Sitting here in my kitchen watching the video of the last 5 years I’m hit with a flood of emotion and memories; of the work that we have done, of my dad, of my children, and of all of the volunteers that I have had the privilege to work with over this time.
It all started one morning, I remember watching Barack Obama on my computer with my kids around me as he announced his candidacy. The tear flooded my face and I couldn’t even figure out why. I just knew this was something huge! Two weeks later, Senator Obama was coming to Selma for the Annual Bridge Jubilee and my dad convinced me to go. We were not political, we had never been involved, in fact we were both Republicans at the time but it just seemed like something we had to do. We showed up in Selma to find the breakfast had been sold out but my dad always has a way of working things out. Watching Barack Obama speak to this small group of young and old, I could see how people reacted to him. I could see how I reacted to him, he made me cry.
After Selma, it was on! We returned to Hoover and hosted our first house party not knowing what would happen next. Eight people showed up and we started building our team. We worked primary states and then celebrated our victories. We won Alabama in February and then we kept going. On Election Day we celebrated together.
What we have built here in Alabama feels like family. The people that I work with around the state are heroes. They were hosed in the park, went to separate schools, and they still keep fighting. They have stood with our President through Health Reform and the mid-terms, never losing faith that we are on the right side of history.
As I sat this week with my father after suffering yet another seizure, I couldn’t help but think about the time that we have spent together over the last 5 years. This was his moment and I was just a part of it. From the very beginning, he was the soul of our organization and now I get to carry that on for us. Together we will keep working and organizing and 270 days from today, we will have 270 electoral votes and we will celebrate together again.
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Leanne Townsend, Alabama State Director