Photo Credit: James A., Fall Fellow
Yesterday marked one year till the 2012 elections—meaning we have now have 364 days to elect President Obama and Democratic candidates up and down the ballot. Even with a year to go, our supporters are fired up and ready to work hard, as they demonstrated across the country yesterday. Thousands of volunteers participated in a day of action, laying the foundation for victory in 2012 and 2011—after all, tomorrow is Election Day for many.
Even though our team thought we were facing an uphill battle because we invited volunteers to join us at 8:30 a.m. on a Sunday morning, we had an incredible turnout. Volunteers began to roll in around 8:00 a.m. As time went on, they kept rolling, and rolling, and rolling right on in, ready to take our message to the field. We had more than 80 chairs set up, and by 9 a.m. each chair was filled and a crowd was standing along the walls. I was particularly excited by multiple groups of local college students who joined us—early on a Sunday, no less—for our day of action.
Since this was a one-year-out event, we set aside some time to hear stories from volunteers willing to talk about where they were on November 4, 2008—the day Barack Obama was elected president. One volunteer talked about how he was 17 and not able to vote yet but volunteered on the campaign anyway. Another talked about how he was excited by the prospect of electing an African American president. The stories continued, with one volunteer sharing with us how she cried throughout the day because of the emotional connection that she had developed with the campaign. Afterward, we sent out our fired-up volunteers to knock on doors on behalf of Democrats in Northern Virginia—and share their stories with voters.
The day before, volunteers met at our office and called more than 2,500 Virginia voters, asking them to exercise their voting power on Tuesday. Throughout the day, volunteers continued to come to the office looking for ways to support our efforts—they were excited to be on the phones, entering data, and monitoring the field.
We could not have asked for a better weekend or group of volunteers—but one volunteer in particular stood out. Alberta G. was a 75-year-old woman who reminded us that we can’t wait to organize, and the 2012 election depends on what we do now. She made calls until we shut down the shop and was literally the last volunteer standing. That’s amazing.
You can join folks like Alberta by committing to volunteer in your neighborhood.