Unapologetic progressive. Fearless activist. Plucky liberal.

I went to my first Organizing for America meeting this morning. OFA was created by President Obama as a grass-roots effort to support his agenda. There were around 20 of us, including organizers, and we talked about OFA’s mission and how we can get involved. One of the things I found very heartening was just knowing there are other people in my community who have the same views I do. My state is considered very red, and sometimes I feel like the only blue fish in a big red ocean. But people at the meeting talked about being angry at the Republicans’ agenda and afraid for the safety of the middle class. A teacher said she was concerned with the state of education, because teachers are educating less and less and instead teaching stadardized tests.
 
The leaders of the meeting talked about the power of personal stories in spreading President Obama’s message. Volunteer leader Stephanie said she had gotten involved over health care and the Iraq war. She grew up in a Mennonite area that was strongly pacifistic, and being without health insurance made her want to get involved. Two of the people I found most inspiring were a couple in their 80s who have been politically active all of their lives. They have nine children, including two adopted daughters. They routinely take two-week trips to do rescue work and had been to New Orleans three times. They have clearly led very full lives and I was very impressed that they are not letting anything slow them down or stop them from being involved.
 
One of the things we discussed at the meeting is OFA’s keywords of respect, empower and include. Volunteer leader Marilyn was so great at talking about what empowerment means to her that we all wished we had captured her on video. She talked about finding your voice and holding our representatives accountable for what they do. If you’re not happy with their votes, let them know and make your feelings heard at the ballot box. That really resonated with me. I was the youngest person in the room by several years, and I think a lot of young people don’t get involved with politics because they think it doesn’t affect them, or there’s nothing they can do. That couldn’t be further from the truth, and I think a problem of politics in general is engaging young voters and keeping them engaged. There was a strong youth turnout in the 2008 election but not so much in 2010. We need them back in 2012 if we want to keep President Obama in office.
 
What I took away from the meeting is that progressives are everywhere, even the reddest of red states; personal stories are highly effective at communicating messages; and everyone needs to step up and be involved. I look forward to working more with OFA in the future and helping them re-elect President Obama.

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Comments on: "Community organizing with OFA" (10)

  1. Beautifully written post. Enjoyed reading it very much. OFA would be very fortunate to have you on board.

    • Thanks, Rick! I’ll let you know what happens with OFA. Sorry I’ve been so tardy in replying to comments; the past few days have been busy. I bet you’re glad your week is over, too.

  2. Thank you for standing up for all women and the many important causes linked to being a “blue fish”. I found you on Twitter (I’m @JanesTeapot). Your Tweets and this blog made my day. My elderly mother passed away Friday night–she was a RN and always said, “Anyone who has ever worked in an inner-city hospital becomes ProChoice.” She was a staunch Republican (it used to be a very different kettle of fish!) and she voted for Obama! Well, she actually voted against McCain saying, “There’s no way in hell that Palin gets my vote.” I’d like to think that she is sending you, as a young advocate, some well-earned mojo. :o)

    • Your comment is by far the nicest one I’ve gotten since starting this blog. I’m so sorry to hear about your mother. My condolences to you and your family. I know how hard the loss of a loved one can be. I’m honored you think she is sending me some good mojo, and I will keep fighting on behalf of her and thousands of other women. Thank you for the comment; it really made *my* day. :)

  3. […] the OFA meeting I attended yesterday, one woman explained her support of President Obama by saying she […]

  4. Uncle Dave said:

    GO , MOLLY – GO !

    Keep up your fine work; Positive energy
    in the correct direction ~
    I was going to say in the
    RIGHT direction – but I
    slapped my hand ! – HA !

  5. […] Eight of us from two counties attended. We talked about the positive and negative aspects of last week’s training, and we found there were mostly positives. My only mild critique was that I agreed with David, who […]

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