Last month, thousands of Organizing for America supporters shared feedback on their involvement in the 2010 elections as volunteers, organizers, voters, and OFA supporters. They shared their concerns for our country's future, the issues they believe OFA should prioritize moving forward, and how we should go about achieving those goals together.
"Talk about an exhilarating, history making period. That is what this movement has been about: the conviction of courage to do what is right not just for today, or tomorrow, but for generations down the line." – Prempeh (Absecon, NJ)
"We inspired others to get involved. I saw when making phone calls from home and from my staging location that our work empowered others to make a difference. Many people asked me what they could do to help, and we had volunteers join us right up until the final week. When Election Day came and we were watching the returns, a family member told me that after watching the process, she will join in to help us win in 2012." – Lynne (Huntsville, AL)
"[This year's election] was very discouraging, despite the fact that the party of an incumbent president almost always losses seats in the midterms. This President has passed more historic legislation than any president since Lyndon B. Johnson. President Obama provided the biggest middle-class tax cut in American history and cut taxes for 95% of people. He kicked Wall Street's butt and told credit card companies they cannot raise interest rates without informing people. He did so much good. We must get the message out." – Juliana (New Orleans, LA)
"Just as in 2007-08, I witnessed the bringing together of people of different cultures, ages, and backgrounds. Working together to elect a President, to pass health reform legislation, to get out the vote—all of it done with a positive attitude and with smiles. No negative complaints. No competing for positions. Just people, all kinds of people, joined together in a common cause. It filled me once again with hope for the future and with a love for my country—and a greater appreciation of the democracy we live by and for." – Patricia (Dallas, TX)
Meeting with the President
This Thursday, seven Organizing for America volunteers will sit down with President Obama at the White House to hand-deliver the results of OFA's 2010 elections survey.
These volunteers will represent OFA supporters across the country, sharing ideas and feedback on 2010 with President Obama. This will be a chance for the President to hear firsthand from those who gave everything they had toward campaigns this year—both what worked as well as what didn't, and what we can do going forward.
Here are the stories of the OFA volunteers who will meet with President Obama this week.
Michelle M Summers
Michelle embodies the idea of a community organizer as someone who can build relationships, inspire volunteers, and set a clear vision for her team. During the Vote 2010 campaign, she organized 15 counties—steadfastly building relationships with county chairs and local activists, training volunteers, and setting up early vote and get out the vote operations in each one. Everything she did was because she believes so much in President Obama and the work that OFA is doing in rural Iowa.
Jeanell has been a highly active OFA volunteer for many months. A survivor of hurricane Katrina who is currently searching for work, she continues to put her good faith into politics, organizing, and President Obama. Overcoming her personal challenges, Jeanell does all that she can for New Orleans and Louisiana.
Alan, a semi-retired union organizer, has been organizing for President Obama since 2007. He has recruited, identified, and cultivated many of OFA New York's best volunteers. Through all the ups and downs of the past year and a half, Alan has been practical and wise. He understands the movement we are building and how to make it grow. Level-headed and full of advice and guidance, he is known locally as the "Godfather" of OFA New York.
Betsy has been an OFA community organizer for over a year. She has dedicated countless hours to recruiting and building her team, and is considered one of the best trainers in Colorado. During Vote 2010, Betsy's team ran one of Colorado's most active get out the vote staging locations in Northwest Denver.
Lenda has been a committed volunteer leader for the President since the primaries. For the 2010 elections, her five teams engaged hundreds of volunteers in middle Tennessee and made more than 20,000 calls. There has not been anyone in the state who has made a greater commitment to the President and to being deliberate, intentional, and focused on building leadership in Tennessee.
James Arlando Marshall Jr.
James has been working with President Obama and OFA since the beginning. He and his wife were some of the earliest supporters of the President. In 2010 James took on a bigger role, building a team that by September was entirely self sufficient—from training the phone bankers to making the calls and entering data. James continues to be an important piece of the OFA Michigan puzzle.
Rolando, described as an "all star summer organizer," was a spring intern who worked tirelessly while going to school at UC Berkley. He stayed on after graduation, becoming essential to the OFA California team. Quiet by nature, he is always positive and proactive. Rolando's passion, commitment, and work ethic led him to push himself to not just meet but to go beyond the call of duty.