Monday, December 8, 2008

Man badly beaten in Shreveport for wearing Obama t-shirt

That subject line sounds a lot more generic than it actually is. Kaylon Johnson is the victim in question - and anyone who's ever been in the Shreveport for Obama office knows him very well as our go-to IT guy and one of the office coordinators.

I received a call yesterday from Jasmine Whitehorn about Kaylon's current condition. On Saturday night at a gas station in Shreveport, he was accosted by two white males who were yelling racial slurs, incensed by the Obama bumper stickers on Kaylon's car and the Obama t-shirt Kaylon was wearing. He waved them off, went into the gas station, and when he came out, they jumped on him.

Kaylon was badly beaten and has sustained several head injuries. He will have surgery on Friday to repair a broken eye socket, broken nose, and torn tear duct.

News links with more details about the attack are below. Also attached are images of Kaylon, before and after the attack.

The local media have given the matter some attention, but it needs more. This email also serves different purposes - to let you all know about the attack (and please email if you want to send a message to Kaylon), to heighten awareness about the occurrence of such racist incidents, and to ask you to spread the word yourselves. A press release is also attached, written by fellow volunteer and Kaylon's close friend David Handy. David has been working tirelessly since Saturday night to get the facts of the case and to get those facts out to the public.

I've known Kaylon for a few months now - I first met him this June at a grassroots Obama meeting in Shreveport. I had organized the meeting through; he brought refreshments and buttons (both of which proved to be very popular). Someone on the Louisiana for Obama mailing list made the comment that it would be prudent to avoid wearing Obama paraphernalia unless one seeks martyrdom - it shouldn't have to be that way. Obama is no longer just a politician; he is our President-Elect, even in the red state of Louisiana (where Shreveport and Caddo Parish went blue). Kaylon didn't ask for any of this, and certain members of society need to realize that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated.

Kaylon in the media:
KSLA news report and video interview with Kaylon
KTAL report and video
CNN iReport by Jasmine Whitehorn

Thank you,
Versha Sharma (318.792.5136,
Jasmine Whitehorn (318.210.3727,
David Handy (318.573.4058,
J. T. Thomas (318.617.5879,

(from right to left) Kaylon Johnson, Gloria Briggs, Kellie Whitehorn, and Mildred Whitehorn at the Shreveport for Obama volunteer office in mid-September

Kaylon after the attack


David Handy

Phone Number: 318-573-4058
FAX Number: 800-647-2590
Email Address:

Obama Supporter beaten - Victim of possible hate crime in Shreveport, LA

Shreveport, LA, 12/8/2008 - Kaylon Johnson, 32, an employee of Southern University of Shreveport, was allegedly beaten by two white males on 12/6/2008 between 11:45 p.m. CST and 12:45 a.m. CST on 12/7/2008 at a Shreveport gas station for wearing a Barack Obama T-shirt.

After yelling racial slurs and obscenities including “fuck Obama” and “fuck that Nigger”, Mr. Johnson was attacked and savagely beaten before he could even react. He was punched in the face and knocked out. Mr. Johnson suffered serious injuries to his eye socket and a broken nose, both which will require surgery to repair.

Currently the case is being investigated by the Shreveport Police Department detective below:

Shreveport Police Department

Detective Craig Ivey


The owners name and address of the gas station is:

J & S Fuel Services, Inc - CITGO




Phone: 318-688-0654

For additional information on, Obama Supporter beaten - Victim of possible hate crime in Shreveport, LA, contact spokesperson David Handy at (318) 573-4058.

- END -

Sunday, November 2, 2008

One single campaign - desperately seeking volunteers!

Two days from now, you won't hear from me again (well, perhaps once just to gloat over our landslide victory).

We are desperately seeking volunteers. We've had a great, bustling campaign office today, but this close to the election, we need more. We want to call every Democratic and Obama-supporting voter in the state and remind them that they need to get to the polls - with a photo ID and withOUT wearing any campaign paraphernalia - and also offer them a ride, if they need one!

I know not all of you are into phone calling. But we've had our most anti-phone-call people on the phones all day because they know the importance of what we're doing - every single phone call is a vote. And these are friendly calls! :)

Still, for those who are not inclined, we need lots of canvassers to go door-to-door on Election Day, we need general office and reception help, data entry, and much, much more.

The time is now. We should all be feeling a sense of urgency - we only have 2.25 more days to really make a difference for the candidate we all know and love. Recent polls have shown that this race in Louisiana is much closer than we think - every single vote counts.

Please come help if you can - and THANK YOU for everything you've already done!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Last debate watch party and rally for change!

IMPORTANT NEWS - We had to do a change of location for our rally scheduled for Friday. We apologize for the inconvenience, but please do us a big favor by telling everyone you know about the new location - we'll be doing it here at our office (Centenary is overbooked, basically). The rally will start at 6:30 pm on Friday, October 17 at the campaign office.

RSVP for the rally here.

Second, just a reminder: tomorrow we're having our last debate watch party once again here at the office. The potluck didn't work so well last time, but this time we've drilled it into everyone's heads (or tried) - so please bring refreshments if you can! Should be interesting - McCain has said he'll bring up the non-issue of Bill Ayers to Obama's face! The party will start at 7:30 pm on Wednesday, October 15 at the campaign office.

RSVP for the debate watch party here.

If you want to help us distribute flyers for early voting and the rally, please email Help us out and forward them to your friends; also, print a couple out, post them at your colleges, in your churches, favorite coffeehouses, etc.!

As early voting begins just next week, we have plenty of volunteer opportunities available that we need to fill.
Please give us a call, email us, or stop by the office to see how you can help.

Let us know if you have any questions - hope to see you all tomorrow and Friday night!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Voter registration deadline, watch party, volunteers needed

TODAY is the voter registration deadline for Louisiana (and several other states, so tell your friends: AZ, AR, CO, DC, FL, GA, HI, IN, KY, MI, MT, OH, PA, TN, TX, UT, VA, WY).

Check your registration at or If you need to register, come to the office or go to the Registrar of Voters at 525 Marshall Street before 4:30 pm. This is it - new voters are key to an Obama victory in Louisiana!

We also really need volunteers for a voter and absentee registration at Mt. Canaan Towers, a nursing home, today at 12:30 pm. Please call us at 318.221.7902 if you think you may be able to do this.

We're having another debate watch party on Tuesday night at the office! This is the second presidential debate and will be moderated by Tom Brokaw. Once again, we'll be in the bigger area of the building, so there's plenty of room for everyone. This one is a potluck event, so please bring food, drinks, desserts, or all three!
RSVP here.

As always, we need volunteers any time, every day of the week. Our office hours are 9 am to 9 pm Monday through Saturday and 11 am to 9 pm on Sundays. Come by when you can or schedule your own shifts.

Thanks for all of your work. 30 days until the election - we need all the help we can get!!

Shreveport for Obama HQ
520 Spring Street, Suite A

Monday, September 29, 2008

Congressional meet and greet, VP debate party, and more

Tomorrow is the meet and greet with 4th district congressional candidates at the Student Union Building at Centenary College. The College Democrats are sponsoring this - all the Democratic candidates on the ballot this Saturday will be there: Paul Carmouche, John Milkovich, Artis Cash, and Willie Banks. The event starts at 11 am and goes until 12:15 pm - pizza and drinks will be available. For more info, contact Nadine Kaskas at

Thursday night is the VP debate watch party - we'll be having it at the headquarters again, though this time in the bigger room, so it'll be more spacious and a lot cooler (and more fun) for everyone. We had a great turnout last time - and a great time shouting at McCain on the screen in unison - and this is sure to be even better with the differences between Palin and Biden. Please come by and bring food and/or drinks if you can! RSVP/get more details here.

Other events: we need volunteers to register voters at Centenary, LSUS, and the MLK neighborhood association every day this week, and we will be canvassing this weekend. Please come by the office to sign up, reply to this email, or call us at 318.221.7902. All events can be found on The deadline to register to vote is NEXT MONDAY, OCTOBER 6. We're just seven days away!

If you want to volunteer from home, we need people to do some virtual phone banking. All it requires is a computer and a telephone - we need people to commit to just one hour of calling from home. Please let me know if you're interested in this and I can give you more information!

The state directors have been duly impressed by what we've got going on here - let's keep the momentum going and turn this state blue again!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Obama events this weekend

(left to right: Cal Butler, Del Brennan, Jackie Lynch, Kneece Camp, and J. T. Thomas register new voters while canvassing Shreveport neighborhoods; photo from Del Brennan)

Just a reminder - the campaign office is open from 9-9 Monday-Friday and 11-9 on Sunday (but we usually stop phone banking around 8 - still, you can come by!).

The deadline to register to vote on November 4th is just around the corner on October 6th - only 11 days away!! So we've got a desperate need for volunteers and a big push for voter registration - here are some of the events going on in the next few days that I'd love to see all of you at:

Friday, September 26

6:00 pm - meet up to register voters at the Capt. Shreve Homecoming game. One of our high school interns will be heading this up and may need some help - let me know if you're interested!

7:00 pm - preparing for the debate watch party! The debate, or possibly the town hall meeting between just Obama and the audience, starts at 8 pm, but come by before to volunteer for a bit before we all settle down to watch. We're having watch parties at the office and at Gigi's Sports Bar downtown (the latter is 21+ only).

Saturday, September 27

9:00 am - meet at the office for a bit of training and then head out to canvass public housing developments and targeted neighborhoods in Shreveport - this is knocking on doors and registering people to vote.

Sunday, September 28

4:00 pm - another canvass - this one meets at Roman Delight Pizza inside Mall St. Vincent before heading out to the neighborhoods around LSU Medical Center.

And much more - we need volunteers to help staff tables at Centenary, LSUS, BPCC, and other key locations over the next week! We also ALWAYS need volunteers at the office for phone banking (trying to recruit volunteers and calling back people whose registrations have been rejected), data entry, and general office help. shows Louisiana as the only weak Republican state besides Florida in a sea of solid red - with your help, it should be easy for us to give our 9 electoral votes to Senator Obama!

See you soon!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Volunteers and interns needed at Shreveport Obama office!

We're in the early stages of building our volunteer army and at this point we're looking for leaders to step up and get us moving.

We need volunteers to do the following:

* Phone banking: Calling a list of Democrat-friendly people and asking them to come and help us.
* Voter registration: Going to events with our teams of canvassers and making sure people are registered to vote.
* Data entry: Logging the results of our phone banking campaign so that the campaign HQ in Chicago can see what we're doing.
* Reception/Office staff: People to meet and greet volunteers, sell Obama merchandise, answer the phone, send emails like this.
* Digital Team: Help get the message out there on the internet.
* Food committee: Make sure we're all fed and watered.
* Drivers: Help us get people to the polls!
* Handing out (and designing and printing) flyers.
* Any donations and contributions of time, money, furniture, food, office supplies and anything else that might help us!

Anyone who is interested in helping Barack Obama win the state of Louisiana should come to our new office at 520 Spring Street, Suite A (we're sharing office space with the Mary Landrieu campaign HQ), call us on 318-221-7902 or email us at Our office is open 9am - 9pm Monday - Saturday and 11am - 9pm Sunday.

Just to give you an idea of what's going on: Until last Tuesday, the Obama campaign thought of north Louisiana as a lost cause, but thanks to groups like ObamaFTW (that's 'Obama-For-the-Win'), we managed to reduce John McCain's lead in this state from 19 points to just seven! When this happened, the campaign started to take notice and sent us David Wilburn, an experienced campaign organizer. Now we have three offices in north Louisiana - one here in Shreveport, one in Monroe and one in Alexandria.

If we can reduce McCain's lead to less than five points, the campaign will start throwing us money, and guess what? We think that within a week we can do just that.

In other words, and I know you may find this hard to believe, we believe that we actually have a realistic chance of winning this state for Barack Obama. This is why we need volunteers and we need them now. Anyone who thought there was no point in campaiging or even voting in this state needs to know this - that right now we actually have a chance - IF the people who support Obama are prepared to step up and help us.