Chris Bowers of Open Left and McJoan of Daily Kos have asked us here at Jack and Jill Politics to spread the word about the Kos Foundation’s Take Flight Microgrants. Yes, we know you are broke as hell. You’ve got dreams, visions, plans that might be melting down due to the economy But we all know what happens to a dream deferred. Here’s the info they sent me plus our unique JJP spin…

Take Flight Microgrants is a new c3 organization that seeks to provide the seed funding, connections and oversight that will allow emerging progressive, grassroots organizations and campaigns to get off the ground.

Translation = we gots some chedda fo ya baby if you gots the idea.

The proposals for the organizations and campaigns will come entirely from the audience and / or membership of large progressive organizations and blogs such as Jack and Jill Politics.

Translation = paging some of the brightest, most passionate minds online. Yeah, I’m talkin bout you.

A selection committee made up of members of large, progressive grassroots organizations, such as yours, will determine which ideas receive support. The more grant proposals we receive, the better. The wider range of sources we receive the proposals from, the better. The wider range of viewpoints we have determining the recipients, the better. There a lot of great ideas bubbling up from our readers and our members, and we want to offer these ideas a chance to “take flight.”

Translation = JJP is honored to be participating in the selection process. We’re going to be on special lookout lockdown for JJP-inspired submissions and ideas. Let them know we sent you! You’ve got til March 31st to submit a proposal. If you’re not planning to submit but want to help, we would definitely appreciate your tax-deductible contribution to this effort to build new infrastructure & opportunities to change America for the better, one lil bit at a time. Obama has shown the way: there’s never been a better time to be a black political entrepreneur.

Here’s what Markos AKA kos of DailyKos has to say:

I’ve been at this gig for seven years, and one of the most frustrating things I’ve seen is the amount of talent available to the progressive commnunity, yet ignored because it happens to live outside of the established power centers (DC, LA, NYC), or doesn’t hang out in the same circles as the big donors. Sometimes these outside efforts are even met with hostility.

Some people have managed to persevere, like most of the top bloggers, the folks at ActBlue, Drinking Liberally, and so on. But there are far more more talented folks out there with great ideas and passion for building a broad-based, grassroots-centric progressive movement that toil in anonymity, or give up because of lack of assistance and acknowledgment. It’s imperative that we harness that energy and continue infusing our movement with new talent, new ideas, new technologies, new strategies, and new tactics. We cannot become as closed and insular as movements before ours.

A few years ago, I started a “fellowship” program for a handful of editors. I wasn’t in position to take on employees, but via those self-funded grants, I was able to ensure that their efforts were focused on the progressive movement. In fact, all site subscription revenue has gone to that purpose the last couple of years. Now that this site can afford to hire people, I want to use the fellowship to help people outside the Daily Kos editor corps. I did so a few years ago helping fund Gina Cooper’s efforts with YearlyKos, and I’m still blown away at what those efforts helped create (our modern-day Netroots Nation). I want more of that. WAY more of that. And to make that happen I’ve turned to Joan McCarter (mcjoan), one of the site’s first fellows, to craft a program that will identify our hidden talent and:

[bring them] together for a facilitated and intensive training, networking, and idea-building retreat. Each fellow will receive a living-wage monthly stipend until their term ends or once they have created a self-sustaining organization of their own that can provide a livable wage if this event occurs before the fellowship term ends.

We’ll keep you posted on developments. Got questions or ideas you want to bounce off us? Put em in the comments and we’ll make sure you get answers.

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