NATIONAL LIBERAL DRINKING CLUB OPENS ATHENS CHAPTER
September 5, 2008- Athens, GA – Could political change really be brewing up at the bar on your corner?
“Drinking Liberally” clubs are pouring across the country; creating welcoming social spaces around progressive politics and bringing together activists, newcomers and everyone in between. With a brand new chapter in Athens, Georgia, the club brings the energy of online social networks into the face-to-face world of old-style 19th century bar-room politicking.
“What better way to share your ideas than by sharing a pitcher?” asked Justin Krebs, one of the club's national founders and directors. “Politics shouldn't be reserved for rooms with fluorescent lighting – we need it in our everyday lives.” Inebriation isn't the end goal; engagement is. Organizers see these gatherings as an easy first step toward greater political involvement as Liberal Drinkers learn from each other, trade talking points and form bonds that become political fuel during this important election season. "A few months back I stumbled across the Drinking Liberally website, and I thought the local club concept was a great idea. I was surprised to see there was no Athens chapter, so I thought, why not start one?” explains Patrick Moore, co-founder of Drinking Liberally Athens. “My friends enjoy meeting at the bar and talking about politics anyway, and this could lead to real political networking and even opportunities for action.”
Drinking Liberally is building those bonds in many places where liberals really need a drink. “Too many people write off ‘red states,’ but our leaders in small towns, the South and traditionally conservative areas are some of our most active. They have to be,” explains National Organizer Katrina Baker. From one chapter formed in May of 2003 to 280 chapters by mid 2008, Drinking Liberally has given like-minded, left-leaners a much needed oasis...at the local watering hole, of course.
“Many progressives have found an online forum, but they are hungry – or thirsty – for a real community, for face-to-face interaction, local compatriots...and new friends. This gives them a safe step away from their computer,” says David Alpert, the national group's webmaster. Tom Bavis, co-founder of the new Athens chapter, agrees, “Despite Athens’ reputation for being a liberal town, the old cliché that you should never talk about politics in public is generally respected, so this group provides a unique avenue and a 'safe space' to discuss politics."
Drinking Liberally Athens meets the first and third Friday of every month at 6:30 pm at Little Kings Shuffle Club, 223 W. Hancock St., in downtown Athens. The next meeting is Friday, September 5th. If you’d like more information on Drinking Liberally Athens, visit www.DrinkingLiberally.org or e-mail email@example.com.
Hope to see you there!