|The Coffee Party USA|
The Coffee Party USA doesn’t align itself with any political party, but Palsgaard says he leans toward a liberal ideology. According to the organization’s website, the group doesn’t require any preexisting political beliefs.
“We’re sick of fear mongering. It’s just stupid and it detracts from the things that matter like education and the economy. How about we actually address these issues?”
The Atlanta chapter kicked off in March and has held meetings every few weeks since. The local group has more than 1,500 members listed on its Facebook page.
“We want people to talk. Every Tuesday — we call it Super Tuesday — we encourage people to call their state and national representatives. There has to be a two-way dialogue,” he says.
Palsgaard says that people who attend meetings are often frustrated by the system and the inaction on the local and national levels.
“People come in and just rant. We want to do more than make noise. We really want to educate people. We can always use more people, especially active people.”
Though not specifically an LGBT political group, Palsgaard says that there are gay and lesbian members of the organization and that all people are welcome, regardless of sexual orientation.
“I’m out,” he says. “LGBT people can participate and feel comfortable.”
Top photo: Jens Palsgaard of Atlanta, who is openly gay, hopes local residents will become more involved in the political process. (by Ryan Watkins)