Volunteer for Obama

The Obama campaign welcomes volunteers who can spend time in neighborhoods throughout the state canvassing registered voters and persuading (reachable) McCain supporters/undecideds to consider Sen. Obama. Anyone who has a few disposable hours or even an entire a day or two would be received with open arms. No political or campaign experience is required. We would especially like middle-aged to older folks to join the campaign, since older voters tend to be the most lukewarm towards Sen. Obama’s candidacy.

Registering new voters is also still a major focus of the campaign. Hundreds of thousands of African-Americans and young people remain excluded from the political process because they have not filed the necessary paperwork required for voting. We can simultaneously help people develop a new appreciation and understanding of politics, as well as bring more votes to our side, by reaching out and registering these folks.

If you do not want to physically campaign or cannot because of time constraints, you can help the campaign by phonebanking from home. This can be achieved by visiting the Obama website, clicking on the “Action” tab, then “Phonebanking.” If thousands of Obama supporters across the country make a few phone calls within NC or out to other swing states—which they are doing as we speak—significant chunks of votes can be turned our way.

If none of these pursuits seem exciting, you can help the campaign by fundraising on the local level. Simply purchasing buttons or bumper-stickers from the Obama website “Store,” then reselling the items for a slightly higher price ($5-$10) in a nearby Obama-friendly neighborhood, and finally contributing the profit to the Obama campaign as a donation. Over the past few weeks, I have raised over $1000 selling buttons and bumperstickers here in Chapel Hill.

You might feel that one or two volunteers cannot make a difference in swinging an entire state into the Democratic column, even one as competitive as North Carolina. You might believe that the campaign is already sufficiently staffed, and would not stand to gain from additional assistance. Both arguments are completely false. North Carolina was decided by a whopping 12 percentage points last year. Herculean efforts are required to help Sen. Obama in many parts of our state. But we can certainly make a difference. It is our responsibility as informed progressive voters to help North Carolina light up Tarheel Blue on Election Night. This year, we have a collective ability, and enough enthusiasm, to make an impact.