This past weekend Christina Amestoy '11 traveled to Ohio to assist the Barack Obama Campaign in preparation for the Ohio primary on Tuesday, March 4.
“I believe that Obama is the most qualified candidate in the race to help our country get back on track and bring us to new levels,” says Amestoy, an anticipated political science major with a concentration in American politics. “I wanted to do something to try and help him secure the Democratic nomination for the presidency so I decided to travel to Ohio and help get out the vote for the March 4 primaries.”
Through the candidate's Web site, www.barackobama.com, Amestoy discovered a group of Obama supporters traveling to Cleveland. She contacted the organizer, who helped her secure transportation and lodgings. “The final group going was a group of six,” Amestoy says, “myself and five others from the Rochester area.”
Amestoy and her co-supporters arrived on Saturday afternoon and were assigned a walking route after checking in at an Obama Campaign office. “We … were sent to a neighborhood to knock on doors and urge people to get out and vote on Tuesday.
“The area was made up of primarily Obama supporters, so the people we talked to were very excited and supportive and were all planning to vote or had voted already.”
After canvassing the assigned neighborhood, the sextet made their way back to the Obama office in downtown Cleveland, where they were asked to help volunteer at a town hall meeting in Parma Heights, Ohio where Obama was scheduled to speak that evening.
“We helped set up a table to recruit volunteers for the upcoming days,” Amestoy says, “and then we watched Obama speak. I was lucky enough to get a seat up on stage behind the podium for the entire speech, and following it I was able to shake his hand.”
On Sunday, they split into small groups and made rounds at local churches, recruiting more volunteers and petitioning voters. Amestoy went to the Lee Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church were she attended the service, handed out information and signed up people interested in volunteering either Monday or Tuesday.
“It was so much fun seeing how excited people were about Senator Obama,” says Amestoy. “The support that the Senator had was really inspiring. People were coming up to us asking for buttons, stickers, signs, and so many were interested in volunteering before the primary.”
A member of HWS votes, the HWS chapter of Amnesty International, and Student Activists for Darfur, she enjoyed the new experience. “There is no way that a class can prepare you for going door to door to try and gain support for your candidate. However, the political science classes that I have taken at HWS gave me a great understanding of the primary system and the modern election systems.
“I really enjoyed hearing the Senator speak. He is a very eloquent and inspiring speaker and seeing him in action is truly amazing. Having the chance to shake his hand was a once in a lifetime experience.”