More than 100 volunteers and supporters packed into a small commercial space at 322 Chelten Ave. in Germantown to mark the grand opening President Obama’s newest campaign office.
The partisan night kicked off with a showing of “The Road We’ve Traveled,” a documentary about the president. That was followed by speeches from, among others, District Attorney Seth Williams and state Rep. Rosita Youngblood.
The new campaign office plans to engage the community by focusing primarily on distributing pamphlets and other printed materials at barber shops and beauty parlors. That’s the grassroots approach by which volunteers and the campaign itself hopes to spark discussions and further support.
There is one major difference from the 2008 election, volunteer team leader Sabra Townsend said.
“We now have a record of looking at Obama’s progress, and we’ve seen change,” she maintained. “This is an election that will save our country. Obama is the president to put the country back together.”
Ramping up the campaign
Obama’s re-election campaign now has 12 offices across the state of Pennsylvania, three of which are in Philadelphia including the Northwest Philly office on Ogontz Avenue in West Oak Lane. Devorah Kaye, the office’s deputy press secretary, said they plan to continue expanding through November.
One may wonder why a slew of campaign offices are needed in a city traditionally considered a Democratic Party stronghold.
“There is a sense of urgency to protect what already belongs to you,” one volunteer explained.
At Thursday night’s event, more than 60 people handed in volunteer slips to team captain and vice chair of the 13th ward, Cynthia Parker.
“A lot of people who came out tonight want to work,” said Parker, who worked the phone banks during Obama’s last campaign. “I am as excited as I was in ’08. I like the challenge and I’m here for the fight.”
One question that remains to be answered is this: Will Obama make an appearance in Germantown as he did four years ago?
Staunch supporters like Malik Boyd, a challenger to Rosita Youngblood in the upcoming 198th District state-representative race, “absolutely” hope so.
“Germantown is such a cross-section of people, a mini-America, the perfect place for Obama to tell the story of togetherness,” Boyd said.