ONE is hitting the campaign trail to find out where candidates stand on extreme poverty. Stay tuned for more updates like these from our field team and organizers on the road.
While on the ONE Vote campaign trail, I’ve learned that there is nothing more important than positioning yourself strategically on the rope line so you can catch a candidate as they come offstage. Unfortunately, it’s not always that simple because being one of the few individuals that actually shakes the candidate’s hand in a room full of thousands of people is statistically speaking, well, difficult. I encountered one such scenario last night at a rally for Senator Bennet featuring former President Bill Clinton.
There were 12 ONE members at the rally, so it was easy for us to split up and cover multiple parts of the rope line. Jeb Barrett and his sister were the first ONE members to grab Senator Bennet and President Clinton as they came off stage. Jeb gave both of them ONE bands before they continued down the line shaking hands. In the middle, ONE volunteer CDL Valerie Bobalek thanked President Clinton for his recovery work in Haiti following the earthquake. “It just breaks your heart, doesn’t it?” he said.
Finally, as Senator Bennet began to head backstage, ONE members Ismay and Kyrzia Parker grabbed him for one last picture. They also banded his wife Susan Daggett and his daughter. Ismay asked the Senator to continue to support ONE.org and the fight against poverty. Senator Bennet complimented ONE and our efforts as he made his way off stage.
President Clinton, who had pointed directly at Kyrzia’s ONE sign and gave two thumbs up as he went onstage, gladly posed for a picture with her on his way backstage. In his speech, President Clinton talked about the importance of cheap AIDS drugs for developing nations and his experiences in places where people live on less than $2 each day.
I was proud to watch ONE volunteers as their passion drove them through a crowd of thousands of people to the front of the rope lines in an effort to advocate for the world’s poorest people. They succeeded not once, but three times.
-Nick Stevens, ONE Vote 2010 State Organizer, Colorado