“My friends, we need to have a party tonight.
Whether you realize it or not, you did something big and important when you added your email to this list, or came to see us for the first time. That was the first step in your decision to learn more, to reach out to other people, to challenge the conventional wisdom we all swim in that says politics isn’t real life.
We’re asked, fairly often, what good a group like DL can do when it’s “just” social. We’re not party-affiliated. We’re prohibited from endorsing or disavowing candidates and ballot initiatives. Wouldn’t we be so much more effective, the argument goes, if we just did more?
One flaw in that logic is the presumption that all of us who care about our country and its direction are in a common place in our political journeys, and in our awareness. That’s just not true: most of our members say they weren’t all that interested in politics before they got involved with DL, and now they can’t wait to find out more.
Another flaw is that by being ‘social,’ we’re devaluing direct action. That, too, isn’t correct: by bringing together members of disparate groups, people are able to make even more connections and have even more opportunities to volunteer, canvass, support, raise awareness.
But the biggest flaw of all is that the group doesn’t do anything. On the contrary, the group does what may be the most important thing of all: it allows ordinary people like us to integrate political awareness into the fabric of our lives. It gets us used to talking and thinking about these issues. It normalizes politics without asking us to drink anybody’s Kool-Aid (just beer!). And it does that to such an extent that people who had no political awareness at all a year ago are now convincing their co-workers to change their votes. You’re phone-banking. You’re registering people to vote. You’re volunteering. You’re running for office, or considering a run. You’re not being silent any more.
So thank you, all of you, for taking that first step. Election day didn’t get all of us everything we wanted, but we did get change. Congratulations. It can be said that our country started in a bar, and we’ll take it back from a bar.”
–Amie, from the Nashville chapter
An informal, inclusive Democratic drinking club. Raise your spirits while you raise your glass, and share ideas while you share a pitcher. Drinking Liberally gives like-minded, left-leaning individuals a place to talk politics. You don’t need to be a policy expert and this isn’t a book club – just come and learn from peers, trade jokes, vent frustration and hang out in an environment where it’s not taboo to talk politics.
Bars are democratic spaces – you talk to strangers, you share booths, you feel the bond of common ground. Salt Lake’s chapter of Drinking Liberally is a source of catharsis for many, and a fun way to meet like-minded individuals for others. Whatever your agenda, come on out and be a part of the newest, most casual way to meet the liberal minority of Salt Lake City. You don’t even have to drink alcohol, soft drinks and water are available and you won’t even be shunned.
While many people contribute much to the group’s ideas and progress, there are three main organizers for the Salt Lake City chapter.
Heather Culligan contributes to meeting orderly-ness (and sometimes disorderly-ness).
Jeremiah Roth maintains this website and calendar, as well as sends out most of the weekly e-mails.
Laura Arellano joined us as a host recently and has taken on the task of finding speakers for us each month.
For the first year or so, Jess Brown was also a host. Jess did almost everything at the time, but then she got the itch to continue wandering.
All can be reached at saltlakecity [at] drinkingliberally.org
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