Important Message about Nashville Community Organizers, TNDP and OFA

May 12, 2010 at 10:09 AM

What an it interesting twist of fate.

So the Queen steps without naming an heir, and takes they whole
“community” with her.

What an brilliant demonstration of leadership gone bad. So that’s two.

It was my understanding that the core concept of #OFA was that
community organizers rely on grass roots and heart of the community.

The turf wars at TNDP and NCO served only one purpose, the political
agenda was more like a pulpit for shameless self-promotion. As a
result Tennessee has continues to move further way from the core
principles of progressive voters across the state.

Personal agendas took priority over policy initiatives and we are
certainly no closer to being anywhere near the place we need to be.
I no longer affiliate with the TN Democratic party despite my long
standing record of being an active member of many local, national and
International organizations promoting human rights and justice for

As a result I no longer volunteer or align myself with any “political” party.

I watched from afar as the TNDP and NCO claimed OWNERSHIP of other
community agencies. Including Nashville for All of Us.

To alienate so many so quickly, it tells me that my instincts were
right on target.

I received multiple emails and action alerts all claiming to Speak for of OFA.

Upon further inspection, it became clear that this was one individual
was pushing a personal agenda. To be an effective community organizer
on must keep the emphasis on “community” rather than “leadership”

I think is certainly a step in the right direction. Maybe there still
is a Nashville for All of Us.

Truly disgraceful demonstration of poor leadership, dedication and character.

Elyssa Durant
Nashville, TN

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Meetup
Date: Wed, 12 May 2010 07:11:28 -0400
Subject: Important Message about Nashville Community Organizers

Members of Nashville Community Organizers,

Your Organizer, Kathy, just stepped down without nominating a replacement.

Without an Organizer, Nashville Community Organizers will shut down on
May 27, 2010.

Step up to become this Meetup Group’s Organizer and you can guide its
future direction, schedule Meetups, change its site’s colors —
you can make it whatever you and your members want!

Other members can help you. Ask them for ideas or even nominate a few
to help as Assistant Organizers.

Want to learn more about what Organizing a Meetup Group is like? Check
out Meetup’s Organizer Center:


got questions? we’re here to help! Call us at 1-877-633-8870
#supporthours() or send us an email at

Viva la community!
The Team at Meetup HQ


An Open Letter to the TNDP


June 24, 2009

Dear Mr Forrester:

I have a HUGE problem with the “Chip in for Chip Campaign” I feel this is a grievous misrepresentation of the TNDP and the incestuous affiliation it appears to have with the NCO.

What an awful way to start you tenure and try to gain support from local, vocal advocates and activists like myself.

Unfortunately, duty calls, and I don’t have the time to fully express just how disturbed I was by how betrayed I feel by the TNDP that caused me to question the ethics of my own party. a breach of ethics within the Democratic party.

But rest assured I will return to this topic with further details, and a copy of a letter I received from one of of your staff members the day after we discussed the possibility of summoning volunteers from the health care lobby to get your new office up and running.

Although you did invite me both verbally and through e-mail, I was told by one of your staffers that I was not welcome since I “Chip doesn’t even know you, AND because I did not even volunteer at the Obama Headquarters.”

Sorry– I was hitting the streets with Health Care for America Now [HCAN] and manning the phones for Cover the Uninsured.

This campaign was misrepresented to me as a non-profit supporting the community through and by local activists and advocates right here in Nashville.

The website revisions validate that transformation from as the NCO slowly morphed into the TNDP.

This kind of and followed up with one of the most disgusting displays of all the things ugly we hate about politics.

NCO is NOT act blue. As a former lobbyist, I am deeply offended by the ethics and misrepresentation of the TNDP. Especially after being told I am not a welcome volunteer at YOUR office.

Bad business, Chip.

It is unfortunate that you have surrounded yourself with people who are working against you to further their own political agenda hoping they may someday replace you.

It was interesting to watch how quickly the dispersed when the “Chips were down.”

As a life-long democrat who missed only one election since I turned 18, I truly hope your staff (especially the “NCO” can recognize how seriously they are jeopardizing and alienating members of the Democratic party.

Unfortunately, I can’t donate money, but I would have more than happy to volunteer time. Therefore, I am formally requesting a refund of the $5.44 I donated online.

I shared the letter with a friend in the Republican Party because it was so offensive and shocking. I think you deserve a copy as well. I will try to get that o you in the near future.

Please note, it is not personal against you, but In the meantime, I would like to formally request a refund of $5.44. You can make it payable to charity of MY choice, however since I am unemployed and on disability, I wouldn’t object if you made the check out to “cash.”

Sincerely yours,

Elyssa Durant, Ed.M.
Nashville, Tennessee

Because THIS is how the Tennessee Democratic Party treats volunteers in “The Volunteer State”

So, no. Don’t ask me to “chip in for Chip Forrester” or donate money to any of the people associated with this organization.

To quote Kathy, “it’s just not happening.” ELyssa Durant, Ed.M.
TN05, House 52

> > ——Original Message——
> From:
> To:
> Subject: TNDP
> Sent: Feb 8, 2009 7:27 AM
> > Hey Elyssa,
> > Just wanted to let you know that the TNDP Transition Team already has formed, met, and is working. I know you’re interested in being on it, but it’s just not happening this time. You’re not on it. Chip doesn’t know you, hasn’t worked with you, and hasn’t even met you, Elyssa. You’ve got a good heart with great intentions, but you’re just being too aggressive right now and it’s having an opposite effect than what you want. No one knows you here -you weren’t on the Obama staff or volunteer staff here, or even a volunteer at HQ, and haven’t done anything with NCO. Give it time.
> > I know you’ll appreciate the direct approach. No worries!
> > Kathy
> > >


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