July 2004: Eddie Kemp was living in California, watching as a then-relatively unknown freshman Senator from Illinois took the stage as the keynote speaker at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.
“I just thought to myself, ‘he’s pretty interesting. He could be president one day.’”
Four years later, Barack Obama went on to accomplish that very feat – becoming not only the President, but ultimately the man who passed health reform, the man who brought Osama Bin Laden to justice and the man who captured the hopes and dreams of millions of Americans. “When he won,” Kemp said, “I was just like ‘Oh my God.’ I was so excited. I had tears running down my eyes.”
Eddie Kemp, who now resides in south Everett, joined the Obama campaign last August after receiving a simple email asking him if he would like to attend a party in honor of the President’s 50th birthday.
“I think volunteering shows support,” Kemp said. “The only way the media will see support for the President is when people volunteer.”
After joining Organizing for America last August, Kemp began participating in voter registration drives, phone calling, and canvassing -- everyday activities for our team members. Then, last December, Kemp accepted a position as neighborhood team leader for south Everett, filling in for his friend and mentor, Steven Farrell.
“I like getting involved,” Kemp said. “I like seeing my effort out there. I feel like I’m making a difference.”
As a neighborhood team leader Kemp organizes some twenty-five volunteers in the south Everett area, working to ensure that everything is running smoothly and efficiently in order to bolster support for the President’s reelection effort. “Working in grassroots, actually talking to people everyday…you get a sense of what’s really going on. The sound bites, the polls…those don’t give you an accurate sense of what’s really going on.”
Kemp runs “98 per cent of the one-on-ones” in his neighborhood, sitting down with folks to discuss the President and how they can get involved in this grassroots effort.
“I like the way he does it,” Kemp said of the President. “He isn’t selectively (speaking) to the African American community or the Hispanic community. He’s speaking to the American community.”
Without help from his grassroots supporters, however, the President cannot hope to win reelection. He relies on support from everyday individuals like Eddie Kemp who dedicate their time and effort to his cause.
“I think we’ve got a helluva good chance to hold on to the White House,” Kemp said. “And it’s because of these grassroots efforts.”
Without us, President Obama is just a man. With us, he becomes the voice of a nation. Help build this grassroots movement. Click here to get started.