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"There are big boxes of walk packets sitting in the floor of our office that are totally untouched because almost no one came through the office today...and things are not looking good for election day."

For a complete want of GOTV volunteers, thousands of votes were lost.

For the want of thousands of votes, the state of Missouri was lost.

For the want of Missouri's 11 electoral votes, Obama lost.

For the want of President Obama, America was lost.

Why? Jump below the fold.

I am an Obama volunteer in Northern St. Louis, MO. As you know, MO is one of the big swing states this year. St. Louis is one of the parts of the state where there are lots of Democratic votes to be found. Unfortunately, there is a huge part of the STL metro area that has almost no volunteer help at the moment: the precincts around the airport and the old Ford plant on the north side of town. Right now, we only have about 10% of the volunteers that we need to reach all of the potential voters in our area. There are big boxes of walk packets sitting in the floor of our office that are totally untouched because almost no one came through the office today...and things are not looking good for election day. This is really unfortunate because (according to others in the office who know better than I do) there are lots of Democrats on our side of town who would vote for Obama but need some additional prompting or assistance to get to the polls. It would be a huge shame if Obama lost MO by a handful of votes just because north county was left to whither on the vine.

What can you do to help?

If you live in the STL area, volunteer for Obama in Northern STL. From what I am hearing, most other areas in the city are flush with volunteers. Consider doing an extra shift in north county or switch from your current location to north county. (Why the campaign isn’t sending folks our way from these other areas is beyond my understanding and "pay grade.")

If you are near STL, consider traveling here. Even if you can only give four hours to canvass on Tuesday, it would be a huge help. If you live four hours or so away, consider driving out here Monday night, staying overnight, canvassing on Tuesday, and going home on Tuesday night. (The main STL office can hook you up with a place to stay the night if you need it.)

If you can’t travel to STL, rec up this dairy. Call any Obama supporters that you know in STL. Beg or bribe them to volunteer some time in north STL.

This is the hour of our greatest need. If you don’t do it, there isn’t going to be someone else to take your place. It’s now or never. The difference between victory and defeat is in your hands.

Saint Louis County - North County Office
9144 Pershall Road
Saint Louis, MO
(314) 327-5155

Update 1 Thanks for putting this on the rec list. I hope it can stay up here for a few more hours so people near here can see it on Sunday morning.

Update 2 Moving up the list and almost at the top. If you are prepared to volunterr in North STL, I'll post your names on later updates.

Update 3 We do NOT need people to drive supporters to the polls. The Obama campaign is paying for cabs to drive people to and from the polls. We need people to canvass, remind people to go vote, and drop polling location literature.

These people are volunteering: ILeanLeft (4), Charliestl, princess k, The Angry Independent, No Coast Nate, Waterlaw99, stl dem

Also, please do NOT call to harass the paid campaign staff. They are working really hard over very long hours for Obama. They are doing a wonderful job. It's just that the supporters are not answering their call. I'm not trying to stir up trouble; I just want people to get off their butts and pound pavement in the airport area. No matter who is "at fault" for this situation, we need the volunteers NOW.

Just try to be like our candidate. Don't get mad (like McCain); get active! What would Obama do?

Update 4 It's 7:30AM CST, and we're still third on the rec list. Thanks everyone. Hopefully, folks in STL will wake up this morning and see this dairy. Please keep rec'ing if you haven't already. I'm going into the office now. No internet access. Darn!

FINAL Update We are doing a lot better in the North county area. We had more volunteers on Sunday than we did on Saturday largely thanks to your help. A number of people who came in today specifically referenced this article or an email sent in response to this article when they showed up to volunteer today. At our office at airport district, the number of doors knocked on shot up from 330 to 1,170!

Despite these incredible gains, we are still short staffed. If my diary energized you to work in North County, follow it up with action! We need every volunteer that we can get. North county is where the action is in STL for the next 48 hours. There are still a lot of doors here that have never been knocked on during the entire general election season or even since this whole sorted affair started almost two years ago. The people who live in this part of STL are the very people we are fighting to give hope to. They work 60 hours per week to afford a single small house, pay for the basics of life, hold on to their overpriced health insurance (if they have it), fight for a sliver of the American dream. There are so many votes to be had here, but we have to work for them! If you are reading this diary for the first time, please act on it. Don’t let Obama lose because they were overlooked.

Now the funny part: There was a woman in CA who saw this diary and blasted an email to jaelithe, a volunteer in STL. Well, it turns out that she is my "boss" for the weekend! When I told her I wrote the diary, we all broke out laughing! I don’t know why that’s funny. I guess you had to be here.

This is the text of jaelithe’s comment per MissInformation’s request

• I volunteer out of this office. It's absolutely true that we are strapped for volunteers and need help immediately.
The issue is NOT with our current paid staff. The DFOs and FOs we've been sent in recent weeks are excellent and they are working as hard as they can.

The issue is that the area in question (and I know this well, because I was born in this area) is a working-class area. Many of the people who live here have been hard hit by the recent economic downturn and the loss of manufacturing jobs in the area; the Ford plant that shut down employed a lot of local workers. Many of my neighbors work two or even three jobs to make ends meet; many others work and are in school or work and have three or four kids, or are elderly or disabled. So even though there is a lot of support for Obama in this neighborhood, there are a lot of people who simply don't have many hours to spare for volunteering.  

We also had some early organizational snafus (due to plain old bad luck) when the office opened that delayed the arrival of qualified staff and good office equipment. We don't have working landline phones in the office, so we've been phone banking with six cell phones. We don't have a working copy machine. My own scanner/printer and microwave are currently serving the office; in these last weeks I've been keeping the staff supplied with orange juice and coffee. Other volunteers have brought in food and other equipment, but again, many people in this neighborhood can't afford to make similar donations.

The staff and many of the dedicated volunteers we have are working 12-16 hour days trying to GOTV. The state campaign is most definitely aware of our issues, and they have been working to help us, but in a battleground state they have so many irons in the fire I imagine they just haven't been able to shift resources quickly enough.
Please help if you can.

Yesterday a man who had lost both of his legs came to my staging location wearing prosthetics to WALK the neighborhood for two hours. I've been sick for days with a bad cough and was feeling pretty dismal sitting there in that office managing my tiny crew of canvassers, until he came in, and reminded me I needed to quit complaining to myself and WORK.

If he can do this, any of us can.

Originally posted to DeanObama on Sat Nov 01, 2008 at 08:22 PM PDT.

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