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$1 for a change.


May 2010

The Lower Fillmore Farmer’s Market was colored with friendly faces of many ethnicities, mostly the black community, and the struggling homeless people within the rich yet little community on Sunday morning, 22 May 2010.
As part of the larger Organizing For America team, our local San Francisco neighborhoods volunteered to team up into one. Ours consist of the Marina, Nob Hill, and Pacific Heights districts that came together from our Community-Organizing Neighborhood Team Training event a little more than a month ago on April 24, and our neighborhood team planned to host a visibility tabling event down at the Farmer’s Market area, located at the at the cross streets Fillmore and O’Farrell.
As part of the California voters, San Franciscans will be nominating candidates for partisan offices statewide for the primary election on June 8, 2010, as well as votes on five states and seven local ballot measures. Voters from each political party nominate to run in November’s general election.
Our team has a goal to conduct this campaign to aid the voters’ registration process and mobilize them upon the election date so as to win the Congress, which is what the President needs right now.

As the event coordinator, I delegated for the past few weeks in making sure every one of our contacts stay in touch, and every data and information during our planning process upon our visibility tabling campaign followed through. We conversed in weekly e-mails to clarify the specifics of our event, including our team member shifts and reminding every one’s role in the team.“Let me give you a dollar for a change,” said Tatiana, a experienced political activist ever since Obama entered the office.

We were selling pins and buttons on our table, and Tatiana, being in charge during our morning shift from 9 to 11, challenged me to sell as many pins as possible – one for $2 – and a 50-cent for each pin I sold was given to me.

It was almost like being a sales representative for Obama.

We held up a life-sized Obama cut-out right by our table, another visibility item brought into our event with many thanks to Greg James, our data coordinator, who came up with the idea.

“You like the man?” said a passer-by pointing at the cut-out and walking lamely on the edge of the pavement, watching our table from a distance.

“Yes I do,” I replied. He smiled back at me, walking away from the registration paperwork we placed on our table.

More people walked by to see our table with a grim face.

“I don’t even have a home!” shaking an old woman’s head while talking to herself, looking up to the sky and facing away from us as she was dragging her big, baggy clothes away from the street.

Whether it’s social security or alien citizenship, not every one has the right to vote.

“You can always volunteer,” said Froilan Ramos, the community organizer during our training the previous month.

Two elderly Koreans were heading towards the Fillmore Auditorium when they saw the Obama cut-out. They took pictures of it, mumbling in Korean towards each other, touching and feeling the cardboard box as they took multiple pictures with it.

Without taking a second look at the ground of paperwork on our table, he spoke to me in fluent Japanese: “He is a good man.”

“Communications is everything,” said Randall Evans, an activist running around the neighborhood, talking to people on the streets.

Evans has set up breakfast programs for the unprivileged, uneducated black youth within the Fillmore district. Summer schools are closed, and he took advantage of the summertime to teach the children of the community the need to understand what President Obama is trying to give back to the country.

Randall walked into the market instead of walking away, signing his name on the Absentee Ballot Request. As an active participant of the local black community events, he walked by to and fro from a local stand nearby our table and greeted Mel Simmons, the “information guy” of the neighborhood and also another public advocate within the Fillmore area.





“Send me our pictures, and if you ever miss me, come again every Saturday,” said Simmons. Behind his sunglasses was his kindest smile.

“God bless you,” Randall shook all of our hands from across the table.