When the group of D.C. twenty-somethings talked about getting involved in this year's mayoral race, they didn't reach for their checkbooks, volunteer to stuff envelopes at party headquarters or engage in any of the traditional outlets for political energy.
Instead, the debate was over whether they should start a Web site or blog.
"The easiest thing was a Web site," said Jane Hamilton, 27. "It just seemed the natural thing to do."
The result is RunTonyRun.com, devoted to prodding the city's mayor, Anthony A. Williams (D), to run again. Williams has been coy about his decision for months.
Like almost every other facet of life, the Internet is changing politics, even on the local level, where blogs and community list servs are challenging the traditional system of precinct captains and telephone trees.
The political power of the online world was evident during Howard Dean's presidential campaign, said Wanda Lockridge, chairman of the D.C. Democratic State Committee.
But politics is still about people, she said.
"I don't think that you just eliminate grass-roots door-knocking," Lockridge said. "You need the personal touch."
No one with RunTonyRun disagreed.
"Let's hope we get a chance to knock on doors or hand out fliers," said Jess Fassler, 27, a Hill staffer who lives in Northeast. He said the Web was the only way -- or the only really cheap way -- for the group to reach a mass audience.
Right now, its members' objective is to get as many city residents as possible to persuade Williams to run again.
"We have a target audience of one," said Tracy Hammond, 29, another member of the group, who works for a lobbying company and lives in Adams Morgan.
The two dozen members of the group come from different parts of the city; some are teachers, federal workers or Capitol Hill staffers. What they have in common is youth, political savvy and a comfort level with technology.
It started, Hammond said, at a friend's barbecue over Memorial Day weekend.
"Mostly we felt the need to do something," said Hamilton, 27, who lives in Southwest and works for a public affairs company. "Our goal is that we want the mayor to run for reelection, and this is a way for folks to tell the mayor that we support him."
It worked before. Williams was the city's chief financial officer in 1998 when a group of citizens and veteran political activists formed a committee to draft him to run for mayor.
This group is different. Its members say none is involved in the Williams administration or past campaigns and none was involved in the earlier draft-Williams movement. It is unclear if anyone in the group has even met the mayor.
Hamilton said some of her friends are first-time home buyers who are invested in the city, which is continuing to prosper.
"This is not the time to gamble," she said. "Let's keep it going."
The group is not soliciting or accepting donations and will file a disclosure form with the city's campaign finance office, Fassler said.
Of course, there is no Williams campaign to contribute to, anyway. Williams said he will make a decision on whether to run next month.
Williams said he was surprised when he was told of the Web site.
"You mean it's actually a positive Web site?" he asked. He called it a compliment and said he would look at the site during tough days.
"When I need refreshment, it will be an oasis," he said.
Williams said that he will continue puzzling out his plans and that he knows there are lot of people who would like him to run again: "I am making my decision based on my knowledge that there is a core of support out there."