Rally To Restore Sanity - Everything's Bigger in Texas

by Shannon Aronin on October 29th, 2010

I can't believe it's been 6 hectic week since Jon Stewart made his epic announcement about the Rally To Restore Sanity in DC. What a ride it has been! Our tag line has been Everything's Bigger in Texas, But We're Willing to Take it Down a Notch. Considering how big this thing has gotten, I'm not sure we achieved taking it down a notch. Forgive us, we're just so darn excited about people being nice!

On the eve of our rally here in Austin, we (Team Sanity) have worked day and night to bring this all together. I love my fellow volunteers for pouring their hearts and souls into this, and have to give major props to our team captains, Shelley Culbertson and Toula Skiadas. I have met the most amazing people through this process, and although a few of us knew each other from one group or another, most of us were people who heard the announcement on Comedy Central and wanted badly to be a part of this.

We will have a jumbotron to link us to the main rally in DC. We have had over 6,000 people on Facebook say they are attending. We've partnered with Rock the Vote, and their administrative support has been enormously helpful. We will have a bunch of vendors directly across the street from the South steps of the Texas state capitol, including our own booth to sell commemorative Austin Rally tee shirts. Other vendors include The Kubik House (kolaches), Karma Tacos & Fired Up Kitchen (pizza) to feed the crowd.

Local speakers include Hon. Lloyd Doggett, Mary Gordon Spence, Mayor Lee Leffingwell, Mayor Pro Tem Mike Martinez, & candidates for the TX state senate Kirk Watson (D) & Mary Lou Serafine (R). The event will be emceed by the funny and quirky Alamo Drafthouse Chief Creative Officer Henri Mazza. Musical entertainment will be provided by DJ Digg, DJ Hobo D, Natomi Austin, The Belleville Outfit, The Longhorn Singers Alumni, Dave Madden, and Sticks & Stones.

We will also have some fun surprise activities for guests to participate in, some nonprofits to check out, security and first aid.

We've promoted our behinds off, and have so far already received tons of media coverage, including The Dallas Morning News, KXAN, The Statesman's Austin 360, AV Club Austin, Politico, The Quorum Report, The Texas Tribune & News 8 Austin.

Some of the other rallies around the country (see if there's one near you here: www.rallymao.com) have gotten more 'likes' than us, but we appear to have the most actual RSVPs. We believe we will be the biggest satellite rally in the country! That is super exciting. We send our best wishes to the other satellite rallies across the globe, and especially our friends in LA, St. Louis, Chicago, Honolulu, and Seattle.

Since they didn't have much time for us as they were planning their own rally which clearly exceeded expectations (their initial DC Mall park permit was for 25,000 people), maybe The Daily Show will show us a little love post rally. Hint: Jon, Shelley & Toula would make great guests if you wanted to fly them up to NY for an interview! We hope that your DC rally is almost as successful as our Austin event ;-)

I am so proud of all that we've accomplished. We've had some stressful moments along the way, but we've all kept our cool as speakers and entertainers and emcees have been on again/off again. When you show up tomorrow, you will see what happens when a bunch of people say "we can totally do this," thinking of a couple hundred people in a bar, it goes viral, and the next thing you know we're forming an organization, talking to lawyers, buying insurance, designing and re-designing logos, working with multiple groups and people to secure the capitol as our venue... our task list has been seemingly endless. Until now. Now we basically have to go to sleep, get there early and put on a great show. I hope you'll join us, and I hope you're as excited as I am about Sanity Day! But remember to bring your inside voices, and check the spelling on your signs please!


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