Meet Rosemary L., Illinois’ brand new Regional Field Director organizing in the southern portion of the state.
In 2004, Rosemary met then-State Senator Obama and immediately knew he would one day become President of the United States. Her introduction to Barack Obama reminded her of stories her mother told her about a former Democratic president.
“I called my mom in Florida and told her that I had seen and felt the same thing she did when she had met and worked for John Kennedy.”
In February of 2008, Rosemary lost her job. As a result, she only had 18 more months until she was no longer insured by her health care provider. Because Rosemary was born with a pre-existing condition, she was considered a risk to insurance companies. If she didn’t find another job soon, it would be difficult to become insured.
Rosemary was devastated, but decided to stop wallowing in self-pity. She knew she had to get out and do something about the situation she and so many other Americans were facing.
She then remembered Barack Obama and how she was in awe of his intelligence, compassion, and empathy. He was running for the presidency and had proposed a solid plan to revamp the health care system in America. From there, Rosemary went on BarackObama.com and found out how she could volunteer. She knew she was “in.”
After President Obama was elected in 2008, Rosemary did not stop her fight. She knew the battle was just beginning. Just a short time after he arrived in Washington, Rosemary worked to help get the president’s legislation passed. One of those bills was the Affordable Health Care Act, which ensured no one would be denied health care coverage because of a pre-existing condition like hers.
This summer, Rosemary decided to use her organizing skills as a Regional Field Director. Coming from LaSalle County, Rosemary used to feel like a lone Democrat in an area largely populated by Republicans.
“I wanted to go out and find others that were in the wilderness and give them the same opportunity I had to build a team so they no longer felt alone and voiceless.”
Although only a month in, Rosemary is excited to teach her Fall Fellows all she knows about organizing. She’s already very proud of the work they have accomplished since training last month.
Rosemary and other organizers will be working hard these next few months to continue to build up a grassroots organization across Illinois, and they need your help! Find a local event or sign up to volunteer.