The funniest part of today is that people LOVED Pennies For Democracy. More than I realized. Five minutes into setting up for our little video shoot, Ryan and I were furiously drawing signs and organizing pennies on the sidewalk. A couple walked by and put some pennies in our jar.
“Isn’t that what you want?” she smiled.
Um, yeah! That’s great!
Where y’all from?
What made you decide to donate?
I agree with the cause. People need to have a voice in government.
Wait, do you want to be in our video?
No, that’s okay. They walked off.
Not long after, another person spontaneously donated. And another. Catching on, we began handing out flyers and asking people to donate.
The Supreme Court police then came over and asked us not to solicit donations.
The irony: The Supreme Court decided that mega corporations can donate as many millions of dollars as they like to threaten, bribe or buy off as many public servants as they like. But we can’t collect pennies to restore democracy.
Biggest regret: We should have started earlier, made it bigger, and asked for more help. I wish we’d had a camera person just to get the reactions of the many tourists and families from all over America who stopped to talk to us, support the cause and donate. Our video will be fine, but it won’t even begin to capture the hundreds of people who stopped by or commented. We got tons of supportive comments and no negative ones. People got it immediately. We had to ask more than a dozen people NOT to donate so we didn’t get in trouble with the Supreme Court police.
A good problem to have!
We are considering whether to do it again bigger for the 6 month anniversary of Citizens United on July 21. And whether it will be ready to spread around the country in the coming weeks.
First try, we raised over $200. We’re waiting until we get to $1000 or so before we start giving it out.
Huge thank yous to Ryan and Julia who helped out and brought their friends, Tanene who donated the camera, and Josh who made the logos. Go team!