My name is Linda Olsen, and I’m a volunteer co-regional field director in Fulton County, Georgia.
Shortly after moving to Georgia in 2007, I got a phone call from a volunteer for then-Senator Barack Obama’s campaign for the presidency. I was asked if I wanted to volunteer, and along with my late husband, I jumped at the chance to get involved. Soon I was doing everything from making phone calls to putting together packets people could use as they went door to door in our community.
After the 2008 election, I didn’t stop organizing. I was part of a neighborhood coffee group that got together to discuss the issues and the best ways we could support President Obama. In 2011, I was accepted into the Fall Fellows Program, which gave me an opportunity to improve my organizing skills. That led to where I am now, working with Jane Fershko-Taylor as volunteer regional field directors in our community north of Atlanta.
Our territory is large, highly populated, and very diverse. That necessitates our taking a group approach to contacting supporters to discuss how volunteering to help elect the President would positively impact all of our lives, our families, and our communities. The energy and excitement generated when neighbors see other neighbors step forward and strongly commit to helping in the President's election is infectious.
Attitudes in our part of the county run the gamut from frustration to hope. People are definitively focused on finding jobs and making sure their families have access to quality education and health care. That’s why some of the reforms that President Obama has already won have been so important to folks here in Georgia. We’ve seen student loan reform help so many young people afford to go to school. Health care reform has made it possible for so many to find health insurance. And the Lilly Ledbetter Act has been really popular.
Jane and I are working hard to find people who are truly committed to protecting the progress the President has made so far and to giving him the chance to achieve even more. Our goal is to identify folks who would do well in leadership roles, as neighborhood team leaders. It’s important that our teams are made up of self-motivating, reliable people who will build support now and get out the vote in November.
We can’t afford to have a president that will try to undo everything we’ve worked so hard together to accomplish. Every person who cares deeply about these issues and supports President Obama should volunteer whatever time they can to help this campaign. We may all be in this as individuals, but together, we are a powerful force that can’t be stopped.
Linda tells us that organizers are working hard all across Georgia, from the mountains to the Atlantic coastline. Keep track of their progress by checking out the OFA Georgia Facebook page.