In May 2007, I stood at McIntyre Ski School in Manchester and listened to Barack Obama give his first address in NH. I then grabbed a clipboard and put my one year old daughter Elise in my sling and we canvassed up and down Lowell Street in the rain. Most voters we talked to understandably had not decided on a candidate to support; but, most had at least heard of Barack. More importantly, we asked voters what issues were most important to them. Iraq, was undoubtedly the most important issue on everyone’s mind that morning; but other topics mentioned were: healthcare, the environment, global image, civil rights, and the economy.
In the time since then I have been privileged to serve on the NH Healthcare Community for Obama steering committee and have been asked to share my story on the campaign’s website. I’ve become active in Women for Obama and attended a Working Women’s Round Table Discussion with Michelle Obama, where I was able to talk to her about the difficulties young professionals like myself have paying off our education debt while trying to raise a family and save for the future. Michelle was able to empathize with me. She shared that when she and Barack bought their first home in Chicago, their combined student loan payments were greater than their mortgage payment. She also told me that they just recently paid off the balance of their student loans and that if Barack had not written 2 best selling books, that they would still be paying them today.
Because you are my friends, you know that I am a feminist. And while I want a woman president; I also want the right president. The issues that are important to you and your family are important to me, and more significantly— they are important to Barack Obama. His plan for universal healthcare is courageous; he wants to work first at lowering the high costs of health insurance so that every American will be able to afford to be covered. He wants to stop global warming; but understands that with the complexities inherited from decades of poor energy policies, that there is no quick solution. He will end the war in Iraq and he will bring our troops finally home— please don’t forget that he opposed the war before the first troops were on the ground. I met with his national director for LGBT issues, and have been assured that it is a priority of his to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and work for a fully-inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act, because he wants equality for everyone under the law. He has the courage and the judgment to tackle the problems that divide us; and will lead our country in a new direction. As he said in his speech after the Iowa caucuses— unity will win over division.
Since May 2007, I have started blogging on Blue Hampshire in support of Barack Obama, but while there have found an intelligent group of like-minded progressives, who like me are committed to ending the Bush-Cheney legacy in its tracks. I’ve also hosted a Working Women’s Roundtable of my own in November (and have a signed thank you note from the Senator to show for it!); and to date, I have handwritten 75 postcards to voters in New Boston urging them to learn more about Barack Obama and then join me in supporting him. The weekend before the NH Primary, I spent 3 days going door-to-door in New Boston getting out the vote for change. Unfortunately, Senator Obama came in a close second place in the NH Primary, but I am proud to say he handily won my town, New Boston. That makes me feel positive that this kind of grassroots politicking works. And, so I’m reaching out again. I’ve been using a phone bank tool on the web to call voters across the country; and I’m writing to you, my friends in the Super Tuesday states. An easy choice would be to remain comfortable and silent when we are at this defining moment in our nation’s history. I will not wake up on February 6th and wonder if there would be a different outcome if I had only done more.
If you still haven’t decided, there’s time left. Barack will be in Hartford and Boston on February 4th. To connect with the campaign in your state, visit the website at http://www.barackobama.com and click on your state to learn more. Or call me. I am happy to answer any questions you may have. Please remember, in most states, you can register at the polls on the day of the primary, just bring proper ID with you.
Unfortunately, there are many negative email and “whisper” campaigns swirling about Senator Obama. Please visit http://factcheck.barackobama.com to read the truth.
Some other links you might find interesting:
When we see what is happening in the world— in Pakistan and in Kenya, it reminds us how important it is to exercise our right to vote, a right that many people fought long and hard for us to have. The Democratic primary and caucus turnout has been so huge and historical, that I feel very positive that come this time next year there will be a Democrat in the White House. So please vote this Tuesday, regardless of who you decide to support, and show the world that we are not ambivalent about this democracy of ours.
It was a difficult decision to write this letter to my friends here in NH, and more difficult still to send it on to those of you taking part in the historic Super Tuesday vote; and I realize I may alienate some of you by sending it to you — but I want to wake up February 6th with no regrets, knowing I reached out to everyone I could and gave my all to this campaign. I hope you’ll receive this letter in the spirit in which it was sent.
I hope you’ll join me on Tuesday to vote for CHANGE.
Change we can believe in and change we so desperately need.