Student group backs Obama
Riding on the waves of President Barack Obama’s election, a new political organization has set up shop at UH.
Organizing for America is the successor organization to the Obama for America campaign, which consisted of more than 2 million volunteers from around the country who were passionate and uncompromising about supporting Obama and his agenda.
Although the campaign has ended, the goal of OFA remains. OFA was built on the principles and traditions of the grassroots movement and continues to hold watch parties across the country to show support for Obama’s promise of change.
According to its Web site, OFA is not just another student-run organization but an actual branch of the Democratic National Committee dedicated to pursuing the “real world change that our country needs… standing with President Obama to make [his] promises a reality.”
Regional Field Director Navid Zanjani was on campus Wednesday helping community organizers set up at Stephen Power Farish Hall for a watch party during the president’s State of the Union address.
“I just love volunteering and getting involved” Zanjani said.
Community organizers Bradley O’Conner and Bradley Bates are two of five community organizers for UH hoping to be catalysts in the organization. O’Conner, a political science senior, said that being a part of the organization is an opportunity to learn how to motivate and organize a community.
“Students and young people should want to be involved in politics,” he said. “Obama is important to get behind, and especially for young people.”
Bates, a construction management senior, joined the organization because he wanted to see all the promises made by Obama come into reality.
“The president has been getting fire from both sides, which shows that he is in the middle,” he said.
Although OFA is a branch of the DNC, Bates said OAF is not open only to democrats.
“It is not a republican or democrat thing; it’s an American thing. That’s what the president has pushed for,” he said.
UH is the first college campus in Texas to host an OFA organization at the student level; however, branches at Houston Community College, St. Thomas University, Rice University and University Houston Downtown are currently in the works.
“There were about 35 people at the event. In the discussion, many felt that the president stepped up and delivered,” Bates said. “There were many moments when people stood up and applauded during parts of the speech. There were people from TSU, South Texas College of Law, UHD and many UH students.”
OFA was launched in 2008 and has millions of volunteers across the country. The UH organizers will be hosting forums on health care, energy and education throughout the semester, as well as phone banks to lobby Congress. OAF is currently accepting interns for the spring semester.