Sunday, November 04, 2012

Day 2 GOTV-- Sunday Morning

I'm off running errands for our staging location so Pat Maher is going to handle the first post of the day.  Take it away, Pat!

The Staging Location Banner at Just In Cafe
Yesterday during brief breaks in the action at our  staging location, the longtime organizer who runs our campaign substation here in West Akron was making sure everyone she knows was getting to the Board of Elections to vote.  Her name is Mary Sobah and she is a one woman polling place as well as a stalwart organizer who has been slogging for months through the painstaking work that makes this campaign so effective. When her grandson came in to fill out an absentee ballot -- it was his first time voting -- he turned to us all and said "I just did my part to save this country." 

Mary Sobah, Our Fearless Leader
We spent yesterday as we'll spend the next three days:  organizing "turf" -- the precinct maps and home address lists-- and  training and dispatching canvassers into the streets.  One woman who came in to canvass with her teenage daughter said she would be back today and tomorrow to canvass.  Her eyes filled with tears as she told me she just couldn't let Romney win this election and so she would come out with us over the next few days.  Another canvasser brought his 17-year old son.  When they returned from their shift the son proudly told me he thought he had convinced an undecided voter to vote for Obama.

So yes I'm tired and surviving on too much caffeine and bizarre nutrition right now (it has been a downhill slide since yesterday morning's excellent oatmeal)  but I love this work.  This weekend is the culmination of all those walks down the streets of West Akron from the last few months, knocking on doors, talking to people, seeing who is voting how and voting when.

I think what is hard to see from outside the swing states like Ohio is that this campaign is based on a very finely honed organizing strategy. What is also hard to see is that the attempts at voter suppression here in Ohio have mobilized us. People here -- especially African Americans-- will not allow interference with their right to vote. Mainstream media has a tendency to construct people of color voters as hapless victims of right wing malfeasance -- a la the 47%! --- without acknowledging the solid community organizing in places like Akron and Cleveland and other cities. For example, those "Voter Fraud is a Felony" billboards that were placed in Cleveland and other communities a few weeks ago were sited in neighborhoods where Obama has been organizing for months. The right wing assumes an extraordinary level of stupidity and helplessness. Rest assured there is a huge voter protection mobilization in place on our side.

We heard yesterday that the lines at the Board of Elections in Akron yesterday were around the block.  Today is "Souls to Polls" when churchgoers go straight from the pews to vote at the Board of Elections.  Turnout is higher here already than it was in 08.  We're gonna win this thing!


  1. Wonderful post,love it, Mary Jane and I acknowledge all for their purposeful work!

  2. Thank you, Rebecca and Pat, for these invaluable accounts. And for the work.


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