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Midday Matinee – Thanks to Every Volunteer

November 7, 2012

Midday Matinee

Midday Matinee – Thanks to Every Volunteer

The volunteers, the grassroots, delivered for Obama and Democrats yesterday. My thanks to every one of them. Every single one of them. (More)

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break.

The staging area that I worked out of was an amazing group of people. Name a demographic dimension and a representative of that group was working with another person from a different group. The bonus of volunteering was using breaks to chat with people that we might not have gotten to know if not for our shared passion to reelect Obama and Democrats and to fight to defeat two far right proposed Constitutional Amendments.

Here’s a brief look at some of the great people I got to work with:

A handicapped woman who used a walker came twice a week to phone bank and used the metro mobility bus to come to our staging area. She booked her rides way in advance to make sure she wouldn’t let us down. She never missed the shifts she volunteered for. All of us came to appreciate the challenges faced by people with disabilities listening to her talk about her life all the while insisting that so many people had it worse than she did.

A gay couple who came to different shifts from each other so they could take turns doing child care. It took me a while to put them together as a couple because they didn’t appear together until the final GOTV weekend. They quietly coached the rest of us on how to tell stories to convince voters that defeating the ‘marriage amendment’ made sense for all families. They helped many of the phone bankers be able to speak with conviction and compassion.

The high school kids who were required by their social studies teachers to volunteer 8 hours to a campaign as part of their homework. Many of them got so hooked on being involved that they came back for more. After a month they were a big and important part of our crew. They earned the respect of every one else and gave us a unique insight into both what they thought was important and how they talked about issues.

The large black woman of faith who solved the problem of not being able to buy T-shirts she liked in her size by making her own. Each of her shirts had Obama on the front and a Bible verse on the back. She was a gifted story teller who shared why she had picked that verse and what it meant for her.

The retired 85 year old teacher who I canvassed with. She could defend the role of public schools in building a country and a democracy with such clarity that we all learned from her. Lots of teachers were volunteers and they also were proudly union members.

A variety of immigrants, some citizens and some residents who reminded each of us of “The American Dream” by telling us their American dreams. I got an invaluable lesson in the pronunciation of African names from an Ethiopian man.

So my fellow volunteers around the country, thanks for showing up and thanks for every phone call you made and door you knocked on. Together we made it happen!

  • NCrissieB

    Thank you for this, addisnana. In an election where the margins were very close in several key states and races, 2012 came down to the hard work of grassroots Democratic volunteers. President Obama thanked them first last night … and we should thank each other at every opportunity we get over the coming weeks.

    • addisnana

      Thank you for your activism! Our group turned into huggers and arm patters and were most excellent at giving out the thank your. 🙂

  • winterbanyan

    These are absolutely wonderful stories, addisnana. I’m only sorry it took me so long to reply, but I was absolutely wiped yesterday.

    These are the people who make the work worthwhile. 🙂 The variety of our “base,” the diversity of people who came together in the cause, is breathtaking.

    I hope we can hang onto this. I met the real face of America while volunteering, and it’s beautiful.