Virginia Commonwealth University students, Cody (left) and Brian (right), outside the Richmond field office.
About an hour after finding out First Lady Michelle Obama would be in Richmond this Thursday, friends Brian and Cody were already in downtown Richmond to become some of the first people in line to get tickets to see the First Lady, and show their support for President Obama.
For Brian, a junior at Virginia Commonwealth University, voting for President Obama is a no-brainer: "He supports the LGBT community."
However, things were a bit more complicated for Cody. Until recently, Cody, a freshman from Hanover, was an undecided voter. His transition from 'undecided' began with Lejla, a grassroots organizer based in Hanover. "She reached out to me and talked to me about the issues in this election," Cody said about their 1-hour conversation which shed light on the issues that mattered to him. "It wasn't until I started to see what President Obama had actually accomplished—the signing of the New START Treaty, for example—did I realize that Obama was the candidate I should vote for."
Watching the First Lady Obama and President Obama give their speeches during the Democratic National Convention solidified his support, but it was ultimately his conversation with Lejla that started him on the path to change his mind about the president.
"I remember that conversation with Cody, and it really shows what difference you can make with one serious conversation about the issues," said Leyla. "Once you get that conversation going, and you show passionate people like Cody what's at stake for young people like us—gay rights, women's rights, education, and the economy—you help people arm themselves with the knowledge to make informed decisions about who to vote for in this election."
Cody has pledged to volunteer for Barack in the coming weeks. Have you?