With just 102 days till the election, volunteers and supporters are busy getting ready for this Saturday and Sunday's It Takes One weekend of action, which includes more than 4,200 grassroots organizing events across the country. It’s not too late to get involved—find an event near you and RSVP now.
Jenni Gallagher is one of the Neighborhood Team Leaders for ‘Burgs for Obama, a neighborhood team in Blacksburg, Virginia. Here’s how she and the team are gearing up for the It Takes One weekend of action.
By the end of this weekend, we’ll be 100 days out from Election Day. How is your team approaching that?
In the last week, it’s like…something flipped! We’ve always had our core group of volunteers who come out every week, but now we’re really starting to see more and more people get excited, and sign up to help. They’re begging to know what they can do to help Virginia win.
How did your team go about planning for this weekend of action?
We started planning a few weeks out. We have weekly voter registration drives at the farmer’s market, but when we hear that there’s a weekend of action coming up, we start thinking about other places beyond that. My co-leader and I call around asking the Core Team Members for ideas of other places we can canvass. Then when we have a list, we’ll recruit for volunteers: we’ll make calls, and send out notices on Facebook and our team’s email newsletter, and we’re also on Dashboard.
What kinds of events are you and the team planning this weekend?
There’s an outdoor music festival this weekend, so we’ll be there Friday night and Saturday to register voters. There’s also a free music concert near the Virginia Tech campus, and a small theater downtown, and of course the farmer’s market, so we’ll have people registering voters at those locations as well.
The main benefit we have in Blacksburg is that we’re a university town, so we’re making sure we talk to the students and either get them to register for the first time, or update their registration.
As one of the team leaders, what’s on your mind right now?
You know, we just had our monthly organizational meeting the other night, and I told everyone: “We have 105 days. It’s time to start feeling a sense of urgency. When the First Lady was talking about the weekend of action, she said that this election could come down to just a few votes per precinct. And that outcome comes down to us.”
I’m ready to do this work. I don’t want to wake up on November 7th and think that I didn’t do everything I could to help win.
Join Dashboard to see what your neighborhood team is planning for the It Takes One weekend of action.
Last week, the First Lady asked people to share their stories about who first inspired them to get involved with the campaign:
"A longtime friend invited me to go door to door and talk to people about President Obama. Since I had never done anything like that, I decided it would be a great experience for me, and I asked my grandson to go with us. We had the most rewarding experience—at the time, he was just 12 years old, and going door to door and hearing from voters was life-changing for him."
Sign up now for the It Takes One weekend of action—then start thinking about who you’re going to bring along.
"It takes one—just think like that. It just takes one. And as simple as it sounds, every time you take action to move this campaign forward, we’re asking you to inspire one more person to step up and do their part as well. So if you’re making phone calls, knocking on doors, bring one friend. If you’re coming to an event, bring a neighbor who has never been involved in an election before, someone who is uncertain. When you’re voting early, or on Election Day, bring one new voter along with you, right? One—it just takes one."
—First Lady Michelle Obama earlier today
The First Lady visited Columbus, Ohio, today to ask volunteers to bring more supporters on board between now and Election Day.
Linda, a retired flight attendant, was one of those volunteers:
"Before her speech, the First Lady sat down with a group of probably a dozen of us. She said she really enjoys speaking to those of us who are out in the trenches, and she's glad to get some feedback from what's going on on the ground. So we were delighted to do that."
"It was awesome," agrees Terri, a teacher. "She thanked us for what we were doing and talked to us about the importance of everyone getting involved and moving things forward. This is about each of us talking to our friends and neighbors, getting everyone involved. It was inspiring. I felt the earnestness of her message and how committed she is. It was nice to hear the thank you and have the opportunity to learn why we should do more."
Bruce, also a teacher, says his conversation with the First Lady motivated him to step up his commitment to the campaign:
"She made us want to work hard. It was nice to realize that there was someone out there working just as hard as we are for the campaign. We’re trying to make phone calls and recruit volunteers and canvass, and it gets tiring, but when you see her do this, it’s inspiring—she’s out there doing it all the time.
"I’m willing to do whatever we need done to re-elect the President. The First Lady told us that we had been singled out by our teams as potential neighborhood team leaders, and I’m going to do it."
"She told us how important we are. Then she said 'No good deed goes unpunished,' because she's asking us to do more, but she knows we're up to the task," says Layne, a high school student. "Then we took a picture with her, and she gave me a high five because I told her I was voting for the first time in November. It was just the best."
The rest of the volunteers agreed.
"If I can get every one of my team members to find one additional person, it’ll be great for my team," says Bruce. "Every time we have a phonebank, we should have one new person show up—soon we’ll double the size of our team, and we’ll have those new people bring one more person into the fold too. It really does just take one."
Join volunteers like Linda, Layne, Bruce, and Terri—get on board for the It Takes One weekend of action this Saturday and Sunday.
First Lady Michelle Obama sent this message to supporters today introducing the “It Takes One” program:
You've probably heard Barack say that this election will be a lot closer than the last one—and it's true. This could all come down to just a few votes per precinct in key states.
That's why I want you to be a part of "It Takes One"—a new effort we're launching today. It's simple: We're asking folks to commit to doing just one thing to help build our campaign right now, whether that's registering a new voter, pitching in at a local office for one hour, or recruiting one friend to volunteer.
I know there's a reason why the outcome in November matters to you—and your one action will be a part of something bigger.
If every supporter gets started right now by taking one simple action to help our campaign grow, the combined impact could make all the difference on Election Day.
Think about the impact you can have if you just take one other person with you the next time you go to a phone bank. You'll reach twice as many people as you would on your own. And if that extra person can convince someone else to come along to the next phone bank after that, your impact grows and grows.
That kind of grassroots organizing is at the core of our campaign—and it always has been.
After Barack and I were first married, we spent every Saturday with friends collecting signatures for his first race. We talked to neighbors and folks we'd never even met about what was happening in the community—and how Barack could help.
Being a part of "It Takes One" is based on that same idea—of engaging with people one-on-one. And that's how we'll succeed this fall: It's about one person bringing in another, who brings in another, until we have the strength and the votes we need to win on November 6th.
Be a part of this new effort from the start—share your story and help someone else see that it takes just one to make a difference in this election.
”As Barack has said all along, ‘It takes one voice to change a room. And one room to change a community. And one community to change the direction of our nation.’ It takes one, and it starts with you.”
The First Lady announces the launch of “It Takes One,” a new effort to inspire even more people to get involved in the campaign. Join in by sharing who first encouraged you to take action—then start spreading the word.