|Weeks ending 12 Oct
|New Obama office gets organized -
After the small 2-room office we had been occupying, the
interior of the new place seemed cavernous and unnecessary -
but we set about to fill it. Over the weekend we moved filing
cabinets, computers, tables, and supplies - and then we found
out the filing cabinets belonged to the old landlord, so back
they went. The Salvation Army store happened to have a
couple so soon we were organized. Within 2 days we had
areas set up to:
- Phone bank - Unfortunately we
didn't have enough money or time to get new phone lines so
we were basically incommunicado; only our personal
phone and a WiFi connection to a nearby hotel provided our
connection to the world.
- Postcard Writing - Since the
campaign, with our agreement, believed that Alaska was
unwinnable because of Palin we focused much of our efforts
at writing postcards to Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana and
- Campaign Materials - We had tables
set up with T-shirts, bumper stickers, yard signs, and all
of the other accouterments of a campaign for those residents
who wanted to flaunt their opinion.
Rally - Judi had a vision that what
Homer needed was an Old-fashioned campaign rally with food,
signs waving, music, speeches and lots of camaraderie and she
set to make it happen. 20 phone calls and a sign-painting
party later she made it happen - and fun was had by over 120
people of all walks of life. The other campaigns never had
anything to match it during the whole campaign. She had speakers
ranging from teenagers too young to vote, to older anti-war
activists - all supporting Senator Obama's quest. As the photos
to the left attest, her vision became reality!
Busy at the
Office - During this time we kept pretty busy at the
campaign office, scheduling people, accepting contributions,
filling in when others could not, and keeping the 'books'.
- The people who found us the new
office had planned to pay for it by having a fundraiser at
Alice's Champagne Palace, a local night club and so they
did. In a fun-filled evening they raised over $5000,
enough to pay for all office costs and have plenty left
over. We then became believers that with a few local
contacts and some confidence, it is possible to do quite a
bit to help candidates.
As part of their 50-state reporting GMA sent their weekend
reporter, Kate Snow, to Alaska to see how Alaska was
behaving in this campaign cycle. After visits to Anchorage
and Wasilla the team dropped in on Homer where Snow and the
video camera followed an organizer around and took shots of
volunteers writing postcards and offering their opinions to
editors. Bob acted as Kate Snow's chauffer for the day. It
was an interesting insight into how lean an operation can
be: reporter, producer, videographer, and sound-man - just
enough to fill a small float-plane.
Raising - Well, not exactly a barn, more a woodshed and
greenhouse. We have started to take a little personal
time away from campaign activities to get ready for the
winter. We started out to build a simple little shed
to store wood so we could move it away from the house.
By the time it left the drawing board it was a little more
ambitious and would include a greenhouse as well. We
were given a scare when we had 3" of snow on October 5th,
and decided we really had to buckle down and do it.
So by mid-month we had the foundation and decking in place.
|Week ending 19 Oct
||PET scan - In a quick trip to
Anchorage we picked up more campaign materials and Bob had a PET
Scan (all's well).
Maori dancers - As if to remind us of
our adopted country 20 time zones away, the
Maori Dance Theater made its first stop in Alaska here
in little Homer and danced up a storm! Although many of
their moves did not seem exactly like we had seen in NZ they
were still an exciting group with lots of comedy and drama.
We viewed it at the local high school, and the younger kids
|Weeks ending 2 Nov
||Photo-shoot - As the campaign period
came to an end, Judi decided that it would be good to get as
many of the volunteers together as possible for a one-off
photo-op at the Obama HQ in Homer. With her (by now)
formidable email list she put together a happy time for 50-60
volunteers who showed up. People posed, exchanged stories,
wrote last-minute postcards, bought up some of the remaining
campaign goodies and generally had a great time. Everyone
even showed good humor when we asked them to move to the other
side of the parking lot to improve the lighting a little.
GOTV - Finally, what we and so many
people had been spending their time on, was upon us - the end of
the campaign. The final weekend before the election was
targeted by Obama and all Alaska Democratic candidates to Get
Out The Vote. Without getting into boring details it meant
keeping lists, making phone calls, canvassing door-to-door ad
communicating between campaigns to increase the number of 'friendlies'
who either voted early or went to the polls on November 4th.
We were pretty happy with the results as our District ended up
in the top 3rd in Alaska in participation and 3 of 4 candidates
we were pushing won in the District. Unfortunately within the
State the record was 1 of 4 but at least we gained a US Senator
(Mark Begich) and Obama won despite Alaska's lurch to the right
to follow Palin.