• Jalmeen: On the front lines

    Jalmeen
    Jalmeen (far right), a phone bank captain, hosting one of many phone banks in her McLean home.

    In a quiet Northern Virginia suburb, Jalmeen's home has been on the frontlines of President Obama’s ground campaign the past eight months. Hundreds of volunteers have gathered around her kitchen table and living room, calling to get out the vote.

    Thousands and thousands of phone calls later, Jalmeen got a visit from Valerie Jarrett. She stopped by one Sunday recently, thanking 35 volunteers at the phone bank and calling voters for two hours.

    As Obama’s trusted advisor walked through the kitchen, she glanced at the refrigerator covered with Obama photos – including a newspaper clipping of Jalmeen shaking hands with the President. “You’ve got a lot of pictures of the President here,” she said.

    “I have more pictures of him than my family on there!” laughed Jalmeen, 64, a McLean, Va., mother of two who has met Obama twice this year at rallies.

    “When you meet President Obama, he is so warm and down to earth. You feel like you know him. He feels the pain of the common person, after all he has gone through in his life. I want him back in the White House to finish the job he started.”

    Three nights a week for two hours, Jalmeen welcomes volunteers into her home to call registered voters asking for their support. “I never consider anyone a stranger when they come,” she said. “They are part of the team. I passionately believe in President Obama and want him to win.”

    Nearly three decades after leaving her birthplace in India, Jalmeen became an American citizen. Her father always had a house full of campaign workers when she grew up, and now she is “following his way,” she says.

    “The Republican party is not treating everyone equally. They are taking away freedom from women and attacking the less fortunate,” she said. “President Obama cares – he protects women, and he has created millions of jobs and provided increased access to health care for everyone. I will do everything I can to see him reelected.”

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