Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Volunteering For Obama

A huge thanks to the many of you who came to our Obama for American training session on Sunday afternoon, and also to those who couldn’t make it but wanted more information.

As we discussed on the day, we have very ambitious goals for our voter registration efforts around the world, and I am so lucky to have such a dedicated group of people to help me deliver them.

I’ve uploaded a bunch of valuable tools to the Obama London group page (http://groups.google.com/group/obama-london/files), which you should all download and print for use in your own activities:

1) London Training – This is the volunteer training document Ali used on Sunday
2) Sign Up Form – This is a template sign in sheet please print off some copies of this keep them with you at any events and canvassing activities you attend, so that you can easily capture people’s details and report the info back to me.
3) FPCA – This is a PDF version of the Federal Postcard Application form, the form used by overseas voters to register to vote. Each state has different rules and specific information relating to how overseas voters should complete this form, but you can get state by state information to help voters fill out this information either in the printed Voting Assistance Guide book or on this page: http://www.fvap.gov/for-voting-assistance-officers/vote-guide/index.html
4) Voter Registration Deadlines – this is a state by state list of voter registration deadlines, both alphabetically (so you can look up a specific state) and chronologically (so you can see what states have the next deadlines).

How You Can Get Involved

We badly need people to register voters for us all across the UK (and the world). I will send out volunteer opportunities for voter registration when I know about them but I would urge you all – don’t wait for me! Is there a farmers market near you where Americans like to buy their fresh veggies? Are there American parents at your kids’ school? An American Football club that plays in your local park? A show on at your local theatre that draws an American crowd? Give it a try! Then just drop me a note to let me know how it went.

Also - go viral. Call and write to all your American friends and family – are they registered? If not, get them registered through www.votefromabroad.org.

Then ask them to introduce you to any other Americans they know who live abroad. Call those people – get them registered. Then ask them if they know any Americans living abroad.

Repeat as needed.

If you are looking for more specific locations and support, Democrats Abroad runs an amazing voter registration program and they are always looking for more volunteers. Here’s their current list of forthcoming voter registration needs:

1 Aug - 11:30 - 2:00 - Deutsche Bank voter registration
4 Aug - 7:00pm - American Meet-up Happy Birthday to Obama - location TBD - Need one person to register voters
6 Aug - 7:00pm - DA August Speakeasy - The Duke of York Pub - Cavendish Street - Need one person to register voters
6 Aug - 2:00 - 4:00 - Federal Voting Assistance Program Voter Registration Training - US Embassy - Attend and encourage people to join the DA Voter Registration effort
8 Aug - TBD - Olympia Camera Beer Fest American Meet-up - Need one person to leaflet outside the venue as people go in.
16 August - Obama East to West Bridges Rally - S. Bank of London Bridge - Need one person to leaflet
20 August - ACS Hillingdon Welcome Picnic for new families - Stephanie S to take leaflets
24 August - 12:00 - 3:00 - The American School in Surrey (TASIS) New Family Picnic
30 August - ASL Scoop back to school event 8 September - 5:30pm - The Pilgrims and English Speaking Union panel on the US election - Dartmouth House, W1J - Need one person to register voters
11 September - 9:00 - 11:00am - Kensington & Chelsea Woman's Club - Royal Geographical Society - Need one person to register voters
12 September - 11:30 - 2:00 - Deutsche Bank voter registration - Need two more people to register voters
13 September - Obama East to West Bridges Rally - Millennium Bridge - Need one person to leaflet
17 September - 9:00 - 11:00 - Hampstead Woman's Club - Need two more people to register voters
18 September - 6:30pm - ASL HS Back-to-School Night - Need one person to register voters
18 September - 11:00 - 2:00 - FOCUS Voter Registration -
7 October - American Society Autumn Cocktail at Wynchwood House - Need one person to register voters
11 October - Obama East to West Bridges Rally - Waterloo Bridge - Need one person to leaflet (take deadlines list with you!)

I would urge all of you to join the DA voter registration Yahoo Group.


Monday Meetings

Each Monday night in London we will hold a meeting for our volunteers. This will be your chance to get fully trained on how to register voters, to learn about what voter registration and canvassing opportunities are taking place that week, and to brainstorm about what else we could do. Join us for the next one on Monday, August 4 from 7:00 at:

The Yorkshire Grey - Upstairs
46 Langham Street, London, W1W 7AX

The Yorkshire Grey is very convenient for Oxford Circus, Goodge Street and Great Portland Place tubes.

The main thrust of next week’s meeting will be to plan for our August 9th International Voter Registration Day

International Voter Registration Day

On the 9th of August, the Obama campaign is asking all its overseas activists to participation in a massive voter registration drive around the world. I am asking each and every one of you to commit to working for us on that day in your neighborhoods to find and register American voters – whether that means standing outside your tube station or dialing your whole contact list!

Or perhaps this is the right opportunity for you to hold a house party to talk about Barack with all your friends?

Please either come along on Monday night for the planning, or drop me an e-mail to let me know what you will be doing on this day.


And finally, many of you were interested in how you can help to raise funds for the campaign overseas – that’s great and we so appreciate it, especially since tomorrow is the deadline for our July fundraising figures, so now is a great time to be encouraging people to make those donations.

We are asking all Americans Abroad to use the specific URLs that have been created for them when they make a donation. In the UK that page is:


Remember: only US citizens can donate. No one can give you money for the purposes of donating it. Campaign finance laws are very specific about what information we need to collect from our donors and who may or may not give – in addition, the campaign has some further rules that they have imposed upon themselves, such as not accepting money from registered lobbyists. To avoid all sorts of difficulties – just use the donation link. It’s easy and it’s legal.

If you are thinking about doing a grassroots event or a fundraiser, please just drop me a line – or stay tuned for my comprehensive Grassroots event guide, which I am working on and will hope to get out to you over the weekend.

Thanks a million for all your hard work and energy! I look forward to working closely with you all in the coming months.

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