Meet the Lansing Team: James, Edwina, David, Mae, Juana, Karen, and Ron.
The Lansing team, along with thousands of other neighborhood teams in communities across the country, are the folks building this campaign on the ground.
Made up of groups of dedicated supporters and volunteers, neighborhood teams are hard at work recruiting new volunteers, reaching out to supporters, registering voters, and keeping track of voter and supporter contacts. The field mantra is “if it’s not in the database, it didn’t happen,” and the support and registration data that teams collect now is going to be invaluable when it comes time to get out the vote.
Working with the regular supporters who take time every week to make phone calls and knock on doors, neighborhood teams are led by folks specializing in different parts of grassroots organizing. Many teams have a structure calling for a few key roles, and in Lansing they are ably filled by a combination of long term and new volunteers:
Neighborhood Team Leader: James Marshall and his wife Edwina founded the team in 2008 as Lansing’s first Obama volunteers. They’re responsible for leading the team and recruiting new volunteers.
Voter Registration Captain: David Lockhart, a retired teacher who has been a part of the team since 2008, organizes voter registration drives at colleges, malls, festivals, and places of worship.
Deputy Volunteer Recruiter: Mae Beard, a pharmacist, is focused on bringing folks in the community into the campaign.
Phone Bank Captain: Juana Gonzales organizes regular phone banks for volunteers to call supporters and recruit them to join the campaign, attend local events, and become volunteers themselves.
Data Captain and Deputy Data Captain: Karen Clarke and Christine Bryant make sure the team is keeping track of all of its organizing activity--phone calls, knocks on doors, and voter registration forms.
Faith Organizer: Ron Collins works to build relationships with communities of faith in Lansing, collaborating on events throughout the year.
The neighborhood team model grew out of the grassroots organizing of the 2008 campaign, and just as it was then, it is the foundation of this campaign. It is folks like James and Edna, David, Mae, and the rest of the team talking to their friends and neighbors who will make sure that we build the most effective grassroots campaign in history.
Check back in the coming weeks for more from the Lansing team as they continue to grow and organize over the next ten months. Find and join your own local team by signing up to volunteer.