This weekend at Camp Obama in L.A. has re-invigorated me and given me a renewed spirit of hope and enthusiasm for our grassroots movement. I want to say a big thank you to the Obama staff, Buffy, Mary, Steven and especially Marshall Ganz for sharing the tools to keep this movement rolling. Meeting Marshall was like having a glimpse into the organizing days of my mom and dad during their years with the United Farmworkers Union, a time period I’ve heard and studied so much about. I was glowing to hear Marshall recount my father as “the king of petition gathering drives”. And just like those days in Delano, there’s a lot of work to be done now in San Diego. With the early voting ballots being mailed out January 5th we have 23 weeks to do it in. Yikes! 


(Menno, Krish, Dorothy, Lolly, Darwin, Marsha, Marshall, Me)

I’d like this blog posting to be a call of action of sorts… a rebirth of a somewhat scattered early momentum of hope in San Diego that we local organizers as well as the national campaign weren’t ready to capture. When I look around even our city, I so many common goals we share. We’ve got such a gap in our school system -- the resources seem unevenly divided between what the kids in La Jolla have and what the kids in Chula Vista need. Firefighters and police who keep us safe are dealing with budget crunches, which make it difficult to even live and own a house in the city they protect. We’ve got our own share of uninsured and people who’s only option is to go to an emergency room and wait when seeing and having a physician would help them and the system much more. And, unfortunately, our various counties and districts seem to divide us not just in terms of geography.

I’ve found hope in Barack’s vision and plans for us. I see he is someone who understands that we need to pay our teachers the wages they deserve and invest in schools to give our kids the resources to learn the math and sciences and grow up to be the top innovators in the global economy. He was an organizer and understands the plight of the working class and has a plan for fixing our broken health care system and keeping wages from dipping where people can’t support a family. And just as important, he had the foresight, not just an apologetic hindsight, to go on TV, make a stance, and go on record being against the war before it was even authorized citing that the results would be the exact civil war and high casualties we see today.

In San Diego, we’ve got a lot of work to do and now we’ve got the tools and goals to do it -- we organize and it starts now. We’ve got clear goals from Obama for America and meeting them is going to involve us making phone calls to everyone who has said at any point they are interested in volunteering. Then, beginning in September with our new volunteer base set we’re making phone calls to potential supporters and getting ready to walk our districts.

Moreover, our new structure (and the way voting will be counted) is going to be organized by congressional district (or “CD”). Below is a map of the 5 congressional districts of California.

 



We need your help! We need leaders who can be Coordinators, Data Managers, Volunteer Coordinators, Event Coordinators, Phone Bank Coordinators, Canvass Coordinators, and Materials / Resources coordinators for each CD. Getting organized at this level will let us build on the momentum that Barack has started and growing our volunteer base in all the CDs will let us eventually create neighborhood networks within our CDs. I really love Marshall’s visual that illustrates leadership and organizing as my parents know it and were taught by Cesar Chavez:

 



Let’s get to work! We’ve volunteer targets to meet and voter targets that we know we need to win and you can be a part of this historic grassroots campaign of change.
Our first meeting to discuss this new strategy will encompass all the CDs so we’re going to meet all together in the center of San Diego, in Hillcrest tomorrow, July 30th. The meeting will be held at the Joyce Beers Community Center, located at:

Joyce Beers Community Center
1220 Cleveland Ave.
San Diego, CA 92103

* It located just East of the Ralph’s parking lot off of University Ave

Also, don’t miss Barack’s birthday party next weekend August 4th, organized by Darwin!

It’s time to really be the change we wish to see in the world, and be a part of this extraordinary movement.