LaRoots - a Louisiana Grassroots Political Network

                     serving Democratic Priorities

Lawn Chair Rendezvous

Lawn Chair Rendezvous (B-Y-O-Lawnchair because our furniture is history!) November 15, 2005, as part of the DNC's 50-state strategy, Alan and Deborah Langhoff organized the Lawn Chair Rendezvous, with about 20 great democrats gathering that evening in a neighborhood with no electricity and a gutted house lighted by generator.

Recognized by Howard Dean and the DNC:

"Of the one thousand plus national organizing events held on November 15th, perhaps none was more inspirational than the one hosted by Alan and Deborah Langhoff on Canal Street in New Orleans. Because all of the furniture was lost to Hurricane Katrina, attendees used lawn chairs for seating as a generator provided power for the event.

"But is wasn't the lights hanging from wooden beams that illuminated the room that shined brightest that night - it was the awe-inspiring commitment of that group to democracy and Democratic principles that left a lasting impression on everyone at DNC Headquarters as we became aware of the "Lawn Chair Rendezvous" over the course of the day.  After we heard her story, we asked her to introduce Governor Dean on the 7:30 call.  He was so moved by their commitment that he couldn't help but share their story with participants on the final conference call of the evening and hasn't stopped talking about it since.

"One attendee from California, who just happened to be in Louisiana that evening on his way to Pensacola, was at the event and wrote the following on his blog:  

'I'm flying into New Orleans so I checked to see if there were any house parties happening in the city.  I was pleasantly surprised to see one being hosted on Canal Street.  This truly is accidental activism.  Little did I know that one of the organizers of this Democratic meeting on Canal Street here in New Orleans would be speaking on the DNC national telephone conference prior to Chairman Dean.   It's BYOL, Bring Your Own Lawnchair, because they don't have any furniture left...It's overwhelming listening to people's stories. An outsider cannot fully comprehend what is happening here.  It's not just losing your family, your friends, your homes, your possessions, your job.  It's losing an entire way of life.  Losing the place where your grandparents, your parents, you, and your children grew up.  I think many feel that they haven't just lost their houses, but that they are losing their home town.  Concern about the levees was strong at the DNC New Orleans Lawn Chair Rendezvous   Democrats from around the country can help by contacting your legislators and urging them to fully fund safe levees.' Thom K in CA

"Many of us do our best to organize and participate in the dirty work of democracy; from now on, whenever we grow tired or frustrated, hopefully we can think of Canal Street and walk that one extra block, write that one more letter, or make those last 10 phone calls on the list."