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maryland democratic volunteers Kid Reporter Hannah Prensky interviews Obama reelection volunteer Earnest Le at a Democratic Unity Rally in Montgomery County, Maryland, May 14, 2012. (Photo courtesy Hannah Prensky)

Election 2012: Democratic Volunteers Get Pep Talk

Supporters in Maryland hear from party leaders

By Hannah Prensky | null null , null

Hundreds of supporters and volunteers came out on a rainy evening in May to attend a Democratic Unity Rally in Montgomery County, Maryland. The State Democratic leadership joined to support local candidates and President Barack Obama in the November Election.

The May 14 event was kicked off with a spaghetti dinner at Gaithersburg Casey Community Center. Afterwards, attendees welcomed Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, Congressman John Sarbanes, and Senator Ben Cardin, among others.

"Progress is a choice," Governor O'Malley said. "Building up the best public schools in America for four years in a row, we moved forward and not back. We drove down violent crime at lowest level in 35 years. We have created 50,000 new jobs every year because we move forward and not back."

"We are united, we are together, and we are moving forward," he added. This has been the Governor's recurring theme, and President Obama recently adopted it for his national Presidential campaign.

In his speech, the Governor also came out strongly against the federal budget proposed by Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan.

Ryan has said his budget will get the country out of debt and put the nation on firmer footing for the future. Critics respond by calling the budget an attack on the middle class, Medicare, and Social Security, among other programs.

"[The Ryan budget] continues the tax cuts for the very wealthiest among us while at the same time deeply cutting food stamps and doing away with Medicare as we know it," Governor O'Malley added.

When congressman Hoyer took the podium, he used his time to make sure people thought about the consequences of the November election.

"The difference between the two parties has become a chasm between what their priorities are, the direction they want to go, the people they want to lift up, and the people they want to push down," Hoyer said.

While the Democratic leaders made their pitch for why voters should elect Democrats in November, they also thanked the supporters and volunteers who help make it happen.

"[Maryland is a blue state] because of the men and women like you who get up every day and get out making sure that we win it for Democrats," O'Malley said. (The color blue is normally used to describe Democrats, while red is used to describe Republicans.)

Volunteers who came to support the Democrats agreed with the speakers.

"It is very important to me to volunteer for my candidates," Bobbie Coles of Springfield stated. "I've been volunteering since I was 4 years old in Birmingham, Alabama, when my parents and grandparents couldn't vote. I hope to get the President back in office."

Johns Hopkins graduate student Earnest Le from Baltimore shared the same thoughts.

"I see the effectiveness of volunteers," Le said. "You can spend all the money you want, but talking to people, knocking on doors, being on the street and volunteering really makes all the difference."


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