A little rain didn’t stop leaders from nearly every borough of New York City to pile into the Flatiron headquarters for a unique night of eating, socializing and brainstorming on Monday evening. While team meetings in neighborhoods throughout New York are nothing new, it is certainly not everyday that volunteers in groups from Long Island to Queens to the Upper West Side get to meet and collaborate with one another.
“It was exciting to be among all President Obama supporters—great to feel connected and appreciate their accomplishments in their communities.” –Sonja J.
After mingling and hors d'oeuvres, a representative from each neighborhood team spoke to the group about the work their team has been doing—whether through grassroots planning sessions or trips to Pennsylvania—throughout the summer. Despite all being from one metropolitan area, the groups are incredibly diverse in terms of communities, team members, outreach efforts and ideas. Alan H. introduced his team from TriBeCa, which has been around for about four years now, whereas Sonja’s team in the Smithtown township of Long Island is just forming. All neighborhood teams—new and old, big and small—were able to gain perspective about the approaches taken to expand our grassroots efforts and to gain more support for the president.
The key, though, is continuation of the awe-inspiring work that these teams have been doing. The summer organizers who have been working hand-in-hand with these volunteer team leaders and core team members are two weeks away from wrapping up their work, yet the neighborhood teams must be sustainable for the next year and a half. Summer Organizer Kate M. led the brainstorming session and led the group in coming up with methods for growth in the coming months and year. Suggestions were made by individuals from all teams in all boroughs: having leaflets to distribute, getting local officials involved, etc.
Do you have ideas on how to keep the momentum going in communities in New York and across the country? Monday night was only the beginning; we need your help going forward. The perfect way to start is by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can attend one of the many celebrations across the state on August 3rd for the president’s birthday—find one here. In addition, get a glimpse of Monday’s reception with some photos here.