Detroit, Michigan—The It Takes One weekend of action was in full effect yesterday with volunteer events across the Motor City.
Who: Theresa, volunteer
What: Knocking doors in her own neighborhood
“I grew up on this street, and we’re out here supporting and canvassing for President Obama for re-election. We’re just getting out the vote and asking people if they're registered. And if they have any kids or grandkids or family members, are they registered to vote, are they 18, are they able to vote? And would they support the President?"
Who: Lisa, first-time volunteer; and Raquel, field organizer in Southwest Detroit
What: Canvassing at the Kemeny Park baseball field
“It went very well. I met this guy, Darius, and I’m on a mission to change his mind [about volunteering for the campaign]. You have to make some kind of stand for what your views are, so that’s why I signed him up to volunteer, and I said, maybe if he sees everybody else getting involved, he can see that his one vote will make a difference.
“We only have three months to go. We can’t wait until the last minute because we might miss somebody. It’s nice, it’s summertime. So we’ve got to get out here now and take advantage of people being out."
"It was really, really wonderful because what I’m seeing in the field is a lot of transformation in people. And I’ve been watching a lot of people be sort of nervous about volunteering or they don’t know what to do or where they fit in, and all of a sudden it just starts to click. I think this is a great opportunity for people to do what they want to, to support the President, to make their values known to their neighbors and to their friends, and a lot of my friends are a little bit shy about it, and they see me kind of puffed up and happy, and then it’s contagious.”
Who: Nefertari, volunteer trainer
What: Welcoming volunteers at the Metro Detroit field office
“It is important for us to go out door to door today. All across the nation people are out stumping on behalf of President Obama. We want our Michigan numbers to be good. Michigan must turn out for President Obama. We feel that every house you go to today, everyone’s going to say, ‘Oh yeah, we love President Obama! That’s my man! We got him.’ But we have to get them to go out and vote.
“Today we’re going to be the face of the campaign as volunteers, we’re going to go out with that smile, with that energy, and make certain that everyone is invigorated."
Who: Candace, summer organizing fellow in Metro Detroit
What: Training volunteers at the United Auto Workers voter education center
“Today’s the 28th and it marks 100 days until November 6th, which is the election. And we just have to be out here knocking doors, doing voter registration, and getting people fired up about the campaign. This is going to be the last time we’re going to be able to get him re-elected. This is not going to happen again. And it’s more important now than ever.”
Who: Lacy Dawson, regional field director for Metro Detroit
What: Registering voters and collecting pledges of support at the Hotter than July 2012 festival in Palmer Park
“One of the secrets to getting people to sign up is just to be genuine, to be yourself, to really believe in what you’re doing, and not to be afraid. Really go to the heart and really look into people’s eyes. I find that that is one of the most essential tricks to voter registration. If you can get their attention and look into their eyes and they’re paying attention to you, you know then to have that conversation.”
One by one, more folks are getting active in their communities to re-elect President Obama. With 100 days to go, the time to volunteer where you live is now.