In this week’s installment of “Your Neighborhood Team” we interviewed Bret N., a Neighborhood Team Leader in West Loveland. Bret was a family physician for 20 years and has been volunteering in campaigns since the early 1970's.
Name: Bret N.
Role: Neighborhood Team Leader
Neighborhood: West Loveland
How do you describe what a Neighborhood Team Leader (NTL) does to friends?
As an NTL, I’m trying to organize a cadre of more committed people. I’m also the guy trying to keep the casually committed person on board and ramping up their participation with the campaign.
What do you like about being an NTL?
The one-on-one process [where you meet individually with new volunteers]. That commitment of the campaign to meet with people individually and devote that block of time is incredible. This is an organization that listens to me and to people, and that I can dedicate energy to.
I also love the unexpected. Like the Loveland Neighborhood Team made these Obama 2012 Christmas tree ornaments and handed them out to everybody. It’s cool to see people making contributions in ways no one thought to ask.
Why did you decide to volunteer for the Obama campaign?
I’ve been volunteering in politics for a long time, I was active during McGovern’s campaign. Then I kind of drifted away. I wouldn’t say I was apolitical, but not actively political. Until I heard Obama speak and that’s when I started volunteering again.
What advice would give to a new organizer?
I would say, the most effective thing is to say what’s “uniquely so” for you. So, for instance, I’ve been a physician for 20 some odd years. I personalize my message around healthcare because I understand that process and the frustration there. I talk about people I know like a friend who was able to get COBRA, and it saved his life.