Sunday, February 8, 2009

Team Obama rises in the South Suburbs

On Tuesday, February 3rd, former volunteers and supporters of Barack Obama's presidential campaign -- christened "Team Obama" after the volunteers who conceived the term in the Ohio Democratic primary last year -- met at the Flossmoor Station Restaurant & Brewery.

Team Obama grew out of the "Thank You" party for the South Suburban volunteers held in Park Forest in November. There was a very broad consensus that the former volunteers active in the Indiana effort (and other primary states) wanted to stay together, stay active in our communities and stay involved in local politics -- in expectation that we would be needed again in the 2012 presidential contest.

In January, the Obama campaign evolved into Organizing for America, being folded into the Democratic National Committee. Both were expected, at least on my part. The people involved in facilitating "Team Obama" believed that our goals and OFA's goals were similar, and adopted the OFA goal of supporting President Obama's Agenda for Change.

Our program was fairly simple, driven more by the approach of local elections than anything else:


7:00 Introduction/Survey
7:15 Rep. Will Davis
7:30 OFA/Economic Recovery Suggestions

Candidates for Local Office:
8:00 Vernard Alsberry
8:10 Diane Williams
8:20 Susan Pate
8:30 Brace Clement

8:40 Wrap-Up/Open Discussion

On the advice of one of our participants, Rep. Will Davis was invited and talked (briefly) about Blagojevich's impeachment before talking at length about the stimulus package and the need for Economic Recovery in the South Suburbs.

You can download the video for Rep. Davis' talk here for offline viewing.

Rep. Davis' talk led nicely into our Economic Recovery session. Comments, stories and suggestions from that segment were forwarded to Organizing for America, or Obama 2.0. We are committed to working towards President Obama's Agenda for Change.

Afterwards, we heard from four local candidates who have embraced the President's Agenda for Change. The candidates for office that spoke before the group were people who were involved in helping to elect President Obama. Susan Pate, specifically, had asked me how to get literature to Democrats in Mississippi. We heard from:

* Vernard Alsberry is a candidate for President of Hazel Crest this April. You is talk can download the video of Vernard Alsberry here.

* Diane Williams is a candidate for re-election to the Flossmoor Board of Trustees. Her talk can be downloaded here.

* Susan Pate is a candidate for Trustee in Hazel Crest. Her talk is available here.

* Brace Clement is a candidate for School Board in 227. His talk can be found here.

All in all, a productive meeting attended by ~90 people who are interested in helping enact President Obama's Agenda for Change.

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