Grassroots campaigners see first victory

TEAM Coordinator for CD 32 Obama 08 said it best: Recruiting
campaign volunteers among the cities of the San Gabriel Valley is a
bit more challenging because the people are not as politically active
as folks in Pasadena or Los Angeles.

You can find Robin Boone and her all-volunteer team in some
pretty unusual places: the green card shack behind the old Monrovia
Library (where it all started in June); the Monrovia and Covina
street fairs on Friday nights, and a place I never heard of called
Zephyrs.

To each, Boone packs up a table, a red cloth she sewed herself,
Barack Obama For President literature printed in English and Spanish,
some Obama glossies, bumper stickers and pencils and tucks it all in
a roll-away bin. We call it Obama in a box, said a commentor on
their blog.

All their hard work began to pay off Thursday when Obama pulled one
of the biggest upsets in American political history winning the
Iowa Caucus and beating the Clinton Machine to boot.
The official results: Obama, 38 percent; Edwards, 30 percent;
Clinton, 29 percent.

Im ecstatic, said a hoarse Boone during an interview from her car
phone Friday afternoon. I had been predicting it would be Obama,
Edwards, then Hillary. And Im predicting the same thing for New
Hampshire (Tuesday).

Of course, Boones team is responsible for canvassing and phoning
potential voters in CD 32 Congressional District 32 which is
represented by Rep. Hilda Solis, D-El Monte and stretches from East
Los Angeles through the heart of the San Gabriel Valley out to Azusa
and Duarte.

Boone, a legal assistant from Duarte, teamed up with another Obama
supporter, Covinan Ralph Walker, better known for his work as host of
a Monrovia cable talk show (KGEM-TV) at Monrovias Family Festival
every Friday night until recently when it closed for the winter.
Walker and company also hit the Covina fair on Friday nights.
At both, it was where home town carnival met grassroots presidential
campaign. How much more American can you get? Iowa has nothing on us
here in the SGV. The Obama 08 group used to advertise their table in
Monrovia as next to the petting zoo.

While Californias primary results are still to come, Obamas
supporters (who are understandably pumped up after his Iowa victory)
say the tabling has worked magic.

Weve had some interesting conversations at that table. Weve even
had Republican stopping by and saying they liked Obama, Boone said.
Walker said it was Obamas message of change and his political
backbone that convinces voters. Obamas message is inclusion for
everybody, together. He doesnt say we need to do this, he says we
need to do this as Americans.

Most of the young people that stop by were not eligible to vote when
Bill Clinton was president and Hillary was first lady. Hence, they
are not taken in by the Clinton machine.

Walker, known for his creative use of the analogy (he once called
Hillary the Manchurian Candidate) likened Sen. Obama to an NFL
team: He is the team nobody really wants to face.
After the Iowa victory Thursday night, Walker said my phone was
jumping off the hook from supporters calling in to celebrate.
Everybody loves a winner, he said.

Of course, Obama still has a long way to go before the Super Bowl,
the general election. Boone said the group will pack up their Obama
box and take it to their next stop, a senior living complex in
Baldwin Park.

From the campaign perspective, they are expecting to move it into
high gear, said team member Lance Mungia, a filmmaker from Monrovia.
One victory at a time.

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This entry was posted in environment, land use, Pasadena by Steve Scauzillo. Bookmark the permalink.

About Steve Scauzillo

I love journalism. I've been working in journalism for 32 years. I love communicating and now, that includes writing about environment, transportation and the foothill/Puente Hills communities of Hacienda Heights, Rowland Heights, Walnut and Diamond Bar. I write a couple of columns, one on fridays in Opinion and the other, The Green Way, in the main news section. Send me ideas for stories. Or comments. I was opinion page editor for 12 years so I enjoy a good opinion now and then.

2 thoughts on “Grassroots campaigners see first victory

  1. Way to go Robin, Ralph and Julia! For more info on Zephyr and about how Ralph, Julia and Robin met some of Pasadena’s greatest volunteers, check our LexisNexis and grassroots…No Day But Today!

  2. As a member of Robin’s group I have to agree. She and Ralph Walker have been the guiding forces in this group. They have worked tirelessly for many months. As this is my very first campaign ever I am glad I have learned and have been led by these fine people. As to everyone I have met in this campaign I think reflects volumes as to the character and personality of the candidate we are working for. Hopefully, he will find equally bright, smart, energetic people with honesty and integrity in his cabinet. “We are fired up and ready to go!”

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