In an email to supporters from Obama For America, National Field Director Jeremy Bird writes that over 1 million supporters took their survey last week and gave feedback with encouraging results. Among the initial findings:
-- An overwhelming majority of survey respondents reported feeling welcomed and included, that their time was used effectively, and that there was a clear understanding of how their work directly helped re-elect President Obama.
-- Among those of you who volunteered at least a few hours, a majority went into a field office, though many of you got involved instead through the campaign's online tools such as Dashboard and the call tool.
-- About 1 in 10 survey respondents are interested in running for office at some point, using their organizing skills to continue fighting for real and lasting change. That level of political engagement is inspiring.
-- Almost half of all survey respondents forwarded campaign emails, and more than one-third communicated with friends on Facebook -- both great ways to pass along information about the President's positions and plans, as well as opportunities to get involved.
-- Nearly 80 percent of survey takers want to keep volunteering, primarily around the President's legislative agenda.
Also included in the message were comments and anecdotes like these:
"When our field office opened, my husband, 12-year-old daughter, and I were there almost every day. My daughter and I even took a leadership role -- she was our tally captain! This is the kind of experience that changes your life. My children not only have a better understanding of the political system but also have a firsthand experience of how community engagement can make a difference. On Election Night, they felt that difference. They were so excited for the President because they had a sense of ownership -- they had personally helped him achieve the win. On Election Night, I truly believed we were all winners." -- Kerry, California
"It made me feel good to see the enthusiasm of volunteers at the local level (who become friends) ... great to see teens through seniors, men and women, any race and faith all working together for something we believed in (even if we weren't there for the same issues) ... it assured me I was doing the right thing..." -- William, Virginia
I feel more confident as an individual -- I can make a difference in election results! I was talking about this with my son today, he's a public school teacher, and he has new faith in our electoral system also! Let's keep doing it -- this is democracy as it should be!" -- Andrea, California
Comments on the road ahead and ideas of how to keep the country moving forward:
"This organization has tapped into the enthusiasm of Americans that were previously on the sidelines of the political process. These Americans are now fully engaged and aware of the policies that are being advanced that will impact their lives and the lives of future generations. They are excited, ready, and willing to do whatever is within their power to influence policy makers to pass legislation that reflects and responds to the issues of our times." -- Rita, Virginia
"Create an engaged community of people that keeps the momentum alive and ensures that progressive policy is implemented at local, state, and national levels. Community here is the operative word! Build and enhance local organizing groups. Would be happy to be included in a local group and lead such a group." -- Merida, Illinois
"Don't let the energy of the re-election slip through your fingers. This is a very powerful network of people." -- Joel, Texas
Bird ended the email promising to document and analyze their work over the last 19 months and pass along what they've learned, that there's much work still to do, and more to come from them as they go forward with the President's agenda and how supporters can help.
"A government of the people, by the people, for the people."
We haven't heard that in a while. Sure has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?