These days, I'm the office manager at the New Jersey campaign HQ, and I help run phone banks a few times a week. I'm our team's data lead, so I also help make sure all of our data is entered. I put together volunteer packets, collect "I'm in" cards, and try to get as much information on the ground as I can to help re-elect President Obama.
My father was very sick in 2008, so I wasn't as involved as I wanted to be. I didn't want to miss out the second time around, so I started driving into New York City to make phone calls. When I had the chance to apply as an organizing fellow, I jumped on it right away.
Of all President Obama's policies, the one that hits closest to home is the Affordable Care Act. My father passed away from terminal lung cancer three years ago, and we fell through the Medicare Doughnut Hole. Health care was always a big priority in my family—to have it implemented was huge. I had always thought of it as a pipe dream. It was momentous when it passed—just jubilation.
Just like the rest of the country, people in New Jersey care most about the economy, and the idea of a fair shake for everybody. People really believe they haven't gotten one, and they feel this President is the only one out there fighting to give them a chance. That's why they're so ready to get out and support him. I'm overwhelmed every day by the people who come into the office, and the ones I meet at events—people I never thought I would talk with. I've even met a few who voted Republican the last time around. But everyone is impacted by the work President Obama is doing, and they really do care. It's exciting to see.
My favorite part of volunteering with the campaign—well, first of all, I'm a political dork, so I enjoy the constant political chatter. But other than that, I love meeting other people who are just as passionate as I am about re-electing the President—staff, other volunteers, and organizing fellows. Everyone is putting in so much effort and trying so hard to re-elect the President that it makes getting up and volunteering easy. I have tremendous appreciation for all the work the people around me are doing.
A few months back, I would sometimes bump into people who were still deciding whether to get involved—I see it less and less these days. The next six months are going to be a big battle—just look at the kinds of spending we're up against, and the negative ads the other side is putting out—but we can win if everyone is willing to step up.
Here's what makes my state a little different: We're compact. There are such diverse needs from northern New Jersey to the southern tip, but you can reach the whole thing in one day. You can touch all the bases and see what people need. I don't think you can do that anywhere else, and it's pretty cool.
Wherever you're organizing, stay in touch with Sami by following @OFA_NJ on Twitter.