Every volunteer on this campaign has a personal tale of how they decided to go from observing the political process to becoming an integral part of a grassroots movement. Isam H., a volunteer Regional Field organizer in San Diego, is no exception.
Growing up as an African American in the 1960’s, Isam struggled to feel at home in a country that didn’t always treat him and his family fairly. Seeing an African American run for and ultimately attain the presidency filled Isam with a renewed sense of possibility and patriotism, and inspired him to step off the sidelines.
Isam describes himself as an early supporter of President Obama, having followed his campaign throughout 2008 and volunteered in a neighboring battleground state to ensure that other supporters cast their vote on Election Day. When he thinks back to the moment when then-Senator Obama was first announced as the President-elect, Isam still speaks with great emotion.
“Words can’t describe that feeling. I was in Nevada campaigning. I got there the Friday before [the election]. I remember in the hotel room, I was just jumping up and down. I remember crying and everything. The biggest moment was when he was inaugurated. I tell everybody that was the most important day of my life.”
“He is giving people that sense of pride that, ‘we can do this, we can do whatever want to do.’ I never thought I would live to see something like this happen. It just gives people a sense of hope that there are still things that they can accomplish if they put their mind to it.”
“The sense of patriotism that he has given me, the sense that we have come to a point in this country where someone that looks like me can achieve that office -- that is a strong testimony to where we are today.”