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NMSU Grassroots 101 Training a Smashing Success

Students and community members gathered Saturday at NMSU’s Student Union Building to learn how they can play a role in re-electing President Barack Obama to a second term. In this training, attendees learned a variety of skills, such as how to operate Votebuilder, how to use their personal story as an organizing tool, and how to build a team in their neighborhood.

“The Grassroots 101 training was informative, extremely useful, but most of all energizing,” said Alexandrea A, a sophomore at NMSU. “I definitely feel comfortable using the material that was presented and am more confident in my teams’ abilities. I’m also excited having met individuals that share my own hopes and know they’re working towards the same goals.”

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Trainings like this occur frequently in New Mexico; it is important to cross-train volunteers on as many different facets of the campaign as possible at one event. After all, an empowered volunteer is an effective volunteer. By asking what volunteers would like to do, rather than just assigning a task, we make the experience an enjoyable one and keep people energized and wanting to do more.

Even experienced volunteers like Eric H., a veteran of the 2008 campaign in New Mexico, came in to see what new information the training had to offer.

Students in attendance decided that they wanted to start an ‘Aggies for Obama’ student organization, and were supported by the college Democrats that were in attendance.

“I really appreciate the campaign holding trainings like this,” said Miguel S, President of the College Democrats at NMSU. “Not only do they teach me and other students how we can help President Obama now, it also teaches us how we can organize our communities for years to come. We still have a Governor’s seat here that we need to take back in a couple years!”

Sentiments similar to Miguel’s and Alexandrea’s were echoed throughout the crowd. Many folks even offered to volunteer the following week. The response was so positive, we all decided that there should be monthly trainings of this nature—comprehensive trainings are great for everyone. They acclimate new volunteers to the campaign, refresh seasoned volunteers, and also offer more advanced trainings for those looking to take on a larger role.

“I’m excited for the next training,” said Miguel. “I’m looking forward to bringing even more students next time, and continuing to work to re-elect President Obama, and to build a better future for myself and my peers.”
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by Scott Tillman, Regional Field Director OFA New Mexico