OFA Grows Field Operation, Keeps In Touch

Organizing for America (OFA)--the vestigial supporter network of the Obama campaign now being managed by the Democratic National Committee (DNC)--is in its next phase of action: a listening tour. State-level field directors are holding events (like this one) in which former campaign volunteers and supporters can discuss the future organization of OFA in their communities, toward its overarching goal of maintining the interest and activism build during the '08 campaign and channeling it, somehow, to support President Obama's agenda over the next four years. Some states will have 30 to 40 events in the coming weeks, OFA says.

OFA is now in the process of growing its field operation. It has full-time, paid staffers in 15 states, and that number will grow by the end of the week according to spokeswoman Natalie Wyeth. The goal is to have at least one full-time staffer in every state (reminiscent of former DNC Chairman Howard Dean's 50-state strategy). OFA is not disclosing, at this point, how many it will employ in battleground states.

A main function of the listening tour, it seems, is simply to make contact in person and remind people that OFA is there, making its newly hired field staffers visible. As Wyeth puts it, the events "will serve as an opportunity for local supporters and volunteers to meet our newly-hired state directors and offer ideas about what organizing approaches might work best in their communities." Earlier this year, OFA held its coming out party on Capitol Hill as it delivered signatures to congressional offices in support of Obama's budget proposal; reviews of that event were mixed, and it was unclear what OFA's next step would be. Now it appears OFA is performing a function intregral to any political/activist network: keeping in touch, gathering feedback, and communicating to supporters that it values their ideas.

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Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

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