Archive for June, 2011

Respect, Empower, Include, Win.

Posted in Politics, Uncategorized with tags , , , on June 27, 2011 by blondenews

Respect, Empower, Include, Win. That’s the mantra for the Organizing for America / Obama Campaign 2012, and I like it. What I also like is meeting with bright, motivated people from my neighborhood who agree that Barack Obama’s re-election is the only choice on 11/6/2012. That’s why I recently hosted an O.F.A. Grassroots Planning Session at my house with about 20 like-minded volunteers.  Is June 2011  too early to be talking about the November 2012 election? No, it’s just the right time. There’s so much to be done – understanding the issues, finding additional volunteers, getting new voters registered. We discussed all of that, as well as what we can do in our local community.

We were a diverse group–Rodrigo who’s still in college, to Charlotte, who worked on the  Adlai Stevenson Campaign. Although our Community Organizer Priscilla and Team Leader Max are centered in West LA, our group spanned many parts of the city, from Hollywood to Ladera Heights, Downtown LA to Brentwood. But we came with a singular focus – a second term for the President who has brought us the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act, who has negated Don’t Ask, Don’ Tell, who has finally delivered healthcare for all Americans. And we expect even more from him in his second term.

Some were motivated to come because we wanted to pay back, like Adam, whose parents’ organic food distribution company benefited from the small business tax cuts. Some, like Jean, who has lived under many more administrations than most of the rest of us, wanted to say “no more republicans.”  All of us came because we know it’s easy to complain about the things that haven’t been accomplished yet, but it’s harder to stand up and support the man who can still make it happen, who is our best chance to make sure it happens, and who we firmly believe is the best leader for our country.

Our breakout groups were organized by neighborhood, so we could start to form small, supportive teams of folks to carry the message and manage the hard work of reaching new voters and reminding current voters of what the administration has accomplished. It was great to know I have folks nearby who I can brainstorm, organize and canvass with.

We discovered we are all quite well-informed about the progress we have made, even if we don’t have all the key facts and figures memorized. Even if we get some of our information from The Daily Show. We compared notes on how we now watch CNN and MSNBC, listen to the State of the Union and other presidential addresses, and pay attention to what’s written in the media.  We found sources where we can educate ourselves on those facts and figures, to dispute the lies and myths that often fly during an election.

We thought of local events like farmers’ markets and art festivals where we could recruit more volunteers, and places we could go to make sure people remember to vote and are able to. We want to get on campus to remind college students to register locally, or register in their home state for absentee ballots. We want to encourage seniors to apply for permanent vote by mail status, so they don’t have to sweat the  logistics of getting to their polling place. We want to remind everyone we talk to that every vote counts and that one of the great things about our country is that everyone gets to vote.

I look forward to more planning meetings, more phone banks, more getting out to local events. I look forward to building strong new friendships with people I meet through OFA and the Campaign. And mostly, I look forward to helping President Obama win re-election in 2012, because I’m proud of our country, and I’m proud to have him as our leader.