With 2012 underway, we’re reconnecting with volunteers from 2008 and welcoming an influx of new supporters ready to stand with the President in the fight to create a fair economy that supports the middle class and restores economic security. Dedicated supporters keep our campaign running, and volunteers like Sharon B. from Eagan are exactly how we will build the largest grassroots campaign in history and re-elect President Obama.
Volunteers come to help out on the campaign in many different ways. Read Sharon’s story, which began in Eagan but took her to other states and back once again to volunteer for the President:
After working here in Minnesota to build support for then-Senator Obama in 2008, I went down to Mason City, Iowa for a week to help out with the caucuses in 2008. I have to say this was an unforgettable experience because of the people I met. Iowans and people from all over the country who had come to help in Iowa for the same reason I was there: because Barack Obama believed in the America we believed in, an America where we are Americans first and Democrats or Republicans second. We knew that Barack Obama had to make a good showing in Iowa or his campaign for the presidency would probably be short-lived, and so he inspired us to join the movement. It had been a long time since someone had reminded us that we are an American family and that was worth a trip of several hundred miles to help that man get the nomination.
Some of the people I met were the mother/daughter team from a small town in Illinois who believed in the Senator from their state, a young attorney from New York who also believed in the Illinois senator and had quit his job and come to Iowa to work as a volunteer and would go on to other states to volunteer for the Obama campaign, the African American woman in her 80's from Indiana, who had grown up in the Jim Crow south and the young African American in her twenties from Maryland, who wanted to be involved in the effort to elect the first African American president. All of this - the people, our candidate, the process - it made me proud of my country.
Our very cold winter days were spent going door to door in rural Iowa. Since neither I nor my door-knocking partner were good with directions, we seemed to be going in circles trying to find the addresses on our list. Many of them were farm houses on gravel or dirt roads, but we made sure we found every address and were often invited in for something warm to drink. When we finished our lists, we would go back to the campaign office to make phone calls until it was too late, get something to eat and go back to volunteer housing, provided by Iowans who were also inspired by the senator who had told us there is not a blue America or a red America, there is the United States of America.
Caucus night itself was the culmination of our efforts - and a very impressive and exceptionally well-run campaign, with an army of volunteers. Then we repeated those efforts here in Minnesota, and in states across the country. Working on the 2008 Obama campaign - to get the nomination and to be elected - remains one of the highlights of my life.
More than four years later, I still have not forgotten how it feels to be part of what all the "experts" thought was impossible and this is part of the reason I keep doing this. Because the importance of what we were doing in 2008 has not lessened at all for 2012. In fact, this campaign is even more important as we fight to give President Obama another four years to finish the good work he’s started, putting Americans back to work and creating an economy that’s built to last.
Barack Obama's vision for our country is still the America I want to live in - a country where we are all in this together and where impossible dreams come true. That’s why I’m a part of this movement, and why I continue to support President Obama.
Join Sharon and the rest of our army of volunteers here in Minnesota to watch the State of the Union next Tuesday. Find an event near you today!