Name: Buffy Wicks
Job Title: National Operation Vote Director
Hometown: Foresthill, California
Based in: Chicago, Illinois
Q1. What does a day at work look like for you?
As soon as I wake up, I immediately read the news clips and Politico’s Playbook—I sleep with my iPhone next to my bed. I also watch the TODAY show while I get ready for work. With all of that, I have a good sense of what’s going on that day. I have three meetings first thing in the morning—8:30 a.m., 9:00 a.m. and 9:40 a.m. These meetings get me and my team prepared for the day ahead. We are constantly talking about how to engage every single voter in this election. The stakes couldn’t be higher and so we’re always looking for the best way to communicate the importance of this election.
Q2. How did you first come to the campaign?
I grew up with humble means and parents who were very involved in their community—I’m thankful for both of those things every day. That’s where I first learned the importance of this work, to fight for what you believe, and to be passionate every day about what you do. I first met State Senator Barack Obama in February of 2004, when he was in a hotly-contested Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate. That’s when he caught my eye. I watched his career, and when there was talk of him running for president in 2006, I dropped everything and moved to Chicago to work for him in early 2007. It’s been a wild ride ever since.
Q3. What’s your favorite part of your job?
Hands down, going around the country and talking to thousands of people about why this campaign matters. Learning firsthand the stories of our volunteers—many of whom have never been involved in politics before—about why they are giving up their most precious resource, their time, to be involved in this campaign. Our volunteers’ passion and conviction is what keeps this campaign going everyday—I believe that wholeheartedly.
Q4. What’s the most unexpected part of your job?
This campaign is a family. We’re all very close; we’ve been in each other’s weddings. The connection between the staff and the volunteers is amazing—we all have the same goal and singular focus and there’s something really special about that. In the five years I’ve been working on this, that hasn’t changed. It never will.
Q5. Tell us a fun fact about yourself:
I’ve run three marathons, albeit slowly—but I have run three marathons!