On Saturday, November 10, Obama 08 Minnesota kicked off its campaign with a meet-and-greet barbeque at its St. Paul headquarters. With organizers now assigned to congressional districts throughout Minnesota and the campaign kickoff coinciding with Michelle Obama’s visit to the Twin Cities, staff and volunteers were very optimistic about Barack Obama’s run for the presidency.
Their main concern now is to be prepared for the first caucus held in Iowa on January 3 and the February 5 caucus here in Minnesota. Both are very important in gaining momentum for the presidential nomination.
The Minnesota Obama campaign office is located at 2233 University Avenue #225 in St. Paul. For more information on the Obama campaign, go to www.barackobama.com. To inquire about volunteering or providing other support here in Minnesota, call 651-645-2008.
Volunteers are needed for canvassing in Iowa over the next four weekends, as well as to staff the phone banks and host Obama for President house parties, all to foster dialogue about how Barack Obama differs from the other candidates.
Obama’s presidential goals, which greatly affect African Americans and others, include ending the war in Iraq in a very timely manner. His objective is to have all American combat troops out of Iraq by March 2008 so that funds can be redirected to improving the many domestic needs of America. He is the only presidential candidate other than Dennis Kucinch who opposed the invasion of Iraq in 2002.
When it comes to America’s youth and their education, Obama believes that young Americans deserve bright futures. This goal can be achieved with the implementation of innovative teaching methods that support and reward successful educators.
Obama also believes that reforming the No Child Left Behind law is critical. He supports several measures needed to improve upon the educational system as a whole:
• Supporting teachers through pay increases;
• Modifying the certification process;
• Expanding summer learning opportunities; and
• Freeing up money for additional student aid.
Obama says that, as president, he would eliminate wasteful subsidies that are given to private lenders, which could save up to $6 billion annually that could then be reinvested into student aid.
He also believes that the minimum wage must be increased. Investment must be made to transitional job programs to help the unemployed and entry-level workers reach full-time livable-wage employment; tax breaks currently being given to companies that send jobs outside of the country must end.
Obama is committed to ensuring that all Americans have health care by the end of his first term if he is elected. He has co-sponsored legislation aimed at reducing carbon emissions to address the global warming issues that the world currently faces.
Matthea Little Smith is Obama campaign field organizer for the Fifth Congressional District, which includes the city of Minneapolis. She stated, “I am doing this because I really believe in Barack Obama. He is a community organizer…that believes in people. We need somebody right now who believes in people and believes that they can lead the country, not through fear.
“We are all going to have to work together and work hard to make this happen,” said Little Smith. “We must always remember that this is a campaign not of fear, [but] rather a campaign of hope!”
David Gilbert-Pederson, an Obama 08 youth vote intern, stated, “The youth can be a huge difference-maker in this upcoming election like never before in American history.”
Other elected officials among the open house audience included Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, State Representative Augustine “Willie” Dominguez, newly elected St. Paul City Council Member Melvin Carter III, and Minneapolis City Council Member Robert Lilligren.
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