It's been a year since the "Tea Party" stepped into the spotlight. Now, there's a "Coffee Party" - which bills itself as an alternative.
Leaders of the movement say it wants to expand the influence of people in government. On its website, the group describes its mission (in part): We demand a government that responds to the needs of the majority of its citizens as expressed by our votes and by our voices; NOT corporate interests as expressed by misleading advertisements and campaign contributions.
Reading the website, it's hard to get a sense of exactly what the group advocates. A local member tells me that community meetings on March 13th are meant to discuss and help define policy platforms. Groups are asked to meet in coffee houses across the country as part of the Coffee Party's National Kick Off.
An organizer of the meeting in Bethalto, IL expects the main topics to include healthcare reform, preserving the middle class, and creating jobs. Mike Davis volunteered for the Obama campaign in 2008 and says he's frustrated by the lack of cooperation he sees Washington D.C. and lack of progress on initiatives like healthcare reform.
Locally, there are two meetings planned: org2.democracyinaction.org/o/6500/p/salsa/event/common/public/search.sjs
The Coffee Party is on Facebook: www.facebook.com/coffeeparty
St. Louis Coffee Party is on Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Join-the-Coffee-Party-Movement-in-St-Louis/331116988171
The Coffee Party USA website: coffeepartyusa.com/
The group's name is clearly a play on the Tea Party. Mike Davis says he was put off by the group's signs and messages. Though, he acknowledges there may be some common ground. Organizers in both groups have told me they want more accountability among elected officials and both are unhappy with the status quo.
Recently, the St. Louis Tea Party marked its one year anniversary.
I wrote about it on a previous blog: www.kmov.com/community/blogs/reporters-blog/Tea-Party-Movement-in-St-Louis-Plans-1-Year-Anniversary-Celebration-85569817.html
Diana Zoga is a general assignment reporter at News4. Email her at email@example.com
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