Obama’s Organizing for America: “Know Any Good Organizers?”
As Libyans face being slaughtered at the hands of despotic dictator Muammar Gaddafi and President Obama unofficially gears up for the 2012 Presidential elections, Jeremy Bird, the Deputy Director of Obama’s political arm, Organizing for America, is apparently prepping for full campaign mode. Last night, OFA supporters received an email asking: “Know any Good Organizers?”
The text reads:
This summer, Organizing for America will train a new team of summer organizers. The Summer Organizing Fellowship is a grassroots program that aims to put boots on the ground and help foster a new generation of leaders — not just to help win elections, but to strengthen our democracy in communities across the country.
We’re reminded nearly every day of the power of organizing — of people standing up and speaking out in their communities. And that kind of effective organizing doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It takes commitment, time, and hard work to build a movement around a cause.
That’s exactly what our team of summer organizers will do.
They will be trained in the basic principles that have always built and powered effective grassroots movements, and will be assigned to a specific community where they’ll work to organize supporters street by street, neighborhood by neighborhood. They’ll recruit volunteers, run events, knock on doors, and do what it takes to support the President’s agenda. And, in the end, their work will take our grassroots power to an impressive new level.
Apply now to be a summer organizer, or pass this email along to anyone else you know who might be interested.
Folks who trained in programs like this one have gained important skills that have since helped them in careers with OFA and beyond. And they had a good time doing it.
Becca Siegel, a student at Stanford University, spent the past two summers organizing in Colorado — and she loved it. “Working as a summer organizer certainly taught me a diverse set of skills in a fast-paced environment. Each day brought new opportunities and challenges: a meeting with a local activist followed by voter registration at an outdoor concert, or a conference call with other organizers from around the country followed by volunteering at a community health clinic.”
When she graduates from college later this year, Becca will take the skills she learned at OFA to a new job in South Africa.
You don’t have to be a student, like Becca, or a recent graduate to be a summer organizer. Nikki Giancola, now a regional field director for OFA Illinois, was a middle school teacher for four years before becoming a summer organizer. “I will never forget the day the Affordable Care Act passed,” she says. “It was a feeling like no other — I had played a part in helping millions of people, and the summer organizer program gave me the chance to do so.”
Summer organizer Paras Patel had a similarly unforgettable experience — meeting President Obama at an event in Detroit. “He shook my hand and told me that he was proud of me and appreciated the work I was doing. I didn’t know what to expect when I started at OFA, but meeting the President was definitely a surprise and something I will never forget!”
Successful movements have always been built and grown by ordinary people who take responsibility for organizing their fellow citizens to make their voices heard. We’re looking for folks who are ready to work hard to support the President’s agenda and lay new groundwork to carry this movement forward for years to come.
Click here to apply for the OFA summer organizers program or pass it on to a friend — no experience is needed to apply:
Thanks for all you do,
Organizing for America
There’s more. From OFA’s FAQ page:
Is this a paid position?This is an unpaid volunteer position. Summer Organizers will learn valuable skills that will be useful in future careers, especially if you are interested in local and national political campaigns, government agencies or nonprofit organizations.
If accepted, how long does the Summer Organizing program last?
The Summer Organizer Program starts on Saturday, June 4 with a comprehensive training and runs through August 6.
What are the requirements for being an Summer Organizer?
No previous experience is necessary. People with all different backgrounds and experiences are encouraged to apply. Those who enjoy working closely with people of all different backgrounds and empowering citizens to take ownership over their communities will enjoy the working as a Summer Organizer. If accepted, Summer Organizers are required to commit to work either 20 hours a week or 40 hours or more per week from
June 4 through August 6.
How do I apply?
You can fill out your application here.
Will I be able to set my own schedule?To gain a full experience as a Summer Organizer there are certain required program elements for everyone, but there will be some flexibility in scheduling. If you are accepted, schedules will be worked out with the OFA staffer you are working with.
Can I do work from home?Working side by side with people is essential to organizing, so your time will be spent out in communities with other organizers, OFA staff, community members and OFA volunteers.
If I travel to another state, will housing be provided?
While housing is not guaranteed, state staff will do the best they can to provide free housing with a local supporter for the duration of the program.
If I travel to another state, will transportation or reimbursement for travel be provided?
Transportation and or reimbursement for travel will not be provided.
Are there any age requirements for this program?
In previous years, OFA’s summer organizers included people from all age groups, ranging from 16 to 78 years old.
Meanwhile, eleven days into the union protests in Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker gave this fireside talk to discuss balancing the budget and the realities facing the State’s future. He refers to America’s founding fathers.