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A question for Barack Obama's crew.

Posted by Elwin Green on April 19, 2013 at 12:35 AM

(PUBLISHER'S NOTE: This entry was written and posted on April 18, before the entry below about the meeting on gun violence. I have no idea why my web host's software assigned it tomorow's date.)

This started out as a Facebook post. I'm sharing it here to widen the conversation.


This question is for anyone who worked on Barack Obama's campaign, either in 2008 or in 2012: How did you do it? How was the campaign team organized? How did you operate? What tools did you use?

That's more than one question, huh? Oh well. I'm hungry and thirsty for the knowledge.


Wait, I think I just discovered the big question behind all of those other questions - how would you apply what you learned to other kinds of work in the community?


Okay I think that's it....it just struck me that there's a bunch of people out there, who in the process of working for Mr. Obama, picked up a lot of knowledge and a lot of skills that could be applied to transforming Homewood...There must be ways to 1) apply that knowledge and those skills to other things and 2) help others gain that knowledge and those skills. What do you think?

Categories: Citizenship and Governance

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Reply PDavis
7:24 PM on April 18, 2013 
I was very involved with the 2008 campaign from August to election day. I became experienced in phone banking and data entry management for the campaign. There were tools available to the volunteers (cell phones and computers) in the campaign offices that made a huge impact on the ability to (1) call people in the community and (2) record phone results to analyze data. I didn't work on the 2012 campaign except for election day -- again phone banking because of my past experience in this area.

What I learned that could be transformed to our Homewood is that you need a structured planned approach, scripted messaging for a consistent impact when you outreach via phone calls or door-to-door canvassing and a method for not just collecting, but analyzing the results of information gathered. The campaign was effective in targeting key areas because they were disciplined about reviewing results of calls and canvassing on a DAILY basis. I'm not sure we would need this level of analysis for our ability to engage residents in the community on a daily basis, but we should talk about the need for planning, structure, communication methods, etc.
Reply Elwin Green
3:02 AM on April 19, 2013 
Thanks Ms. Davis. If you're still in touch with other Obama workers, please ask them to chime in. I'm thinking particularly of how to apply lessons learned from the Obama campaign to Block Watch Plus.

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In October 2005, after a bullet came through his living room window, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter Elwin Green began writing "My Homewood," the first blog on the P-G's website. For 4 1/2 years, "My Homewood" shared stories of tragedy and beauty, of perplexity and hope - stories that live again in "The Homewood Chronicles."

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