Political fundraisers are usually swanky affairs with $500 a plate dinners and celebrity headliners. But the party and fundraiser being held on August 21st by Colin Beavan, Green Party candidate in Brooklyn’s 8th congressional district is cut from another cloth entirely. Colin Beavan is better known as the author of the book and star of the documentary film No Impact Man.
With a $25 entrance fee (which includes a free beer and a raffle ticket) the Brooklyn Brewery party and fundraiser is attracting an entirely different crowd. “Mainstream politicians’ major concern is wooing donors and are so removed from their constituents that they are not relevant to their lives. The whole point of my campaign is to re-open the political conversation in the community and get people involved in the political process again,” states Beavan.
And that really seems to be taking place. Week by week a growing number of Beavan’s posters can be seen in merchants’ windows along Fulton Street. And young people are showing up at weekly volunteer meetings nudging in between middle-aged Greens and bringing fresh ideas to the campaign.
In an underdog race with limited resources, momentum and community involvement are the ingredients needed to make a successful campaign. And Beavan’s race for Congress in the 8th is building in those areas as the summer churns on. “Success in this situation is re-engaging a population that long ago realized that mainstream politicians have no connection to their daily lives,” states Mr. Beavan. 50% of the eligible voters in the 8th congressional district are not even registered to vote.
In speaking to people and merchants along Fulton Street there seems to be a sense of indignation at the tone of the primary campaign where Charles Baron was vilified and 47% of Jeffries’ campaign donations came from out of State. Beavan, by contrast, is only accepting contributions up to $500 to make sure that his focus stays on his potential constituents and not on donors.
The August 21st fundraiser at the Brooklyn Brewery (79 N. 11th St., Williamsburg) will bring together supporters from all over New York City: Greens excited about a candidate with a national reputation; young people working on their first political campaign; curious people who want a good cheap brew. But through it all a sense of the possibility of change that this campaign is beginning to symbolize. And with only a $25 entrance fee, it is accessible to just about everybody.
The fundraising event takes place Tuesday, Aug 21, from 8 – 11pm, at Brooklyn Brewery, 79 N. 11th St., Williamsburg. There will be live music.