The Obama for America Fall Fellows Program concluded last week. When I sat through the orientation back in September, I felt overwhelmed but excited as this was my first experience in grassroots organizing. Any nervousness disappeared after I met the other fellows from my region, Caitlin and Johonna, and we bonded over our collective love of grapes (and President Obama).
During the first few weeks of the program, our goal was to re-engage supporters and build neighborhood teams. We started by hosting good ol’ fashion phone banks and having one-on-one meetings with supporters. Not long after, Caitlin and I co-hosted our first house meeting in Los Feliz. The group was small but mighty and those folks now host a phone bank every week.
More recently, we were inspired by two high school students who attended a phone bank in Hancock Park. Neither will be old enough to vote in the upcoming election but they know the stakes are too high for them to not be involved. And now we are organizing a youth-to-youth phone bank in January, bringing high school students around Los Angeles together to reach out to their peers.
Our success is a reflection of our hard work but also that of our Regional Fall Fellow Peter, Regional Field Organizers Lisa and Juan, and Regional Field Director Konstantin. They offered us advice, training and, above all else, encouragement. The Fall Fellows Program allowed us to be connected to the campaign in an unprecedented way. From weekly conference calls with state staff members to nationwide conference calls with the President himself, we understood how our actions and efforts will affect the success of the campaign.
Moving forward, some of the fellows will transition into Neighborhood Team Leaders while others will interview for campaign jobs in battleground states. We went in as enthusiastic volunteers and came out as experienced Grassroots Organizers. The program has opened up a world of possibilities for every participant.
Organizing for America currently has applications available for the spring, summer and fall organizing programs. Please step up, take action, and help organize for the President.