The Crenshaw office is unique because it’s not new. The storefront space served as the Los Angeles neighborhood’s Obama campaign headquarters for the 2008 election. For Sandi Cook, the regional field director for Southern California who worked there as a phonebanker in ’08, there was a special feeling at the grand re-opening last week.
“This is home for a lot of people in this community. So a lot of legacy volunteers, including myself, were here. I was very excited to see all those old faces coming back to get back to work, along with the new volunteers who showed up as well. People were just overjoyed to be back, saying ‘Let’s do it again.’ For me, it’s really emotional. We’re going to re-elect President Obama in same office where we elected him in ’08. We’re ready to go work.”
Sandi says old friends, neighbors, and activists are coming together again for 2012.
“This office is very dear to the community—they can just walk in here. They say ‘It’s the Obama office!’ and get really excited like that. They know what to do because they’ve done it before, and they’re ready to go.”
The turnout was even better than expected, with 150 people showing up to kick off the campaign in Crenshaw.
“They just kept coming in. The event was scheduled from 1:30 to 4:30, but the last guests didn’t leave until almost 9 o’clock! People just hung around, lingered and lingered, just catching up—nobody wanted to leave.”
It was “wall-to-wall people,” according to Sandi, and the festive atmosphere included a store selling official Obama 2012 gear, colorful placards covering the walls, and a giant 2012 banner to put the finishing touch on it all.
Energized by the Supreme Court’s decision on Obamacare, folks in L.A. realized it was game time for this election.
“That motivated people to come now and not wait until later. It was like, we really have to get involved now—it’s time to get in and get started again.”
A special guest joined the party as well—Battleground States Director Mitch Stewart got the crowd thinking about the vital role Californians will play in this election. He helped them understand how Crenshaw can help President Obama get to the 270 electoral votes he needs.
“The bulk of our work will be phonebanking, calling into battleground states. Moving forward we’ll also be training people for our get-out-the-vote effort so that when all those volunteers flood our doors this fall, we’ll be ready for them.”
Speaking of volunteers, Sandi feels a deep connection to her friends in the community who step up and help out.
“They’re so giving and supportive, and they’re just so awesome. The work would not get done without them, and I always get humbled by that. I’m getting teary-eyed right now just thinking about it. They’re great partners and friends—they’ve become my family, really. They’re my family of choice.”
Want to join the family of volunteers in your town? Become a part of Obama 2012 today.