At 4:50pm on Thursday evening I was sitting in the office building where I work, less than two miles from the site of the Giants v Rangers game. I had one eye on the internet coverage of the game, and the other on the phone because I was excitedly waiting for President Obama to call me.
OK ... maybe Obama wasn't going to personally dial my number, and maybe I was not the only Democratic Party Youth Leader waiting for their phone to ring. But I was still kind of freaking out:)
After listening to President Obama’s remarks, and some follow up commentary from the College Democrats of America and the Democratic National Committee’s Youth Council, I put the Youth Leaders call on hold, and dialed into a 5pm call for the Democratic Party’s California Team with Obama and Senator Barbara Boxer.
Obama talked about why he supports Senator Boxer, and encouraged us all to volunteer in the few remaining days before the election. Obama has visited California several times this year to support Senator Boxer's re-election campaign. Jill Biden and Michelle were here recently, too.
Here's a Barbara Boxer campaign radio spot featuring Obama:
In addition to hearing from Obama on the Thursday night calls, I really enjoyed hearing from Senator Boxer. She has been my favorite senator since I started paying close attention to politics after the Twin Towers fell during my second year at Pace Law School. Following my graduation from law school I moved from New York to San Francisco, where I got to be one of Senator Boxer's constituents:)
Two years later I made the cross-country move again, from San Francisco to Washington, DC because I dreamed of working for Senator Boxer on international marine debris issues. It took 4 months, a job at a coffee shop and another at a call center, plus 2 internships and probably a hundred informational interviews, but I actually secured a job working for Senator Boxer!
photo: Co-worker Kelly & I, June 2008
While I later left Senator Boxer's employ to run a voter registration drive that I thought might benefit the Obama Presidential Campaign, I will always be loyal to Senator Boxer.
That's why I've been down at the San Francisco Democratic Party campaign office a few evenings after work recently, calling fellow San Francisco Democrats to remind them to vote, and that's why I'm going door to door in San Francisco neighborhoods this weekend with Organizing for America, to remind people to vote on Tuesday.
I need to know that I am doing everything that I can to make sure that Obama has the allies that he needs in Congress, like Senator Boxer. As MoveOn.org said in a recent email: "Do you really need clean socks that bad?" HA. No, my dirty socks can wait until Nov 3.
photo: West LA volunteers
If you feel similarly, then what can you do? LOTS.
1.) Join up with Organizing for America to make phone calls to Democrats who voted for the first time in Nov 2008. We need to make sure that they go back to the polls on Tuesday. Even making 10 minutes worth of calls will help. (Note that when you click on the link here, you'll be taken to the California OFA page. If you live in a different state then go to the top right-hand corner of the page and change your location.)
2.) If you can volunteer in person (either at an OFA office making phone calls, or canvassing your city's neighborhoods) then google "Organizing for America" plus your state's name to find your local OFA office. For example, here's the California page. Then call the office, or stop by to find out how you can help. This is not a time to be shy!
3.) Of course you can donate money if you want. The Boxer Store is having a sale!
4.) I voted early via absentee ballot. I typed up how I voted, and shared it in a "note" on Facebook. Based on what I've read (and the positive feedback I've received from friends) it seems like this personal contact really works.
5.) Finally, DON'T FORGET TO VOTE on Nov 2. Make sure your family members, friends, co-workers, professors, neighbors, etc vote! If you can take the day off from work then Organizing for America could really use your help. Again, find your local OFA office to find out where your help is most needed on Election Day.
THANK YOU for anything that you can do.
GO TEAM BOXER:) Go Obama! GO VOLUNTEERS!!! United together, we CAN do this.