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Lauren and Ellie Call Their Senator

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, September 15 2010

Judging from the tape, Lauren and Ellie are two college students in Colorado who, through a combination of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network website, Google, and giggling, organize a dorm campaign to convince Colorado's Democratic Senator Michael Bennet to back a repeal of the military's Don't Ask Don't Tell policy, in what seems to be real-life mini-case study of how online-offline organizing plays out.

"If you don't know who your senator is, just Google it," advise Lauren and Ellie. They follow their own guidance, and then pull up the script provide on SLDN.org ("vote with Sen. Reid and Sen. Carl Levin in opposing the filibuster") and ring the Capitol switchboard. After some initial difficulty in navigating the Senate voicemail system, the pair leave a message for Bennet, and then set about to "go ask the boys" in their dorm to also make some anti-DADT calls. In an encouraging sign for online organizers, they seem thrilled with the whole experience.

The production values at the end of the video posted to YouTube, where shots of the aforementioned boys filing up Bennet's Senate voicemail box with message are accompanied by music, make you wonder if this thing's been staged, but it otherwise carries an appealing earnestness. For their part, the Servicemembers Legal Defense Fund says that they don't know who "Lauren1407Ellie" are. Though I'm sure they're thrilled that they're using their organizing tools to fight Don't Ask Don't Tell, and having such a good time doing it.