The Democratic National Committee held their 2012 Campaign Kick-Off Rally Wednesday at , giving the party a forum to engage constituents in the reelection of President Barack Obama and Maryland democrats in the 2012 election.
Organized primarily by volunteers from the (MCDCC) with assistance from other volunteers in Maryland, Virginia, DC and Pennsylvania, the event drew more than 1,000 people. It included State Delegates and Representatives, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett (D), Montgomery County Council President Valerie Ervin (D-Dist. 5) plus a host of city and local officials.
“We’ve been working on this event for more than a month,” said Susan Miller, a volunteer with MCDCC. “It is the official kick-off for the Obama campaign in Maryland and the turnout, wonderful facilities here at Blair, it just couldn’t be better."
A diverse, standing-room-only crowd packed Blair for the chance to hear speakers such as DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Governor Martin O'Malley (D), Senator Ben Cardin, U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings (D-Dist. 7)U.S Congresswoman Donna Edwards (D-Dist. 4) and MDP Chair Yvette Lewis.
Beverly Ezeokoli, originally from Trinidad, but currently a Silver Spring resident came to continue her support of the Obama administration.
“I really believe in him, but I think he needs more time to work and should have another four years," Ezeokoli said.
DNC volunteers, decked in powder blue t-shirts, meandered through the crowd, signing up volunteers and handing out literature describing some of the activities of the Democratic Party over the past two years.
Silver Spring-based volunteer Kerry Tripp is a veteran political volunteer.
“I believe it is a citizen’s responsibility to be engaged in politics, and I’ve been doing it since college,” Tripp said.
Tripp added that she prefers the one-on-one interaction of neighborhood canvassing, but is happy to see such a solid turnout at the event.
The younger, emerging generation of Democrats was very well represented, both on the volunteer and attendee sides, showing their support and sometimes lobbying for their own issues. The “Tar Sands Students,” a group made up of 30 high school students dressed in bright green hard hats were very active, distributing neon orange literature imploring fellow Democrats to call on President Obama to reject the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Tar Sands Student member Sophia Hoffacker, a Washington, DC High School student, feels that her time and efforts are well-spent.
“I like this. It’s very rewarding,” she said. “Ours is the biggest generation ever of under-25 people, and this is the most important thing we can be doing.”