Warren, MI- President Obama supporters had reason to celebrate on Nov. 6 as volunteers opened two offices in Michigan. The Macomb County headquarters in Warren and the Washtenaw County headquarters in Ann Arbor both opened doors to the public last weekend.
As one Organizing for America volunteer said, "During the last campaign, our slogan was 'Yes We Can;' this time it should be 'Yes We Must.'" That's seems to be the attitude prevalant among Michigan Obama supporters. The campaign is growing with offices already in full swing in Pontiac, Detroit, Flint, Lansing and Kalamazoo, with a Grand Rapids headquarters slated to open by the end of November. The offices serve as resource centers for volunteer teams and provide supporters with a place to meet, organize and hold events, organizers said.
The Obama volunteers in Warren borrowed space from Congressman Sander Levin's office for the duration of the election campaign. Banners, posters and balloons decorated the room during the open house. The excitement for the coming campaign was palpable and volunteers seem pumped up to take action, each for their own reasons.
"We've been hard at work for months preparing for today," said Linda Koch, Team Lead for the Sterling Heights and Shelby Organizing for America Campaign. A throat cancer survivor, Koch joined the effort out of concern for patient rights and to protect The Affordable Healthcare Act.
"I don't want people to be penalized for having a pre-existing condition," Koch said. "That's why I'm fighting tooth and nail to make sure Obama gets re-elected."
Rob Pfaff, 19, is a student who will vote in the presidential election for the first time in 2012. He became involved even before he could vote back in the 2008 campaign.
"I was fed up with the George Bush presidency," Pfaff said. "I've helped to pass out flyers and worked the phone bank. The new office is a great way for people to meet, learn about issues, and get involved."
Clark Pettig, Press Secretary for Organizing for America in Michigan said the campaign is focused on getting out its message of how the President is committed to supporting the middle class and improving the economy.
"You will see that sharp contrast moving into 2012 against the Republicans who are focused on helping millionaires and billionaires while letting Wall Street write their own rules," Pettig said.
Organizers on the ground in Michigan have worked for two years through Organizing for America, but since this past April when the President announced his reelection campaign, they've have held more than 1,000 events across the state.
"When President Obama took office, we were losing 750,000 jobs every month, and he took immediate action to stop the job losses and lay the foundation for long-term economic growth," Pettig said. "People here in Michigan know that the President has been fighting to create jobs, and they support his plan to put people back to work today with the American Jobs Act."
Pettig said the revival of the US auto industry is a great example of how the President is focused on returning manufacturing jobs to Michigan and the US while making policy decisions that help the middle class and restore economic security."
Connie Cuellar is a free lance writer and photographer based in Michigan. If you would like to contribute to The Huffington Post's coverage of the 2012 campaign season and elections as a citizen journalist, please sign up at www.offthebus.org
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