State training is still weeks away but Iowa City’s Organizing for America team isn’t waiting around for anything. Our house party to watch President Obama rollout the American Jobs Act brought together a few seasoned campaigners like Matt, our regional field director, as well as a former Iowa City mayor, but it also attracted even more new faces, including our Iowa City Fall Fellows and other community members. Although this night was filled with new friends, homemade cookies and laughs, the President’s jobs speech took center stage.
The American Jobs Act pulled together tax cuts for small businesses, job creation initiatives, rebuilding infrastructure, relief proposals and a take-charge Barack Obama. The President was assertive and passionate as he repeatedly told the joint session of Congress “You should pass this bill right away.” President Obama also stressed that this plan put together ideas supported and introduced by both Republicans and Democrats. Partygoers cheered as the President described a $4,000 tax credit to employers who hire the long-term unemployed, tax credits for hiring veterans and responsible changes to Medicare.
As the speech drew to a close our discussion fired up. One man was happy to hear The President tell Congress that he cannot pass this bill alone, they need to work together to turn around the economy. Another reminisced about the excitement of working on the 2008 campaign and joked how his wife “was mad at him for going out every night to knock on doors.” I was excited to see the new attendees speak up without prompting by the OFA staff and heard many asking how they could get involved, including a women who wanted to host her own get together.
Overall this was the perfect way to kick-off the fall election season; we are fired up, volunteers are ready to go talk to their neighbors, and the staff is excited to get to work. Everyone left with a smile and an Obama 2012 sign. I left eagerly awaiting our next house party.