It is quite rare to find an organization that practices what they preach, but Organizing for America is without a doubt not this case. In Internet Advocacy this summer, I have learned that it is important to have a good strategy and message, or you will fall apart. Organizing for America marks for the “first time a political party has developed permanent field program with its own communications channel to contact and organize volunteers to advance between elections” (p. 6). I have always loved behind the scenes efforts; it was actually the reason I wanted to get a master’s degree in Public Communication.

I liked how the author of this article, Ari Melber, started from the beginning of OFA’s activities in 2009 and ended with areas for potential further debate. For this blog, I decided to stick with the first part, which I feel is the most important for campaign strategists.

Organizing for America had a mission to gather public and community support for our President Obama, and they did with flying colors. I loved reading about how they accomplished this great feat, when the Democratic Party was in the deep end after the 2004 Election loss. I agree with Political Scientist, David Galvin when he says, “…OFA itself makes Obama much better positioned to make serious building inroads than his predecessors ever were…if Obama converts OFA into a multipurpose entity…he can change the course of the Democratic Party”

And community shall bring about the change according to this article. As Melber states on page 9, “regular citizens as supportive volunteers or persuadable decision-makers could restore some balance to a process that often focuses on media and financial advocacy more than pressure from regular citizens.”

The most relevant campaign, OFA took part in was their initiative in HealthCare reform. As Melber puts it, “the most significant “asks,” for volunteer activity was this campaign. The facts and figures he points out are incredible. In 2009, 44 percent of OFA’s emails focused on health care while 17 percent addressed economic and budget issues and five percent discussed the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court.

His next section about OFA, “community management” is appropriately named. In his opening statement, Melber declares, “Most politicians do not maintain continuous, direct contact with volunteers and supporters once victorious campaigns end;” (p. 13), this opens for OFA to take over. This is where Organizing for America came in handy.

This section entirely convinced how important it is that you offer ways to engage your audience in issues. For instance, OFA launched community events to coincide with the anniversary of Obama’s election; Obama launched a video thanking volunteers for their support for America’s HealthCare reform. In response, 170,000 views after the initial sending of the email. On another “public track, OFA supporters reported they sent out 233,500 letters to the editor in local publications on behalf of HealthCare reform. Additionally, over 1,000 videos were submitted with some of the top entries drawing over 180,000 views. These kinds of figures blow my mind!

Similarly OFA has not only changed the course of the Democratic Party, but also all the different parties. Even if you go to any candidate’s (no matter how famous or unknown), there are more options than ever to take action to support your candidate and their issues.

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