For more than 40 years, I lived happily in the United States as a legal resident. I never considered becoming a citizen, at least not until Barack Obama was elected president. I had always liked him. When his re-election campaign started, at 67 years of age, I decided that I wanted to show my support through more than my voice – through my vote.
That was my only reason for becoming a citizen: I wanted to vote for Barack Obama.
My son was the one who motivated me to help. He would always say to me, “Why don’t you get involved with the campaign now that he’s up for reelection? Go to one of the campaign offices and tell them you want to help. They’ll tell you what you can do.” It was then that I realized I wanted not only to cast my first vote for him, but also to help the campaign in any way I could.
I do everything I can for the campaign in Nevada. I volunteer more than 40 hours each week. Every day, other volunteers and I go throughout the city to register voters and knock on doors. Some days I leave my home at 8:30 am and don’t return until 9 that night.
But it doesn’t bother me. I will continue volunteering until the last minute of this campaign, because I want to see President Obama re-elected.
I’ve always said he’s my president. He’s the president of those with few resources. I remind the people I register to look at the health programs the president has implemented. I share with them the benefits I’ve been able to receive, from help paying my hospital bills to free medical attention. I remind people that President Obama is helping undocumented youth, who only want to study and deserve the opportunity to do so, because they are the future of our country.
I was lucky enough to be able to meet the President. When he visited Las Vegas in mid-August, I had the opportunity to see him speak. I stood in the front and carried with me a magazine with Barack Obama on the cover. After he finished speaking, the President came down and shook hands with the crowd and I was able to show him the magazine and my support.
I had waited four years for that moment. He grasped my hands and gave me a kiss and I thanked him for everything he is doing. It was a very emotional moment for me, because I’ve always felt so much respect for him.
That’s why it doesn’t matter to me how many hours it takes. I will work until the last minute for President Obama’s reelection. I will continue to remind Latinos that we need President Obama. He’s our president.