Supporters of President Barack Obama held the grand opening of their new campaign office at 209 S. 52nd Street in West Philadelphia on Wednesday.
Enthusiastic volunteers filled the storefront office, where they heard campaign organizers pledge to do their best to re-elect the president.
“Today we are welcoming and hoping to initiate this whole neighborhood, within a five mile radius of this office, to get them involved,” said Clyde Sherman, a volunteer of the Busy-bodies, a West Philadelphia-based team of campaign organizers.
Philadelphia is crucial for Obama’s campaign, according to political pundits, and the Busy-bodies hope to turn out the vote for him this election as they did in 2008.
“This office is going to be extremely powerful in getting the vote out and making everyone aware of the voter ID laws, and getting the seniors to understand that we need them to vote in November,” said Sherman.
Sherman described the grand opening as an informal, friendly event, which was attended by District Attorney Seth Williams, state representative Jim Roebuck and Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell.
“Most of us were volunteers. We just want all of the volunteers to come out and give us an hour, or a half-hour — for phone banking and canvassing — to really make it a grassroots effort like we did in 2008,” said Sherman.
As a volunteer, Sherman said that his role was to do whatever needed to be done.
“We are going to be pushing the whole community to get behind the West Philadelphia office,” said Sherman. “We are going to have the best numbers. We are going to have the best phone banking and the best canvassing because we are fired up and ready to go.”
The president of the Friends of Malcolm X Memorial Park, Gregorio Pac Cojulon Jr. was present at the opening and urged residents of the area to get involved with the re-election activities at the 52nd Street office.
“We need him. We need president Obama for four more years,” said Cojulon. “We need people to come out here and volunteer their time and efforts help canvass the people. We need the young people out here; we need the seniors to come out like they did in 2008.”