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Friday, May 8, 2009

President Obama How About a Little Appreciation!



One Voice Can Change The Room. Fired Up? Ready To Go?

Now that Obama's inauguration has come and gone and a new era has dawned for America I feel the time is right to express a little disappointment. No I am not disappointed in Obama's becoming President quite the opposite, I campaigned vigorously for his election. My disappointment stems instead from the invitation to the inauguration that never came; the telephone call from the man himself that never materialized; the brief mention in a speech using me as an example of a committed American that was never uttered. Even a handwritten card on construction paper signed by Malia and Sasha in crayon would have made me happy!

Maybe an explanation is necessary: In July of 2008 I attended an event called Camp Obama in Long Beach. This was an all-weekend, eight-hour a day training session where we learned how to organize phone banks and otherwise get out the vote. It was a great experience where I met other similarly committed people who wanted to make a change. We even heard folks testify about being "recovering Republicans" who had decided to change party affiliations. Although a long two days it was well worth learning politics on the grassroots level and meeting great people. Part of participating in Camp Obama meant that you had to also commit to attend one weekend in Las Vegas for further training then a subsequent 5 days around the time of the election also in Las Vegas. The reason they sent all us Californians to Nevada is because California was already in the bag for Obama whereas the difference between McCain and Obama in Nevada was well within the margin of error. Literally thousands of Californians poured into Northern and Southern Nevada participating in phone banks and knocking on doors. In fact so many Californians were promoting the Democratic ticket they swept Nevada Democrats into the majority in the state senate and Obama won Nevada by 13 points (Perhaps understandably, the Nevada Democrats kept their gratitude to California to themselves). The Californians who went to Nevada took days off work, paid their own travel and their own lodging. Even when we made phone calls we made it from personal cell phones. Many of us also made the maximum individual donation toward the cause.

Speaking for myself and perhaps others, the motivation for my efforts boiled down to this: I wanted to make sure that on the day after the election, when I looked at myself in the mirror, I could say that I had done everything I could toward the goal of effecting the necessary change the county needed.

Naturally, I cannot ignore that I was only one of the similarly inspired multitude willing to leave friends and family behind to join what became an all encompassing movement. The truth is that the memories of knocking on doors in challenged neighborhoods and hearing the enthusiasm and hope of the residents for the President-to -be will certainly remain with me longer then rubbing elbows at fancy dress balls or taking in the crowd on the national mall. I will never forget the people I joined forces with, many professionals like me who might have benefited from the tax policy of the other side but chose to do what was right for the vast majority of the country. So while I cannot complain about those great memories a little appreciation from the man might be nice. I am not asking for anything exorbitant just a phone call or a little game of hoops on the new basketball court. How about half court? Please?

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