Wednesday, November 5, 2008

anita's guest post ii.

I realized last night that this has been a quiet revolution, a democratic revolution.

Images last night from people in the streets echoed the Orange Revolution, the wall falling, the ecstatic response to momentous national and even global change.

After years of watching protests with half a million people not even dent the march towards war, years of watching films and television and books and satire and investigation and research expose and express outrage, years of letting cynicism and apathy erode the willpower of our generation, I can't believe that in the end our revolution arrived by commandeering the democratic process.

Beyond voting, people reclaimed the process by donating and volunteering in unprecedented numbers and with an immeasurable dedication.

Yes We Did take back this country from the sickening concentrate of power in the Oval Office and redistribute it to those who've never felt the blessing of enfranchisement before. It's a revolution to which we all contributed, and a triumph for democracy.

yes we did.

hey y'all. sorry i couldn't keep up with the live blog yesterday. things just got a little too hectic. all i can say is when they announced on tv that obama was the projected winner for pennsylvania, we all started yelling and screaming and crying and jumping up and down at the office. unbelievable. and i know i shared with you earlier that article that adam sent me:
"How do you flip 140,000 votes? You start by cutting in places like Lackawanna and Luzerne counties," said the McCain campaign source, referring to Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, the traditionally conservative Democratic population hubs of northeastern Pennsylvania.

well we won luzerne county, 53.7% to 45.2% AND carbon county 50.2% to 47.9% (sabrina is the fo for northern carbon county and we shared the office and i found housing for her volunteers too.)

i can't believe it. it is a mandate. it is a new day.

jeremy and i headed back to new york from hazleton today. anita gave us a ride. we stopped along the way so that he could meet up with a friend who he's hanging out with tonite but he's heading into the city tomorrow or friday so i think we'll catch up then. it was strange to see him go after we'd been spending 24 hours a day together for the past four weeks. saying goodbye to everyone was difficult. more on that later. but for now i'm exhausted.

but i sincerely want to thank everyone for congratulatory and thankful phone calls, emails, and texts. i just feel blessed to have been able to play such an important role in barack's victory and i want to thank you all for your support. i'll say good nite for now, but will follow with another guest post and some closing thoughts in the next couple of days.

i love you all.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

it's GOtv time

6:45 am. at the office. firedup readytogo.
6:49 am. voting machines at city hall poll not starting up and they don't know what to do. (that's a huge polling place.)
7:36 first canvassers out the door
8:01 free hot chocolate from domincan place across the street. check.
8:18 christine has joined the hazletizle barack team. yea!
9:27 first senappe's cold pizza delivery
10:27 jonathon demme returns with wife, daughter and her friend to canvass. i heart them so much!!
11:27 christine is on the case. luz county is not letting people cast provisional ballots. totally illegal. good thing she is a lawyer.
12:13 provisional ballot crisis averted. in fact it might not have been a crisis at all.
3:19 apparently the dmv fake registered to vote a ton of people
4:46 jackie powers just got back from voting. it was her first time. she's in her sixties. she's one of our stellar phone call volunteers. everytime she talks to someone who's an obama supporter she says, "that's one more vote for obama!."
5:42 pm it's heline's birthday today. and her daughters. she's wearing a t-shirt that says 11/04/2008 and she keeps lifting up her sweatshirt to show everyone.
7:41 someone needs a ride to the polls and needs to get picked up from the wendy's.

Monday, November 3, 2008

mara's guest post.

The highlight of today was Dr. Rachlin's apple pie. It was delivered by the junior Rachlin, Andy, who also brought copious amounts of coffee and my friendly faced fiance.

This was the best apple pie I've ever had-- a standout amidst the flurry of donuts and store bought pastries that can be found on every table in the office (not that I don't eat them, gratefully).

I ate my share, then shared it with Lindsay. Then passed it on to Jeremy (who ate it while vacuuminig) then Jeremy passed it on to Laura who shared with Mary Ellen (pictured here). In other words this one slice of pie was shared by six people, which is not unlike Obama's plan to spread the wealth among the middle class.

Anne Marie also brought assorted vegetables and I ate a great deal of cauliflower, which should, I hope, compensate for the Danish (did you know that Danish is capitalized? I learned this at a job a long time ago. The secretary would send out an email announcing "coffee and Danish," not to be confused with the people).

We're leaving the office at 10 PM! God bless daylight savings and devoted volunteers.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

anita's guest post.

Twenty of us are huddled in a back room of the Hazleton campaign office over the speaker of a cellphone. We're listening to Jon Carson the national field director break down the numbers for Obama:

13 million direct contacts across the country.
Which swing states are up, all hopeful increases, meant to boost our collective confidence.

And what a collective it is - 20,000 team leaders working across the country to make a difference. And this call, this particular call, gets an extra couple thousand phones joining every minute.

It's three days before election day, and in field offices tucked into offices or travel agencies or union halls across the country, dozens of volunteers are waiting to hear the voice of the man that they've been working day and night to elect. Every minute or so, Jon Carson's voice returns to tell us Barack Obama will be with us in just another minute, and fills the air time with stories from the field - numbers up in Arizona and Nevada, Missouri and the Carolinas. He doesn't mention Pennsylvania, where we've all been toiling for days, weeks and months.

A little after 9.30 pm, the patter of stats and silence is broken by Barack's sweet baritone. He's on the phone before a rally in Missouri, in touch with thousands of us to give us a final pep talk before the big weekend, where we fan out to paper cities and towns with voting information for supporters.

He spoke with us for about five minutes.

"I want to call you to make sure you knew how proud I am of all of you," he told us.

He reminded us of all the work that had been done to lay the groundwork for Election Day.

"Four months ago we were behind in key battleground states. No one imagined we would be in the position we are in today. You've stunned the country with what you've accomplished."

He asked for our "every waking moment," and told us we could sleep after we win. He asked us to double our time, a daunting prospect for those of us working 18 hour days. But basically we're kind of up for anything to ensure that on November 5th we wake up feeling like we're not condemned for another four years of war and corporate pillage and politics of division.

And just to remind you who are spending the next few days at home, there's still tons of stuff you can do on I've had friends that have spent their time calling, getting on buses to philly or beyond. We even have one volunteer here who hopped a bus from Montreal! So take some time to make this happen - don't make us wake up sad on November 5th.

star struck part ii

jonathan demme came to hazleton with his wife to canvass yesterday.

i had been notified that he was interested in coming and given the phone number of someone he used to work with. i called her and she emailed me his number. so i left a message on his cell phone to call me about coming to hazleton AND HE DID! he called me on my cell phone and we had a nice, short discussion. he game me his email address and i sent him the standard welcome email. he then called the office yesterday morning (asking for me of course) to let us know that they were going to be a little late due to a major delay in the lincoln tunnel. when they arrived they looked fabulous; he had this amazing obama shirt on with a black blazer over it. they were SO NICE AND FRIENDLY AND AWESOME. and not only that they knocked on 150 doors between the two of them which was probably the highest number for any pair yesterday. they had a lovely time and told me that they'd love to come back on tuesday if they can manage it. as he left he shook my hand and gave me a kiss on the check. i know it's silly but i was like totally glowing.

i firmly believe that basically all i need is more exposure and the rest will take care of itself.

daylight savings - like a gift from god

i am so tired. like really really tired. maybe the most tired i have ever been in my life. friday nite we were at the office until 3:15 am. this is what it looked like:

anita gives her new apple its first big task

lindsay houses the out of state volunteers

heather schedules more volunteers

katie captains the phones

helen untangles the cell phones

mara confirms some shifts

frank prepares for another yard sign op

jeremy coordinates some canvassing

dave organizes the field

i forgot that it was halloween except for the kids that came by the office trick or treating once in awhile. we gave them twix and obama stickers.

last nite we all sat in on the field organizer conference call. barack was on it and he told us that he was proud us and that he was counting on us to double down and give even more these last couple of days. i felt guilty for taking that 15-minute power nap i took around 8 pm but i was literally falling asleep at the desk as i was trying to schedule volunteers.

last nite's big task: stickering.

our numbers have multiplied at frank and helen's. the keyboardist got here yesterday. i finagled a ride to lehighton for him and then sabrina brought him back here late last nite. and mahsa joined us. she was born in iran but is a canadian citizen living in montreal. she took the bus here!!! so i figured anyone as rad as that would appreciate the land of enchantment that is frank and helen's place. plus drew. and of course anita and mara. and jeremy and me. we had the most splendid breakfast this morning:

we are getting out the vote. right now.