YOUTH IN THE OBAMA CAMPAIGN
by Karen (an ISC parent)
Consistency was a key to the success of the Obama campaign for the presidency of the United States. They had one tagline, "Yes We Can!" It never changed, it only intensified as the momentum grew for the candidate and his ability to bring the right people together for a common goal... to get him elected as our 44th President.
As an active supporter of the Obama campaign for well over a year, I was blessed to see this grass roots campaign grow in size and in excitement. One of the most notable groups of participants were the young, first-time voters. According to the Young Democrats Society, The Youth Vote includes those between the ages of 18 and 25. Census.gov, said that over 2.2 million more young voters voted in this year than in 2004. Out of all these young voters, 7 out of every 10 chose Obama.Even those who were too young to vote in this election wanted their voices heard. The link below is a remake of the song "You Can Have Whatever you Like" by T.I. This version is called, "You Can Vote However you Like."
Fox News on Youth Voting
It's a modern-day reminder of the freedoms we enjoy living in a democratic society. It is also a testimony to the ability Obama and his team has to get everyone of all ages involved in politics. Obama reached out to young voters through the best way he knew how... the internet. Hiring Chris Hughes, co-founder of Facebook was ingenious. Hughes was not only responsible for the success of the my.barackobama.com web site; he was the single most important factor in bringing such a large group of people together in cyberspace.
I was blessed once again to have been asked to volunteer in Las Vegas, Nevada. Amongst all the lights and glitter were a pack of "Youth Voters" that were not only exercising their right to vote, but they were taking on leadership roles that defined the success of this campaign. It was a rare moment when the older volunteers were actually taking direction from the youth. The youth were accurate and thorough in printing out thousands of pages listing potential voters we needed to talk to face to face. My crew and I spent hours walking through neighborhoods canvassing to a very select set of voters encouraging them to "get out the vote". We didn't waste time trying to convince Republicans to vote Democrat. Instead, we identified those undecided and Democratic voters that we felt confident we could get to the poles, even if we had to take them there ourselves.
Thanks to the tireless efforts of our Young Team Leaders, we were able to turn Nevada into a Democratic state. These future leaders never got a dime for their effort; they simply wanted to support the man who made them feel important and made them believe that their vote meant something. That's one of the most valuable lessons I learned from this experience... if you make people a part of the process, they will work tirelessly for the success of the process. "Yes We Can" and "Yes We Did"!
The President Elect wants to continue to get others involved in politics. He's even built a web site, www.change.gov that will act as his main source of daily communication with the people he serves. That includes all of the people; young and old, black, white, and even those that didn't vote for him. There's never been a better time for young people to learn about the political process because it is being reformed and modernized right before our eyes! As the web site name suggests, politics is changing. Obama is asking our youth to be a part of that change. Don't miss it!
On January 20, be sure to watch (and record) the inauguration on television. Remember the details, including your surroundings and the people you are sharing the moment with. As young people, you may not appreciate it now, but you'll thank me when you read the history books to your children and grandchildren. When they ask you about the first African American President of these United States, you can tell them in great detail how you witnessed history.
Rosa Sat, so Martin could March, so Obama could Run, so our Kids can Fly!!!!
"They promise us 40 acres, we chose instead to take the White House."