• Tennessee: June Jones

    June and Lydia, Tennessee

    Right now, we’re in the middle of our get-out-the-vote effort. We promised the President we’d deliver North Carolina for him, so for months, we’ve been calling into there, talking to undecided voters about the issues so that they can make a better, more informed decision. Our phone banks are all over the map around Knoxville and they go from nine in the morning to nine at night. The day that early voting started in North Carolina, we got word that there was one county without a lot of activity, so we started calling in there, and soon they had voters wrapped around the block!

    My name is June Jones and I live in Knoxville, Tennessee. I was a single mother for years, raising three kids by myself, before I got married. When you have 17 grandkids, you realize why it’s so important to get involved in politics—it’s about helping to build a future for them that I can be proud of. My granddaughter Lydia has PKU, which means that her enzymes don’t work properly, so it’s difficult for her to get the nutrition she needs. Her food is made in a lab, and it costs one thousand dollars a month and we just couldn’t afford that. If kids like Lydia, with PKU, don’t get this food, it causes brain damage, seizures, and even death. So the Affordable Care Act saved her life, really. She’s healthy and wonderful now, and we’ve got President Obama to thank. If the law gets repealed, though, these kids would literally lose their lives—so everything is at stake for families like mine in this election.

    So that’s why I volunteer—because it matters for all working Americans. Last year, my husband had his best financial year ever under President Obama. We’re on the right course and we need four more years.

    What hooked me was that I started going to some of the Obama for America events, and I met this volunteer who asked if I wanted to work at an event with Michelle Obama. Well I just love her, so I said sure! After that, I was asked to be a neighborhood team leader, then my volunteer base grew and grew and grew! It was nothing magical—we all just had the same goal: re-electing the President. Now I’m a community organizer for Obama and I love it. I would actually love to continue on afterward!

    We do lots of volunteer recruitment, so our volunteer base is only growing, and it ranges from college kids to seniors! They understand just how important this election is, so they’re just so happy to do it. I even have one that’s 91 and she’s one of my best volunteers! My favorite part of volunteering is probably getting to know other volunteers and hearing their stories. Everyone’s got a story about why they support President Obama and how he’s helped us, and all our stories make up the different pieces of the quilt.

    I used to vote Republican up until Obama ran for office. Sometimes it’s hard to break out of the social and political beliefs of your community, but he was just so inspiring. He made me realize I wasn’t a Republican! And I’ve been so impressed by everything he’s done since he’s entered office. My husband works for a union and four years ago, we almost lost our home. When it came to taking action to help people like us, President Obama didn’t just tell us, he showed us. We took advantage of the affordable readjusted loan program that President Obama put in place and we saved our home. President Obama just makes me feel so proud. I’ve spoken to people of all races and backgrounds, and we all feel like President Obama has brought people together.

    I’ve found working for Obama for America that people are busy and life dictates your time, but everyone’s got a little bit of time to help out. I always tell people who aren’t volunteering not to be the one who wishes afterward that you’d done more to be helpful. Don’t be the one to miss the excitement.

    I keep hearing that President Obama is winning this thing because of his incredible ground game, and I see that and think, “that’s us!” Our office is tucked away in this little condo in West Knoxville and we’re the ones who are going to win this thing for President Obama.

    From now until Election Day, I’ll just be over there in that little condo all day, every day, making calls into North Carolina to get the people out to vote. We’re going to keep our game faces on, keep our noses to the grindstone, and quietly win this election!

    Join June and other volunteers across the country—start volunteering today.

    Volunteers Across America Organizing