by StudentsforBarackObamaBlog, Mon Oct 22, 2007 at 06:26:41 PM EDT
Event Spotlight: Rally for Change at Arizona State University
By Luke Messac
7,000 students, seniors, veterans, and community members filled Arizona State University's Hayden Lawn last Friday. They gathered to hear Senator Obama decry the smallness of today's politics and declare a new direction for the future:
"We don't need somebody who knows how to work the system. We need somebody who knows how to change the system. We don't need somebody who knows how to play the game better. We need somebody to put an end to the game-playing.”
The message and vision that Obama laid out in his speech was enough to win more than a few new supporters in the crowd. Farryl Bertmann, a 32-year-old graduate student from Mesa, Arizona, came to the rally as a curious Clinton supporter. But after seeing Obama and speaking to others in the crowd, she had changed her mind: "Now I'm 100% behind him. So many things he said resonated with me."
With the event behind them, this chapter’s work is far from done. With Arizona's February 5th primary less than four months away, the group will make weekly trips to the nearby Obama campaign office to call Arizona voters. Every weekend, they will canvass in the local area to spread Obama's message to the community and sign up more supporters. And next week, students will be making their monthly six-hour drive to Las Vegas to knock on doors in preparation for Nevada's caucus.
Another Rallying Cry
Ami ElShareif, University of Wisconsin-Madison chapter coordinator, reported the success of their Rally for Change earlier in the week: "The passion and sincerity with which he spoke confirmed my motivation for being involved with the campaign. Looking out over the crowd, the range of emotions were almost incomprehensible. Seeing everything from laughter to tears showed that each and every audience member connected with the Senator on a personal level." The Wisconsin event, planned largely by the UW SFBO chapter, had about 3000 students in attendence. It garnered a significant amount of positive media attention (see here, here and here).
Can Iowa’s Youth Tip the Scale?
By: Sierra Gladfelter, high school blogger
If you are like me and have been lamenting the negative predictions surrounding the Iowa Caucus, I offer hope! A recent article in The New Republic reports the poll used to generate these percentages is calculating that only 2% of the potential caucus-goers will be under the age of 25! That’s a pretty harsh assumption, and doesn’t give Iowa’s young voters much credit. According to CIRCLE, the youth voter research group, Iowa citizens between the ages of 17-29 represented 17 percent of Caucus participants in 2004. 2% is downright fictitious!
Barack Obama’s vigorous campaigning on Iowa’s high school and college campuses gives reason to believe that more than just 2% of these young voters will caucus, and that Barack can expect strong support from those who do. He encouraged the youthful attendees to volunteer for his campaign at Obama headquarters on Tuesday nights, which are specifically for high school students. "You can't have beer, but you can have pizza," Obama said. He knows what he’s doing: if you provide it (pizza, a forum for good conversation and engagement), they will come.
There are a lot of us under the age of 25 who aren’t children any more and have an opinion we are passionate enough about to share. Many traditional Iowa Caucus goers may be shocked when their teenage children and grandchildren ask for a ride this January down to the caucus.
It's not only Iowa high schoolers getting involved. South Carolina high school students (shown below) can phone bank with the best of them.
What else is new?
In a recent email to supporters, Obama for America highlighted the work of Boston College students and Students for Barack Obama blogger, Josh Darr. Watch the video!
The Obama campaign taught about 100 students the particulars of fundraising.
Senator Obama will participate in a MySpace/MTV dialogue, October 29 at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The event will stream live on MySpace.com, MTV's ChooseorLoose.com and MTV Mobile.
Obama made a stop at an East LA high school to discuss his plans to fight urban poverty and increase education accessibility
Students.BarackObama.com is constantly updated with the latest news about the work done by young people in this campaign.