.

2004 Conference Speakers
It is a fair assumption that everyone attending the Conference will share a disgust for the policies of the Bush Administration. It is also quite likely that many of us have been disappointed by recent positions taken by the Kerry campaign. We need to examine all of these questions in their historical context and in the spirit of formulating an independent progressive position.

Our first speaker will again be Dave Arian, President of the International Longshore and Warehouseman's Union, Local 13 and DMF Board Member. We are counting on Dave to paint the big picture as to the current political climate, the significance of this election, and the historical context in which we should be analyzing all of these events.

We are really happy that Karen Bass will be our second featured speaker. Many of you know Bass as the founder of the Community Coalition for Substance Abuse. She is currently a candidate for the California State Assembly 47th District. Karen has a long experience in political and community organizing.

A third speaker is being finalized but we are hopeful that it will be someone who will discuss the significance of electoral politics for community, political and labor organizing of low income workers, immigrants, and the unemployed. (Webmaster's Note: Our speaker has now been announced: Javier Gonzalez, Southern California political coordinator for the SEIU, as noted on our revised Agenda).

Lunch will provide an opportunity for networking with Board Members about funding applications and specific projects.

Again in 2005
The 2004 Conference was a great opportunity for staff and members of many great organizations to participate in a terrific political event. We truly look forward to seeing you again in 2005!

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