Letter from an Obama Volunteer
Recently a friend asked me if I thought all the work I’d put into President Obama’s
re-election was worth it – all the hours of phone banking, door-knocking and
voter registration efforts. My answer to her and to you is an emphatic YES!
I’m always doing some form of political action and have since I was a little kid.
Maybe last summer you saw the voter registration table near Trader Joe’s. A friend
and I organized that effort, and we registered more voters than at any other site in
I carry registration forms with me wherever I go. For me, registering voters,
staying informed about the issues and how my elected officials are voting, getting
petition signatures, making calls to Congress and the state house, blogging and
tweeting don’t stop after Election Day. They are part of my life.
The frustration for activists is that a lot of people lose interest except for those
6 weeks leading up to a major election. Many believe that voting is enough, and
they’re surprised when things happen – like the 2010 Republican takeover in
Harrisburg, the partisan redrawing of Congressional districts that led
to Republicans taking 13 of PA’s 18 seats in November – in an election Obama
won by 310,000 votes. Voter ID. Steep cuts to higher education. The safety net
for some if the most needy slashed. Restrictions on women’s health clinics. A
plan to count electoral votes in presidential elections by Congressional district.
(Under it, Romney would have won Pennsylvania.)
I believe the answer is to organize and activate people to stay engaged on a
continual basis. Make sure your friends and neighbors know why it matters to
be a Democrat. We should feel really good that President Obama was
re-elected, that we held the Senate and won back 8 seats in the House. But with
more ground work we certainly can win in 2014 statewide and in 2013 locally.
“So what can I do?” you ask. “I work and have family obligations.I just don’t have
the time.” What if I told you that for an hour or so a month, you could help change
your world? You could probably handle that.
Want to find out what you can do? Come to your local Democratic Party’s
January meeting. It’s on Wednesday, January 16th at 7:30 PM in Keene
Hall of the Township Building.
Just show up and see how you can get involved at the local level. Two years from
now, you might be sitting at Thanksgiving dinner not just with a Democratic President
and Senate, but also with a Democratic majority in the U.S. House, the state Assembly
and governor’s mansion, as well as balanced representation at the local level.
Democrats worked hard in 2012, but we can do better. Newly elected Attorney General
Kathleen Kane told voted voters she would “stand up to the Harrisburg boys.” Let’s