Written by Anastasia Pantsios and crossposted at Ohio Daily
I know a lot of people are confused or conflicted about Organizing for America, whose mission is described as “building on the movement that elected President Obama by empowering communities across the country to bring about an agenda of change.” Its e-mails focus on “supporting President Obama’s agenda,” which, particularly during the health-care debate, had a lot of recipients asking “What exactly are we supporting?”
Basically, the group is a new campaign paradigm: an election cycle that lasts four years, that never ends. It is, in effect, Obama’s 2012 campaign. So in a sense, the Cuyahoga County headquarters that OFA has opened on the corner of the southwest quadrant of Shaker Square (13100 Shaker Sq.) — the same space where Obama headquarters was last year — is a permanent campaign office. That’s an untried strategy in presidential campaigning.
It will clearly have its ups and downs, judging from the soft opening event held there in December. While field organizers spoke enthusiastically, attendees in a crowd that skewed older and African-American asked pointed questions about how health-care legislation was actually going to help people get health care. People are still clearly hungry for some change; they’re just wary at what they see going down in Washington, D.C. Yet hands-on involvement is still probably the best way to tilt things in our favor.
The headquarters will have its official opening Monday, January 11 from 4:30-7 p.m. Governor Ted Strickland and 11th District Congresswoman Marcia Fudge are both expected to attend, along with OFA state director Greg Schlutz and regional field coordinator David Cooke. It’s open to anyone who’d like to get involved or just wants to find out what is going on.