This image shows the diverse and enthusiastic supporters I saw for President Obama whenever crowds were there to greet him. Old, young, black, white, Asian, Latino, women, men, kids, seniors, ... they all reached out.
There have been hundreds of post-election diaries celebrating the wins and analyzing the losses. I want to thank many volunteers who helped with the GOTV efforts during the final four days. Special thanks to those volunteers who were there from the start months ago. For many of us, this has been a long journey. We canvassed and called to urge people to request an early voting ballot. Weekly meetings started in May. Weekend canvasses continued all summer. The vote by mail requests streamed in.
More down below...
Ours is a strongly Democratic county. Support for the President was widespread. I felt we would deliver strong numbers and we did. In fact, our county early voting was well ahead of the pace set in 2008. The blue line in the graph is for 2012. Red is 2008. The reason for the pace and enthusiasm was very different this time. In '08, Iowa launched Obama into the national spotlight with our caucus support. He was smart, eloquent, fun, and represented a great change from Bush. In '12, the motivation was more of fear of what would happen if Rmoney-Ryan got elected. The people I talked to were adamant about not going back to policies that failed and that didn't support the middle class.
I did get to speak with most of my core team members right after the election. Everyone has gone back to their regular lives now. I would like to thank each one. But, I can't. Instead, this 'thank you' diary will have to suffice. I won't forget how important you were to this election. You were part of an army of millions working at the grass roots local level.
Thank you to...
• Scott for your hours of work as our field organizer. We did butt heads at times. Your youthful enthusiasm and my reluctance to do certain things made me threaten to quit. In the end, we worked well together.
• Chris for being a strong leader of the team sharing our OFA office with mine.
• Billie and Dale for cleaning up the place and keeping the family together under all the stress.
• Danielle for being a strong leader of your team and sharing duties with mine.
• Nancy for being a strong leader of the team at the other end of town.
• Alex and Jane for being strong leaders of the teams north of us.
• Jeanne and Craig for being good friends and staying with me. I remember the day I asked you to join the team.
• Meg for juggling family, pastoral duties, course work, and multitasks at OFA, all with a smile. You stepped up readily.
• Elmer for canvassing that rural area for us. You knew the people. They trusted you.
• Rami and Chris for being two of the many medical professionals who volunteered their time in support of ACA.
• Meara for pushing your little boy for miles in the stroller as you knocked doors.
• Marc for that long day you spent canvassing two neighborhoods until late. I was worried you had disappeared.
• Cathy for your insight into the union members you represent.
• Darra, Ashley, Lauren, Ben, Adam and other high school students who were fearless. You guys were awesome and give me hope for the future.
• Venise for your early support during caucus and in the spring.
• Ann for juggling your work, travel, and commitment.
• Melanie for being our comfort captain and providing food and drink to the tired workers.
• Jennifer for bringing your three kids when you couldn't get a sitter arranged. I hope they were watching their mother and seeing your dedication.
• Mike for canvassing while in recovery from that painful condition. I also hope you never have to face your prejudices that way again. The man who greeted your knock with a holstered gun would have scared me, too.
• Sean for putting your bike in your car so you could cover more ground.
• Eileen for making calls and knocking doors. Both of those things were hard for you to do by your admission. You overcame your fear.
• Dick for being a successful canvasser all summer long. Sorry you were out of town at the end.
• Winnie for spending the last 10 months away from your home in CA to act as a field organizer here.
• Rosanne, Mike, Harriet, Steve for being friends and team mates before we split our turf.
• Judy for being a good neighbor. You came back from the mission trip to Costa Rica and got on our phone bank the next days.
• Royce for the great job on signage for our office.
• Patti for offering your home as a meeting place and spending hours on the phone. You are good at that.
• Bruce and Cherry for hours of summertime canvassing. Sorry for that ballot mess.
• Cheryl and Terry for data entry and many other jobs. It was a family affair at times.
• Curt, Nick, Carole, Susan, Shelda, Maureen, Leslie, Jayne, Deb, Ross, Ann, and some I am sorry to have skipped.
You were all terrific in your own special and unique ways. You each brought your personal story about why this election was important to you. I was moved by them. They gave me more reasons to continue.
You renewed my faith in the positive and good sides of people. Thank you so much.