In 2008, Cathryn was frustrated with the direction she saw the country going, tired of eight years of feeling like she was being lied to. So she opened up her Garner, North Carolina home to local volunteers and supporters who came to make calls and get out the vote for Barack Obama. Keeping her two granddaughters in mind, Cathryn wanted to do what she could to give them a better future:
“People talk about what issue you’re concerned about and I can’t pick them apart. For me, without the environment being clean what good is it? Without a job, what good is it? Without health care, what good is it? So I can’t find one issue—for me it’s a view of life, of what’s important, of what I think is going to be best for my granddaughters’ future.”
Cathryn stayed involved after November 2008, and with the 2012 election less than nine months away, she’s reaching out to the people who made calls from her home in 2008 to ask them to get involved again—and she’s finding that folks are delighted to be asked.
“I’m very grateful to Cathryn for keeping me on her mailing list,” says Yvonne, who has lived in Wake County, North Carolina for 35 years. “I’m back to do what I can because I’m very thankful to God that I still have activities in my limbs and my faculties and I can do something, and I want to do what I can, while I can.”
Last week, Cathryn hosted a Women for Obama house party at the local Touch of Class salon in Garner—bringing together brand new supporters and volunteers who have been a part of this movement since 2008.
There was Lexi, who is taking two semesters off school to do everything she can to make sure that North Carolina votes for President Obama in November, and Constance, who remembers when her parents weren’t allowed to vote. Olivia, a member of the local seniors hip-hop group, was there for the first time because she’d decided “it was time to put my body where my mouth is and get involved.”
Around the room, the 19 women—from very different backgrounds and of very different ages—found common cause in the reasons they were there: health care, education, jobs, and wanting to do what they can to make sure President Obama wins a second term.
“We can never have too many volunteers,” said Susan, the local volunteer coordinator, as she asked everyone to fill in a commit to volunteer card. “There’s going door to door, data entry, phone calls, and voter registration. We’ll be following up with each of you after this, and asking you to stay involved.”
At the end of the night, Lexi, who moved to Raleigh five years ago from New York and works closely with Cathryn and Susan, reflected:
“I love house parties. I love when people get together. You see that people get scared [the first time they come] in and then go out with friends and family. It all goes towards the President which is what we’re here for, so it all goes together. It’s a great experience.”
When asked what the next eight months look like, Cathryn laughed, then got serious:
“It’s going to be intense, you know—lots of work, lots of calls, lots of talking, lots of walking, lots of encouraging, lots of remembering the promise.”
To be a part of the work in your community, find a local event near you.
And to see Cathryn and the women of Garner in action, take a look at these photos from last week’s house party.