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The First Lady Sparks Grassroots Planning

Wednesday night, across Oregon, groups of Women for Obama gathered in supporters’ homes and other locations to participate in a conference call with Michelle Obama. They heard the First Lady thank volunteers for their hard work and discuss issues that concern many women including health care, education, and equal pay for equal work.

In North Portland, John and Jessica K. welcomed supporters to their home for the call. Reactions were enthusiastic to say the least. As one attendee said of the First Lady, “She’s so very real, just herself. You know no words would pass her lips if she didn’t believe them.” After the call, the group brainstormed goals for North Portland, planning regular “NoPo” phone banks every Thursday, starting March 15.

At Willamette University in Salem, dozens of supporters got together in Ford Hall for the call, then had a spirited conversation about the issues the First Lady raised. “It was really great to hear from such a diverse group,” said Merideth S., who organized the meeting. “They all signed ‘I'm In’ cards and want to come out again to volunteer and help.”

The Ladies in Blue, longtime volunteers and supporters who are helping to organize and energize Oregon women for the 2012 elections, were also out in force. Women from across the area packed OFA’s Portland office to listen to the First Lady speak. Judy F., one of the founders of Ladies in Blue, was thrilled at the number of women who attended. After introducing the call, she led the women in a discussion of what they can do in in their own neighborhoods to support President Obama and other Democrats in 2012.

Northwest Portlanders came by the dozen to a local restaurant on West Burnside. A wide variety of supporters, from experienced volunteers to first-timers, listened to the First Lady then stuck around afterward to start the process of building their neighborhood team. “It was a great turnout,” said Jessica C. “Everybody was really excited to hear the First Lady speak and learn about ways they can get involved.”

If you want to learn how you can get involved too, sign up to volunteer or find an event in your neighborhood.

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