Alyssa and Luis were two of the supporters who found themselves talking about President Obama with actress Eva Longoria after winning the recent "Conversation with Eva" contest.
"Donating to enter the contest was just one of the ways I'm involved with the campaign," says Luis, a retired fire battalion chief from California. "I wanted to support President Obama, and I thought I'd take a chance at winning a contest as well."
Alyssa, a 26-year-old small business owner in Minnesota, entered for the same reason: "I wanted to support the campaign, and it just happened to be a day when I had five minutes to sit down and donate. When I found out I was going, I just thought 'Wow, I never win anything!'"
Alyssa, Luis, and their fellow winners traveled to Washington, D.C. for the conversation with Eva, which Luis says was "pretty thrilling. There was a lot of anticipation about meeting a celebrity in such an intimate setting like that. But she put everyone at ease right away, and engaged us all in a conversation not just about political issues, but about our families and our backgrounds and why we were here."
"It was very comfortable," Alyssa says. "I kept thinking 'How am I going to be able to even talk with a movie star around me?' But she did a good job bringing us all into the conversation.
"A few of us also had the chance to go out to lunch beforehand, so that was another great experience—I got to listen to two of the other people who were older tell their stories and why they support Obama."
"I think pretty much everything he's done has changed things for the better," agrees Luis. "He passed the Affordable Care Act, financial reform, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. So many people are benefiting from those things, and I hope things will just keep improving.
"In the meantime, I'm going to keep helping out with grassroots efforts where I live. I'm hoping to do more phone banking, voter registration, signing up volunteers—all of it."
Alyssa has this advice for anyone thinking of supporting the campaign:
"I'd say go for it! Now we know what we're facing, and it's someone who can probably fund their campaign without as much support as we're going to need. But I really feel we're better off—our supporters are more involved. By donating, you give yourself a say, even if it's only $5. It gives you a sense of participation and ownership in the organization."
Sound like your kind of conversation? Join supporters like Alyssa and Luis by pitching in today—and you'll automatically be entered for the chance to talk politics with George Clooney and President Obama at an event in Los Angeles.Official Rules & restrictions on eligibility. Obama for America, 130 E. Randolph Chicago, IL 60601