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February 19, 2008

The Brushfire Approach

Today’s Downsizer-Dispatch . . .

Quote of the day: “It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds.” – Samuel Adams

Subject: The Brushfire Approach

Today, we want to encourage you to start a brushfire.

Hardly a day goes by when someone doesn’t send me a message that includes two points — both of which feel emotionally contradictory to me:

1) Congratulate us for the fine work we do at, and then
2) Say it all seems so hopeless.

I don’t agree that things are hopeless.

Perhaps that’s because I can clearly see the need for and potential of My optimism is grounded in the recognition that political campaigns are not the best path to success.

When you elect someone, you need a majority of voters (or, in some cases, the largest plurality).

And electing one person won’t do, you need a majority of both houses of Congress.

And once you send these fine folks to Washington, with the trappings of power and the joys of saying yes to so many interest groups, you’ll need to keep an eye on them.


If you believe that we need to elect people, elect a majority, and then watch them like a hawk to change the direction of our federal government, well, I can see why you might feel hopeless. is about watching Congress. Even though Congress doesn’t share our Downsize DC philosophy, we’re already won several victories. As we continue to grow, there will be more victories.

And that’s hopeful.

But our vision is even larger than that! We call it Operation Everywhere. And Operation Everywhere will change the world.

Operation Everywhere is easy to understand: everyone, everywhere, hearing and seeing our message, every day. And with the constant repetition of that message, we’ll set brushfires in the minds of the people.

  • Through our compelling marketing, we’ll create a spark.
  • Through our constant advertising, we’ll ignite the flame.

And we won’t need a majority to prevail! We’ll do it as a tireless minority, large enough to call the Downsize DC Army.

And we won’t need to wait for the caffeinated thrill of the next electoral horse race to make our move.

We’ll have even greater success if we can just keep meeting and exceeding our modest budget. 

Monthly pledges are the key to our success. Pledges help us to cover our budget. They give us organizational stability. They provide the flexibility to plan ahead.

Pledging is easy. We have dozens of pledgers giving us $3 per month, scores of pledgers supporting us with $10 or $15 per month. We even have pledgers giving us $148, $152, and even $235 — PER MONTH!

Would you consider making or increasing your monthly pledge?

When you donate or pledge, we will send you a copy of The Downsize DC Vision. This glossy, 16 page report explains, in succinct but sufficient detail, our plan for Downsizing DC.

But I need to make a special plea for one-time donations as well. Our monthly budget of $15,000 is very modest. We’ve made budget two months in a row, and we’re eager to make that three months in a row. To reach our prudent goal this month, we need to raise only $3,788.

We’ve had lots of donors to appreciate this month, but the amounts per donation have been modest — most in $10, $15, or $20 amounts. Many tell us it’s all they can afford. And we’re grateful for their sacrifice.

But to be honest, there isn’t a month in recent memory where we’ve made budget when we haven’t had at least one $2,000 or $1,000 donor PLUS at least one donor who has given $500 or at least two who have given $250 or more. So in order to achieve our goal, I’m almost certain we’ll need someone who will step up with $1,000 or more right now, and at least one person who will donate $500 or two people who will contribute $250 or more.

Are you that person?

On top of that, we’re still counting on those who can give $15, $35, $50, and $100 amounts as well.

So please, pledge or make a one-time contribution now.

Thank you for being a DC Downsizer,

Jim Babka
President, Inc.



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