Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Don't miss it: Obama campaign in Listening Tour for next phase

Some time ago one of the readers of this blog asked, “What are we doing to support the president?”

I suggested joining a Democratic club or similar to get more active. Here’s what I should have said: Get yourself to Organizing for America and sign up right away!

Night before last I was one of about 15 people at an OFA gathering in Miami called Florida Listening Tour (one of many stops in). The meeting was led by Ashley Walker, who was deputy director of the Obama campaign in Florida. Most people attending had worked in the campaign, one as paid staff, others as almost full-time volunteers. One woman had moved to swing-state Florida from a solid blue state to make a difference where it would count.

If you were an Obama volunteer, you’ll be familiar with the useful website, it’s dear old my.barackobama.com, or my-bo for conversational short. Plain barackobama.com also works. Your old log-in still works. Your old blog posts are still there. But now the site has morphed from Obama for America to Organizing for America. Clever, huh. Still OFA. But now we’re in office and taking on missions to get bills through Congress.

This, of course, is not new. My-bo has been active all along since last November. The difference now seems to be that the White House and Obama machine are gearing up to be in campaign mode full-time. This will not be like winning campaigns of the past that celebrated and partied on election night and inauguration day, and then dissolved. Three years later the old phones and email addresses would be tried again and campaigners would start to meet again. Now it will never stop.

Ashley Walker said she and John Bivona are doing the listening tour for now, traveling up and down Florida and holding similar meetings in city after city, town after town, to recruit, wake up old volunteers, listen, ask questions about what’s needed to make an impact in Florida.

Two priorities:

· Organizing support for President Obama’s policy priorities

· Building and strengthening the grassroots movement by empowering people to have an impact in their own communities.

A no-brainer for the Florida impact side: help with the redistricting petition drives to end gerrymandering. Beyond that, your friendly Obama volunteer leader probably already is organizing drives to help push the Obama program on health care, energy and education.

There are about 30 more Listening Tour events on the calendar for Florida, including two in Miami-Dade County in coming weeks. Make sure you get to one.

May 21 in Coral Gables / South Miami --> http://my.barackobama.com/page/event/detail/gptgds

June 3 in Miami --> http://my.barackobama.com/page/event/detail/gptgdl

And by the way, this is gearing up in all 50 states. Expect to be asked to donate. And to make a ton of phone calls to recalcitrant members of Congress, entirely too many of whom will be Democrats.


mdrfl said...

The quote that I like the best about OFA 2.0 is something like:

..."the important problems that face our country are too big and the choices too important to only be debated in Washington and on cable TV. They need to be discussed and debated in our homes and living rooms and communities."

Larry Thorson said...

It's good to be a part of it down here on the level of the grassroots, and a big part of the good feeling comes from the fact that the president is in charge of this effort, and he knows what he's doing in community organizing.