President Barack Obama is trying to re-assemble his old campaign team to help build grass roots support for the overhaul of the health care proposal as well as for his major initiatives.
About 75 Obama backers gathered Monday night at the Church of the Reconciliation in Chapel Hill to discuss how to build support in Congress for Obama’s health care proposals through telephone calls, phone banks, petition signing, door-to-door canvassing, round table discussions, Rob Christensen reports.
"There is a sense of urgency and there needs to be a sense of urgency," Lindsay Siler, the state director of the Obama organization.
"The message is we need to stand up and demand you pass health care reform," she said.
Similar meetings are being held across the state. Tonight there are phone banks planned at St. Matthew AME Church in Raleigh and First Baptist Church West in Charlotte.
The organizing is being done under the auspices of the Democratic National Committee, which has set up an off shoot group called Organizing for America. The campaign team, which will rely much more on volunteers, has only been on the ground in North Carolina for three weeks.
Obama is trying to get the House and the Senate to pass version of the health care plan before Congress recesses in August with passage some time this fall.
Siler, the former Iowa deputy field director for Sen. Hillary Clinton’s campaign, who was previously with Planned Parenthood in North Carolina and surrounding states. The state field director is Greg Jackson Jr., who headed D.C. for Obama, a grassroots effort.
In response to a question, Siler asked the Obama supporters not to pressure North Carolina Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan to support the public health option part of the Obama plan. Obama has sought not to put public pressure on centrist Democrats who may be undecided about portions of the plan.
Correction: Post updated to correct prior affiliations of Jackson and Siler.