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Summer Organizing the Maryland way

There has always been an ambience in every campaign office that I have walked into, a sense of acceptance and community, driven by the motivation to reach a common goal: achieving victory for your candidate. The morning that I walked into the Maryland Obama campaign office was no exception, and the connection that I felt with the summer organizers already seated in the office had little to do with the lovely spread of donuts and bagels on the table. Since that day, the core values of the organization, championed by Pres. Barack Obama himself during his days as a community organizer, have permeated into the group of nineteen Maryland summer organizers, becoming guiding tools that we will take beyond the world of organizing and campaigns.

Our first week on the job was a whirlwind of exhilaration, information overload, and anticipation. During our training, we learned about the ins and outs of working on such a unique campaign, so closely connected to its volunteers.

I think we all underestimated the momentum that would drive us forward, fueled by the fervor of being involved not just as an individual, but as part of an ever-growing family of impassioned volunteers. Last Monday, we launched into action, starting to make our first calls, learning how to widen our base of volunteers using social media. We also staffed our first event, Minority Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer’s annual Bull Roast, during which we had the privilege of talking to potential volunteers and collecting a quite a few “I’m In” cards.

Summer Organizers Hannah D. and Becca N. at a community event

On Wednesday, we listened to our first nationwide conference call and had the chance to participate in a breakout session by discussing progress with organizers from others parts of the country. But nothing could better remind us of the humble beginnings of this campaign and the importance of a dynamic base of volunteers, than the chief organizer himself, Pres. Barack Obama (I know, I couldn't believe it either!). The advice that came from our conversation with the President was abundant, but one piece of guidance particularly resonated with me. He told us: “pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and do it with enthusiasm”. Enthusiasm, it's what creates that critical bond amongst members of this organization, allows this organization to spread from community to community and state to state, and what what allows us to power through our weekly goals and reach beyond what is expected of us.

At one point in the conference call, President Obama asked us “Are you fired up?” Well, Mr. President, I sure hope that was a rhetorical question. The fire has been ignited; the only way we can go is forward.

Are you interested in becoming part of the Obama campaign in 2012, then join us now or call our Maryland HQ at 240-242-5750.

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