Thursday, July 31, 2008

Upcoming events: Barack's Birthday, National Night Out, Voter Registration Canvassing, and a BBQ!

We have several upcoming events in the Shreveport area related to Obama; four are listed below - come when you can, give us suggestions for more, and watch this space!

Barack's Birthday Event
Monday, August 4
6:30 pm, Centenary College

In honor of our candidate's 47th birthday, we will gather supporters in Shreveport for a screening of Obama's landmark speech on race relations, "A More Perfect Union." If you haven't seen this speech, I would greatly encourage you to come - and bring undecided voters, as Obama's vision and understanding of the current state of race relations in America in this speech have brought many from uncertainty to full support for him.

This can also double as a fundraising event, if anyone has any ideas. We will talk strategy and upcoming events in the Shreveport area, like more fundraising, voter registration at National Night Out, and general voter registration canvassing in the next few weeks. I'll bring the DVD of the speech and some buttons, stickers, and signs. We need volunteers for refreshments!

Get location information and sign up to attend here.

National Night Out: Voter Registration
Tuesday, August 5
6:00 - 9:00 pm, all over Shreveport

The Shreveport area will be celebrating National Night Out, America's night out against crime, with block parties all around the city. You can find out more about the goals of NNO and the activities typically associated with it (block parties with visits from local police departments, cookouts, youth programs) here.

This is a unique opportunity to up the voter registration numbers in our area - we'll have tables present for at least a few of these block parties and we'll also hand out informative Obama flyers to those interested. We need as many volunteers for this as we can get, so please call 318.792.5136 or email if you're interested!

Voter Registration Canvassing
Sunday, August 10
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm, certain neighborhoods

From Kneece Camp (318-780-8870,

We will be walking neighborhoods near LSU Medical Center and the area where I-20 and I-49 intersect, to register any unregistered voters. This is a great opportunity to do something that may actually make a difference with your Sunday afternoon. Please bring water and/or gatorade, as it will likely be very warm. In case of rain, we will canvas the St. Vincent Mall. We will meet at Roman Delight Pizza in the St. Vincent Mall at 4 pm to organize ourselves with maps and voter registration forms. Again, please RSVP so I will know how many packets to print up.

Sign up to attend here.

Backyard Barbecue for Obama
Saturday, August 23
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Just two days before the Democratic National Convention kicks off in Colorado - where Obama will officially accept the party's nomination - local supporters will celebrate his victory (and hopefully the victory to come!) with a barbecue. This one is still in the planning stages, but more info is to come.

Again, from Kneece Camp:

This will most likely be held at Betty Virginia Park. I am still trying to get the permit to have the grill. I will send out a reminder email before the event that will confirm the location. We will need lots of volunteers for this: volunteers to bring food: burgers, hot dogs, buns, trimmings, plates, napkins, etc; volunteers to cook and prepare food; volunteers to man a table to sign up volunteers; and volunteers to man a table to register voters. Please come. Please bring as many friends as possible, bring strangers, bring enemies, bring spouses/boyfriends, girlfriends, ex's, kids, grandparents, etc! PLEASE RSVP on this one. We don't want to run out of food! I will let you know when I have the website set up for this one for you to RSVP. I'm just telling you know so you can put it on your calendar.

These events and more to come - please come to what you can and create your own events!

Recap: Platform Meetings, local supporters on the news!

Obama supporters in Shreveport made the news! KTBS covered one of the platform meetings held last weekend - to read more and see the video footage, go here.

A more detailed recap of the two meetings held in Shreveport on Saturday, July 26 will follow, but for now, here's a briefing.

Dionne Procell, who hosted one of the meetings at the main branch of the Shreveport Library on Saturday evening, said the following:

The meeting went really well. We were pretty organized (even though it's hard to stay organized in an open forum-type of meeting) and made a lot of progress, and what we were able to come up with last night was sufficient for submission.

The platform that was finished at the meeting included comprehensive ideas on what national policy should be concerning education, health care, and the economy. The finished platform that was submitted to the Obama campaign will be posted here soon.

Dionne also had the following notes of appreciation to share:

Thanks so much to Earnie Scott and Kneece Camp for making [the KTBS news coverage] happen. It's wonderful publicity. Also, thanks to Wesley Morgan and Kameko Thomas for representing KTAL and Shreveport Sun, respectively.

The organizers commented on the "great diverse group" that attended the meeting, including one Shreveport supporter who attended the Urban Policy Summit earlier that day and also came to the evening platform meeting. Congrats to the Shreveport area supporters, especially organizers Dionne and Alan Brown, for a job well done!

Tips on Voter Canvassing

From Dionne Procell (

For those who took a “blind” canvassing packet:

Additional tips (there is a list of them in the packet as well):

1) Always have plenty of voter registration forms on you.

2) Focus on the unregistered voters in Shreveport who would be likely to vote for Obama, rather than the undecided voters. Do not get in heated arguments or try to convince people to vote for Obama.

3) Try to nail people down for a date and time and place to volunteer (those who volunteer are 200% more likely to vote for our candidate).
(The chance that our neighbors will vote for Obama will increase by 12 % if their door gets knocked on THREE times in the next 3 1/2 months.)

4) You can volunteer to return registration forms to the Registrar of Voters for people who fill out forms onsite (make sure to bring a pen or two), or you can fill in the Registrar of Voters address on the back of the form before anyone fills out a form. Here is the mailing address for forms (this address is on the back of the form, and I would personally stamp the forms beforehand):

Hon. Ernest R. “Ernie” Roberson

P. O. Box 1253

Shreveport, LA 71163-1253

More contact info should anyone have questions about voter registration: 318-226-6891,

And here is the physical address you can give to those people who fill out a form and don't want to mail it: 525 Marshall St.,Ste.103.

IF YOU have filled out forms in your folder, you'll need to call Lillian Priest at 635-6335 and work out a time to return the forms and folder to her. She'll then make sure all forms are received at the ROV office.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Obama Editorials in the Shreveport Times (and other news)

Educating people about Senator Obama and generating real discussion on his policy positions is one of the best ways to support him. Local supporter Del Brennan has done just that with this editorial in the Shreveport Times, entitled "Barack Obama puts forth efforts on behalf of our soldiers." (Everyone should be doing this!)

In it, Del eloquently writes about Senator Obama's efforts at "confronting the problem...[of] the Army's treatment of soldiers suffering from post traumatic stress disorder and other mental illnesses resulting from combat." It's definitely worth a read, as are the comments.

Homer Adams criticized Del's piece in his own opinion, "Arrogant Barack Obama wrong for presidency," which just appeared in the Times a few days ago. In it, Mr. Adams incorrectly states that McCain supported the recent G.I. Bill, which he did not. The piece goes on to refer to "Barack Hussein Obama," in true FOX News fashion, and attempts to cast doubt on how much we really know about him.

Misinformation like this is exactly what Obama's aims to combat - but the campaign can't do it alone. Let's keep writing in informative, educational, and factual pieces to the Shreveport Times and spread the truth about Obama (and perhaps also comment on erroneous ones).

Other news:

-Obama LA Field Director Alex Okrent told volunteers at the rally on Saturday that official campaign offices should be opening in Louisiana within two weeks - but this is a tentative timeline. There are offices in New Orleans (the Louisiana Victory 2008 headquarters) and Lake Charles (the Campaign for Change office), but these are not official Obama campaign offices. More information to come as soon as we receive it!

-More event photos have been added to our Flickr account, taken by Del Brennan. Del took some great shots of our June Unite for Change meeting and the Howard Dean Register for Change rally.

-We are currently looking for volunteers to help establish voter registration tables at various spots across Shreveport for National Night Out on August 5, a crime and drug prevention event. Please email or comment if you're interested in helping out!

Urban Policy Platform Meeting: Saturday in Shreveport

Bertha Jimison (, 759-4582) is also hosting a platform meeting in Shreveport this Saturday, July 26, though she describes it as more of an "urban summit, an effort to get more involvement from the black community and the black churches." This one is at 10:00 am on Saturday at the Little Union Baptist Church at 1846 Milam Street. Sign up to attend and get directions here.

Bertha has personally appealed to a multitude of black ministers and urban outreach organizations in the Shreveport area to generate interest for the meeting. Everyone is welcome.

The event listing on the Obama website includes the following description:

Thanks to the Democratic Party and the Obama team, ordinary people are afforded this opportunity for presenting opinions and input into the Party's 08 Platform.

Many questions have been asked of the Party's Urban Policy. Is there one? What does this policy include? Will the Democratic Platform include a specific OR general "Urban (Inner-city) Policy?"

One way to ensure that the Platform addresses some of "our" perceived needs ... of poor people in the inner-city ... is for citizens (us!) to ACT NOW and provide input.

Saturday, July 26, 2008. A summit of several hours, refreshments and all. Summits are being held throughout the country on all sort of subjects. This is to be an inner-city summit.

Comments and input are sought on any or all of the following subject areas:
1. Education/Alternative Education/Drop-out Prevention.
2. Jobs/Joblessness/Economic Development/New Industries/Small Business Development.
3. Temporary Assistance to Needy Families(TANF)/Children Services/Day Care/Social Welfare/Child Support.
4. Community Development/Neighborhoods/Inner-City Resources.
5. Youth Developments & Opportunities.
6. Leadership Development/Role of Men in the Community.
7. Role of Faith-base/Churches/Nonprofit Organizations.
8. Government Responsibilities & Relations.
9. Law Enforcement/Crime & Violence Prevention.
10. Housing/Home-ownership Assistance/Homeless Assistance/Foreclosure Referral & Assistance.
11. Senior Assistance & Services.
12. Emergency Assistance & Preparation.
13. Health Education & Services.
14. Media/Public Services Announcements/Community Information/Ombudsman.
15. Inner-City Beautification/Land Use/Planning.
16. Historic Preservation.
17. Citizenship Education.
18. Services Outreach & Referrals.

Look out for a letter from Bertha in this Thursday's Shreveport Sun - in her own words, "There are many individuals that I talk with who are supporting Senator Obama and are expressing the need for CHANGE! I'd like for them to feel comfortable talking about some of their issues and have them know that the Democratic Party and Senator Obama are also very interested in the needs of our community."

See Bertha with Howard Dean at this past Saturday's rally and other Obama supporters here.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Shreveport Platform Meeting this Saturday

A Listening to America Platform Meeting will be held at the main branch of the Shreve Memorial Library this Saturday, July 26 at 6:00 pm. Sign up to attend and get directions here.

Dionne Procell ( and Alan Brown ( will lead the discussion on what issues are most important to Shreveport locals. The point of the meeting is for attendees to draft their own version of the ideal Democratic national platform and submit it to the campaign for review; the campaign will then incorporate it into the actual agenda, to be unveiled at the Democratic National Convention in late August.

However, the meeting isn't limited to all that - this is yet another opportunity for Obama supporters in Shreveport to meet each other, network, and plan, and also discuss local issues important to them (ideas like the Haynesville Shale drilling/environmental protection have already been suggested).

Kneece Camp ( is looking to host another meeting Sunday. Sharon Green ( is planning another platform meeting in conjunction with the Student Government at Southern University; this will be a good opportunity for those who cannot attend this Saturday's meeting to regroup (I know a few people who will be out of town until Monday, myself included). Details to be posted as soon as we know them!

Also, for anyone who had to leave early or wasn't at the Howard Dean rally on Saturday: we have several packets available for people who want to do voter registration canvassing in the Shreveport area. The packets include a map of your designated neighborhood, a script for what to say to people at the door, answers to frequently asked questions about voting in Louisiana, and tons of voter registration forms. All you have to do to pick one up is call Lillian Priest at 635-8335, Chairwoman of the Caddo Parish Democratic Executive Committee and Caddo School Board member.

And remember - if you do go canvassing, come back and write about it here!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Recap: Howard Dean in Shreveport

We had a great turnout at the stadium behind Galilee Baptist Church for Howard Dean's stop in Shreveport as part of the nationwide Register for Change tour! Dean readily expressed his gratitude and enthusiasm for the number of people in attendance.

Obama supporters met and talked with Dean, listened to him speak about the 50-state strategy and how volunteers are going to win this campaign, shared signs and stickers, discussed future meetings, and took home canvassing packets to start door-to-door voter registration in Shreveport neighborhoods. Details to follow, but for now, enjoy the photos and please share your own!

The Shreveport Times has wonderful photos of Howard Dean and Obama supporters in this gallery.

Maysa Kaskas also took photos of the event, like the one above and the two below, all of which can be seen here at Flickr. I started a Flickr account solely for this blog, so anyone with any related Obama event photos, send them in!

Centenary College Democrats President Nadine Kaskas wrote about the event over at the KSCL blog.

The wonderful Shreveport Faces blog featured us, as well.

Thanks to everyone who came out today, it was great to see you!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Howard Dean in Shreveport: details

The DNC Chairman's visit is not just a rally - following his speech, training and a voter registration canvass in Shreveport areas will occur.

Here's what Alex Okrent, the Louisiana Field Director for the Obama campaign, said in response to my queries:

"Materials are always a good thing, and we are allowed to wear Obama gear when we register voters. We’re still figuring out the exact location of the canvass, but it should be close to the church. Unfortunately, that’s all I know for right now. We are working on it currently. Sorry I can’t give more details, but I’ll pass them on as soon as I can!"

So bring and wear your Obama gear - I still have rally signs, buttons, and stickers galore to hand out - and get ready to register voters!


Saturday, July 19
8:30 am - 9:45 am
Galilee Baptist Church
1500 Pierre Ave
Shreveport, LA

RSVP on the Democratic Party website


The event on Facebook

The details for the New Orleans and Baton Rouge events are below. The New Orleans event is especially important, as the Dean event is in conjunction with the opening of the Louisiana Victory 2008 Obama headquarters in that city (at 3604 Canal Street).


Alex Okrent

Pendry Haines

Voter registration sites in Shreveport

In honor of Louisiana Voter Registration and Education Week, the Caddo Registrar of Voters is conducting mobile voter registration at certain sites in Shreveport on Thursday, July 17 and Friday, July 18. (source)

Instructions from the Registrar's post:

Voters should bring a driver's license, governmental i.d. or proof of residency in Caddo Parish. For further info please call 226-6891.

To check your current voter registration info, go to On the right side under "Whats New" click on POLL LOCATOR. You'll need your name as registered and your date of birth. You can find your polling place, sample ballot and your current address and party info.

The following sites are SHREVE MEMORIAL LIBRARY branch locations are open to the public and handicapped / mobility-impaired accessible.

THURSDAY, July 17th-

11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. - David Raines Branch- 2855 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive

3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. - West Shreveport Branch - 4380 Pines Road

FRIDAY, July 18th-

11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. - Atkins Branch - 3704 Greenwood Road

3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. - Mooretown Branch- 4360 Hollywood Avenue

Howard Dean in Louisiana this weekend!

Howard Dean, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, will be making several stops in Louisiana this Friday and Saturday.

Tomorrow he kicks off a nationwide Register for Change tour - he starts in Crawford, Texas, and travels to Austin before coming to New Orleans on Friday and Shreveport and Baton Rouge on Saturday (details below)

In light of this, the Obama event we planned for Saturday afternoon in Shreveport will be canceled - I want everyone to have the chance to attend this and not spread ourselves too thin - if you all want to regroup after Dean's event, we certainly can - let's get some ideas going, but for now, please plan to attend these events!

Details for the Louisiana stops:

New Orleans Campaign for Change Kickoff

Louisiana Victory 2008 Headquarters
3604 Canal Street
New Orleans, Louisiana

Friday, July 18, 2008
11:25AM -- 12:40PM

Shreveport Campaign for Change Canvass Kickoff

Galilee Baptist Church Parking Lot
1500 Pierre Avenue
Shreveport, Louisiana

Saturday, July 19, 2008
8:30AM -- 9:45AM

Baton Rouge Campaign for Change Canvass Kickoff

New Hope Baptist Church Parking Lot
5856 Greenwell Springs Road
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Saturday, July 19, 2008
2:00PM -- 3:15PM

RSVP for New Orleans.

RSVP for Shreveport.

RSVP for Baton Rouge.

Go here for details of all of Dean's stops on the Register for Change tour.

Hope to see you all there!


Excerpt from a Shreveport Times article about Dean's tour:

Dean said in a telephone interview that he'll focus on winning over people who are struggling economically.

"We think that they have been disillusioned," said Dean, a former Vermont governor and presidential candidate in 2004. "Many of them voted for George Bush. We think they want something new and we're going to provide it for them."

Democrats dominated the South through the first half of the 20th century. But as President Lyndon B. Johnson famously predicted when he signed the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the party gradually lost support in the region. Georgia native Jimmy Carter is the only Democratic presidential candidate to win broad support in the South since then.

"I think the big reason is we haven't tried," Dean said. "If you don't show up, you can't win. And that's not going to happen this time. We are going to show up everywhere."

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Shreveport for Obama updates

Our next step is to host a Platform Meeting to discuss the issues most important to us - we will draft our own Democratic platform and submit it to the campaign, which will then use it to organize the agenda for the Democratic National Convention in August. I created a Shreveport event here. The date is tentatively set for July 19, but we can change that subject to what works best for everyone. The location is also up for discussion: if we do it again at Centenary, we WILL have signs up indicating where exactly to go, but Heather DuBois is ready to help us out if we want to meet at a local library.

We could also combine this into a voter registration event or schedule one of those for another day: you tell us!

We also have 25 buttons, 50 rally signs, and 600 stickers to share the Obama support; these will be at the meeting, but if anyone can't make it or wants them beforehand, please let me know.

Susan Lucci at the Louisiana Field Desk at campaign headquarters in Chicago said they are training staff and looking for places to establish campaign offices in the state right now. Basically, the more active we are in Shreveport (or elsewhere), the better our chances of getting a campaign office here.

Finally, Mildred is interested in starting a Nurses for Barack group. If you have any ideas or want to join, please email her at

Links discussed at the meeting

(Photos from the meeting, thanks to Del Brennan.)

Here are useful links to some of the important (and interesting) issues we discussed at the June 28 meeting!

- The Unite for Change video we were supposed to watch at the meeting (didn't need it anyway, right?).

- The text of Obama's anti-war speech delivered at a rally in Chicago on October 2, 2002, the same day Congress authorized the use of force in Iraq.

And for fun: the video of newspaper headlines documenting Obama's success set to Tina Turner songs that we watched in part at the meeting.