Our organizing fellows are hard at work building neighborhood and campus teams across the country. As the spring organizing fellowship continues, we’ll hear from a few of the organizers about their experiences.
November 4th, 2008. Age 16 (going on 17) … too young to vote. Drat.
Age was not going to be an impediment to watching history unfold before our eyes, though. At 6:00 a.m., on that nippy, brisk morning, I hopped in the car and headed to the Maryland polls with my parents. The line to vote was already out the door, the parking lot was thronged with cars, and the lawn was adorned with campaign signs that seemed to beckon additional voters off the street.
Though I could not vote at the time, I was immediately drawn to then-candidate Barack Obama: I knew that his policies would support students like myself who were preparing to embark on the college journey. I held the utmost confidence that he would stand in defense of women’s rights and work to advance opportunities for minority groups. Most of all, I was certain that he would garner the power of community activists to bring people together.
April 4th, 2011. Age 19. President Obama announces his campaign for re-election.
This was the day I began my journey to become a summer organizer with the Obama campaign in Maryland. I remember sitting in my apartment at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, filling out the application question by question. I knew that, as an organizer, I would have the opportunity to own a small part of the campaign, and empower others to do the same.
Following the completion of my fellowship in Maryland, I went on to do two additional fellowships in Wisconsin. My experiences as a fellow have been both extraordinary and extremely gratifying: We had the opportunity to meet former White House press secretary, Robert Gibbs, and National Field Director, Jeremy Bird. We have registered hundreds of voters and educated hundreds more about the voter ID law in Wisconsin, and we have built lasting relationships with community members and with one another. Most importantly, we have been inspired by one another, and by the organizer in chief himself, President Obama. And yes, we are fired up and ready to go.
Stay tuned for more from Becca and other organizing fellows this spring.