How did you first come to the campaign?
I donated to Barack Obama's campaign in 2008, but I didn't volunteer. I'm a big news and politics junkie, and the radical actions taken by some conservative lawmakers over the past four years convinced me that I couldn't afford to sit on the sidelines this time around. However, I wasn't quite sure when or how to begin doing so until I was called up by an OFA organizer in April. And I haven't looked back since!
Let that be a lesson for those doing recruitment calling and canvassing—some of your most energetic volunteers might be out there just waiting for a small nudge in the right direction!
What does a day as a volunteer look like to you?
Our primary activity as a team is our weekly phone bank. I help organize the materials we'll be using, as well as train any newcomers. When we do have newcomers, I'll typically check in with them after 15-30 minutes to see how they're doing, and make sure they're marking their responses correctly for easier data entry. At the end, I collect everyone's materials, thank them for coming (never forget to do this!), and enter the responses we've received.
What's your favorite part of your role?
Speaking with enthusiastic Obama supporters over the phone is the best part of the job. Roughly 75% of Okaloosa County votes Republican, so when we do find an enthusiastic Obama supporter, it honestly sounds like you're making their day.
I also really enjoy the camaraderie I've developed with my fellow volunteers. We banter and laugh a lot between calls, especially if one of us just had a particularly bizarre conversation.
What's the most unexpected part of your role?
Whether it's calling people on the phone or knocking on their doors, having conversations with voters in the community has been far more fun and fulfilling (and far less frightening) than I could ever have imagined. Even when you do speak with someone who’s not a supporter, 99% of the time they'll just politely end the conversation.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
As the son of a foreign service officer, I had the good fortune to live all over the world, including Mumbai, Warsaw, and London. I feel it gave me considerable perspective on the world, and the United States’ role within it. In that regard I also feel a good degree of kinship with President Obama, given the years he spent as a child in Indonesia.
Meet the neighborhood team members near you—join Dashboard, our online organizing platform, today.