Tuesday, July 10, 2012

FLOTUS Grassroots Campaign in Miami

Today, I attended the First Lady of the United States grassroots campaign event put on by Organizing for America. Now, I don't know just who was in charge of the event but it was very poorly planned. Maybe there were just too many young and inexperienced people in charge. 

We, the attendees, were told to leave our umbrellas as they would not be allowed into the event-- an understandable request but there was nothing provided for those standing in line. There wasn't any water for attendees until 10 minutes before entering after waiting 2-4 hours in line in that "steamy summer heat." When they did get water, it was given out in paper cups, which, as you know, only contains a swallow of liquid-- hardly enough for the people losing the fight to the heat. There weren't any tents. Thankfully, I had two umbrellas in my car (it's Florida, you never know when you'll need one) so I was able to shield my friend and myself from the inevitable barbecuing affects of the sun. 

Using high school interns for crowd control wasn't a smart idea because the kids were absolutely annoying with their lack of direction (on the other hand, it was a good experience for them). I spoke to another volunteer inside the event and she said the teens were the only ones who would work the event for free. I beg to differ.

Those of us standing in line were badgered, sometimes immediately by people one after another, about whether or not we registered to vote and whether or not we wanted to volunteer to help with the phone banks or registration drives (I worked a phone bank this past weekend). That was a major annoyance for me. Then, once inside, the elderly and slightly less elderly were made to climb stairs in order to sit in the bleachers, otherwise there was only standing room on the floor level of the gymnasium. Watching them struggle up the stairs was really heartbreaking but, at least, there were well-mannered young men who gave up their seats for the less-abled. The air conditioning took a while to even make a difference and it was an hour's wait after entering the gym for the FLOTUS to take to the stage. 

BUT it was a good experience to have once. The videos outlined all that the POTUS has accomplished in his three short years, given the near-Depression Era economy that was handed over to him by the previous administration. He's done a good job despite what others would have people believe and he's been graceful in dealing with his detractors and a childish congress ("You're not my friend so I'm not going to play with you or listen to anything you say." "Mooooom, Obama wants people to have access to opportunities and that's not fair."). The crowd did get fired up but it was largely made up of teachers, retirees, and union workers, as well as the two extremes-- young and old. I'm assuming the people in the middle were working.  

One cool thing that happened before the First Lady came up on stage is that the crowd sang Let's Stay Together. What I would have given  to have had the president singing it in person.

While I'm glad I went, I just really wish the event was better organized. I hope the rest of the campaign stops are. 

Side note: I'm a person who doesn't vote party for the presidential position because it is one of a great deal of power for one person and (s)he is the face of this country. So I actually listen to what the candidates say and watch what they do. I can most certainly tell you I will not be voting for Romney. 

I'm not joining a campaign driven by negativity and hate. America needs positivity and progress. It has been the Republicans in Congress who have kept this nation from achieving both, a promise they uttered when and have stood by since Obama took office. They're not truly against his policies as much as they are against the person. As much as they hate "Obamacare", it's interesting that it was a health care reform first introduced by a Republican and what's also interesting is that many of the Reps like what is within the act itself. So what's their problem? Obama. I can't with good conscience elect a person who participates in that elementary/childish way of thinking.  


In her words:

"My father was a blue-collar city worker -- worked at the city water plant all his life. And my family lived in a little-bitty apartment on the South Side of Chicago. And growing up, let me tell you what I saw. I saw how my parents saved and sacrificed, how they poured everything they had into me and my brother. They held us to the same high standard of excellence because they wanted us both to have the kind of education they could only dream of.

"Education was everything in my family -- everything. It was our ticket to the middle class. It was our pathway to the American Dream. So my mom spent hours volunteering in our neighborhood public school, and she made sure we got -- handled our business, that we finished our homework every single night -- young people, every single night.

"And my parents did everything in their power to support my college education. And while pretty much all of my tuition came from student loans and grants -- a very large portion -- my dad still paid a tiny portion of that tuition himself. And let me tell you, every semester, my father was determined to pay that bill and to pay it on time. He was so proud to be able to play a part in sending his kids to college, and he did all he could with his limited resources to lessen our financial burden by ensuring that neither me, nor my brother ever missed a registration deadline because his check was late.

"And more than anything else, that is what is at stake. That’s why we’re here. It’s that fundamental promise that no matter who you are or how you started out, if you work hard, you can build a decent life for yourself and an even better life for your kids. That is the American Dream that we’re working for."

— First Lady Michelle Obama

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