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Recognizing that Iowa IS “Obama Country,” One Backyard at a Time

Recently, one of our house parties in Des Moines’ Beaverdale neighborhood received some attention from both the Des Moines Register and USA Today. The articles did a great job at highlighting some of our volunteers’ efforts for Obama 2012 in central Iowa, but we wanted to take an opportunity to tell the story of our grassroots energy and these amazing volunteers ourselves through a way we’ve become pretty familiar with—our summer organizers and a camera lens! Check out the great pictures as well as some of the best moments during the house party from one of our summer organizers Sarah Friedricks, below.

Around 60 central Iowans gathered in their neighbor Sam’s backyard on a beautiful summer night, eating hot dogs and chatting with old friends. They sipped on cold drinks, sat in folding lawn chairs, and settled in to discuss what they could do to help re-elect President Obama.

We were honored as two special guests joined us as well: Attorney General Tom Miller and State Treasurer Mike Fitzgerald. Mike urged us to get involved early and stay active throughout the campaign. He reminded us that Iowa might look purple now, but we could help turn it blue. Tom echoed many of the same sentiments but also discussed the importance of coming together as a community in support of President Obama.

Soon after, folks broke into smaller groups to plan similar events in their own neighborhoods for the upcoming July Day of Action as well as events for the President’s upcoming 50th birthday. People suggested hosting phone banks with each person’s goal to make 50 calls for Obama’s 50th, asking friends to donate 50 minutes of their time, and holding house parties for neighbors to come together and celebrate the President’s many accomplishments, all while enjoying some birthday cake.

After the speeches and the event planning, people came back together, mingling with new and old friends. As the final breakout group finished up, all of us could hear a very familiar refrain echo out from inside the house: ‘Fired Up? Ready to Go!’ Soon enough, we’d all joined in. – Sarah Friedricks, Iowa Summer Organizer

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