Monday, December 24, 2007

I Want To Join The DL21C Steering Committee

Hello DL21C/Elizabeth.

I think at some high rise DL21C event at the swankiest venue of all DL21C events I ever been to you said I was already a member of DL21C. I sure have paid the money in many small sums. Long before that at the event after the Charlie Rangel event I think you suggested I join the DL21C Steering Committee. I might be mistaken, or the offer might no longer hold.

But if I am not a member, I would like to be a member. If I am a member, I would like to continue being a member. If the offer to join the Steering Committee still holds, I would like to take it. If it no longer holds, I would like to make a case for myself.

I have found you and the DL21C founder Dave Pollak to be mesmerizing personalities politically and personally from the very outset. I look at someone like you and end up wondering what you might do in the future. You hold promises. I grew up in a very sexist part of the world. It makes me very happy to see that a woman is the dynamo of the top political organization in the city.

This city is magic to me. It was custom made for me. That is how I feel. Before this city, I did not have a hometown, I never had a sense of belonging. I don't think you have any idea what this city means to me.

And I am a very political person. It is in my blood, it is my brain.

At first, it did not occur to me to join. I did not think I would go to as many events to offset the membership fee. But I have gone to more. And also, the first two years of my NYC life were a zombie existence of intense online work for Nepal: days, nights, weekends. I just did not have the space, the bandwidth. When that was no longer the case, I was too busy trying to steer my very young startup. And also, I think I was just happy consuming the DL21C end product: its events. I remember thinking, do I just want to come to the DL21C events, or do I also want to get into the logistics of event planning? I remember thinking rather strongly I have no interest in the logistics of event planning. I want to make it clear from the outset I still don't have much if any interest in the logistics of event planning.

My primary interest would be to help take DL21C into a Web 2.0 environment. DL21C right now is like this wonderful, wonderful house. But it lacks electricity. I want to add electricity to it.

I don't know a whole lot about the history of DL21C but the name sounds awfully like DLC, the organization that Bill Clinton rode all the way to the presidency. But I believe DL21C is one better. DLC was/is primarily a think tank. But DL21C has the template of a think tank and much more. It has this huge social and political capital of amazingly talented large group of members. It features the top political guests in the city. You have no idea how I have cashed just Dave Pollak's name in the Nepali circles a few times to my advantage. I think even he might be amused to know.

So that would be my primary thrust, the electricity of Web 2.0.

(1) DL21C needs a new website. Something that feels 2008 and not 1993.
(2) DL21C needs to videoblog all its major events and get itself a national audience.
(3) DL21C needs to become an organization where 2.0 and 5.0 are seamless. 2.0 as in Web 2.0, and 5.0 is face time.

I don't want you to feel like I am trying to turn DL21C into some kind of a dot com company. That is not the idea at all. The action later as now will still be in 5.0. Face time is still where all the action is.

DL21C has the template of a think tank, and it offers a very casual setting for young professionals and whoever to drop by and get engaged in some cutting edge political action. It is an organization that makes political work seem like one big party. That is no small achievement. And it provides the top venue for the top politicians in the city and the country to show up to speak. Before I started attending DL21C events, US Senators were abstract concepts to me.

The 2.0 idea would be to build a great, robust template of an organization locally, and then, thanks to 2.0, have it replicated all over the country.

Other than 2.0, my interest is in policy. I keep thinking in terms of an online think tank.

But DL21C is not my very young company where I can just go ahead and decide. It is a democratic organization. And changes have to be made by following the democratic process. I understand that. You don't demand change from the outside as a precondition for getting in.

You might wonder why it took me so long to get to this point. Two intense years spent online took its toll: atrophied social muscles. I'd participate in little social action, and even most of that little social action would feel like a movie. But I am beginning to feel bursts of social energy here and there. I am working to reclaim my once hyperkinetic 5.0 self. And suddenly DL21C makes so much more sense as something to be part of. I hope you will understand.

I am not gunning for a political career, I don't think so. For me it is my company. But I am very political. Quite a lot of my socializing in the city has been political.

I'd be honored to sit on the DL21C Steering Committee. If I have to make a case, here goes.

I might be the only person in this city who is a contender for the Nobel Peace Prize. If Condi creates Palestine next year, she will deserve it more. Other than that, I intend to make a case for me. This is to do with the work into the democracy movement in Nepal. Nepal's April Revolution of 2006 is the template to spread democracy into all the other nondemocratic countries in the world. My claim is I have invented nonviolent militancy.

Also, Barack takes advice from me once in a while. It feels to me like we were in telepathic sync. And this has been the case of what you know, not who you know. The connection was made the Web 2.0 way.

I am very invested in my young startup. So I don't think I could end up giving too much time to DL21C, but I am sure I will have a say in how much time I end up giving and what exactly my role will be.

I look forward to building a great local template, and then having it replicated all over this country. I think DL21C deserves to see that kind of growth. And I look forward to your continued great leadership of this organization. I think you are simply put amazing.

And also, to make my case, I would like to add I know Indiana like the back of my hand.

I hope I am on the same page as you with this request. And I hope you will bring me into this wonderful organization.

I look forward to a confirmation email.

Paramendra Bhagat

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