Technology and the internet are driving the campaigns this election cycle unlike ever before. Using the internet to spread messages, organize grassroots volunteers, and raise money, the candidates are embracing the 21st century. As a result a new generation of active citizens feels more engaged with the election process.
I caught up with one young citizen who is still enthusiastic about this seemingly endless primary season. She has dedicated a ton of her free time to organizing a large fundraiser, and an all out good time, for Barack Obama. Here's what the organizer of ObamaRama SF had to say about planning the event, which goes down tomorrow in San Francisco while we all await the Indiana and North Carolina primary results! Would you consider throwing a fundraiser for your favorite candidate?
What is the event all about?
It’s about coming to celebrate hope, change, and community! To reflect Obama’s strong support of technology, we’re also trying to make it as tech-savvy as possible, broadcasting the primary live at the venue, and implementing heavy web-based promotion.
What made you want to plan this fundraiser?
We wanted to contribute to the election in some way, other than voting, because in the past that hasn’t proved successful. For me, it’s not really about Barack Obama. I’m doing this for myself, for my friends, for this country. He just happens to be the person who’s going to bring about the change that we need. Once I realized that I knew enough supporters, and that (thanks to technology) I could really pull it off, that’s when I got up the motivation.
Is this an "elitist" event? To see this Obama-maniac's answer,
Definitely not! Everyone should feel welcome; it’s about the community. Obviously, it’s a fundraiser, so you have to be able to scrounge up $25, but I don’t think that’s too much to sacrifice for the future of our country.
Would you vote for Hillary if she gets the nomination?
Well, I’ll say this, I’m certainly not letting McCain into office.
What's your favorite thing about Obama?
My favorite thing is that he’s refused to accept PAC money in his campaign. He’s amply winning the finance battle on his own terms, and motivating people like myself to donate; I think that’s noble and an example of true leadership.
I like that he is really knowledgeable about technology. He has spent time talking with influential leaders in Silicon Valley and technological founders of the modern web, to understand technology issues and how government policies affect tech. That is a huge step from "the Internet is a series of tubes.”
Was it more difficult to get people excited about this since the campaign has been going on so long?
Not at all. Once we get ourselves in front of people (flyering), the response is usually amazing. Strangers are patting us on the back for it.
If you could change one thing about this campaign, what would it be?
I think it reflects poorly on the Democratic party that there’s such vicious warfare going on between Hillary and Obama. But, that’s politics, and you do what you have to. When Obama is President, we’ll all be glad he was in it to win it.
Do you think people are less enthused to give money to a front runner who already has such a big war chest?
Since we’re not asking people to max out their contribution, just for $25, people don’t seem to be concerned with the fact that they’ll be giving money away; people are just excited to be a part of and enjoy this wonderful night. Especially in politics, people know that a front-runner today can be gone tomorrow, so we need to support what we believe in regardless of the standings.