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Ms. Smith Goes to Washington


I didn’t come to Washington, D.C., thinking I could change the world, like Mr. Smith did in the movie. But after a day at the White House, I feel like maybe I can do just that.

Being a content specialist and communicator — both professionally and as a volunteer for the Obama 2012 campaign — I’m active on Twitter. That’s how I came to be invited to the White House for what they call a White House Tweetup (known on Twitter as a #WHTweetup). Citizens like myself can apply for the chance to visit the White House for a special occasion, tweet about it and meet with Administration officials.

I was ecstatic when I learned I’d be attending the official arrival ceremony for UK Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife, Samantha. About 7,000 attendees, including our Tweetup group of 50 or so, assembled on the South Lawn for the ceremony. It was a thrill to hear President Obama speak in person — a speech filled with respect and fondness for our friends in the UK. He was in rare form and I thought, for the millionth time, how much I admire our President.

After the ceremony, the Tweetup group spent two hours hearing from White House officials about the Obama Administration’s initiatives in economic and foreign policy, communications, digital strategy and engagement. I learned a great deal from these brilliant people, coming away with knowledge that will help me in my efforts to educate others about the President’s accomplishments. Jon Carson, Director of the Office of Public Engagement, said something that really struck me –

“American people should never underestimate their ability to engage in advocacy and to influence policy in Washington.”

It’s clear that President Obama and his Administration believe in that idea wholeheartedly. Since taking office, the President and First Lady have consistently worked to make the White House the people’s house.

Our networks – blogs, Facebook and Twitter – are a powerful way to talk about the accomplishments of the President and encourage supporters to take action. I’m only more excited to take this experience back to Michigan and build my neighborhood team.

From making phone calls to writing a blog post – there’s plenty of ways to get involved here in Michigan. Sign up to volunteer today.

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