Obama campaign opens office on Lee Road
In recent years, residents of Cleveland Heights have leaned toward Democratic presidential candidates. Now these residents have a place to drop in and volunteer—the Barack Obama campaign office on Lee Road.
The office is located across from Lemon Grass restaurant and is open seven days a week. Every day, there are opportunities for volunteers to go door to door or make phone calls, encouraging residents to vote.
This is the first time a campaign office has been open on Lee Road. The Ohio Democratic Party owns an office at Shaker Square, which Cleveland Heights campaign volunteers often used in past campaigns. In 2008, there was also an office in South Euclid.
The grand opening of the office was held on Sept. 21, with a party for volunteers to meet one another. Speakers included Cuyahoga County Councilman Julian Rogers and Ohio State Representative Armin Budish, who encouraged residents to become involved in the campaign.
Clark Harvey, a neighborhood team leader, recruits Cleveland Heights residents to volunteer and then trains them in canvassing, phone banking, and data entry. Harvey said that Cleveland Heights could "determine the outcome of the election," as it is an "important part of Ohio, a very critical swing state." He also encouraged Cleveland Heights residents to vote early—by mail or at the Board of Elections.
Harvey, is a retired lawyer living in Cleveland Heights, began his position with the Obama campaign in April. He had the same position in the 2008 election. He was also a volunteer for John Kerry's presidential campaign in 2004.
Joyce Glenn, a freshman at Cleveland Heights High School, plans to volunteer at the Obama office as often as three days a week. Despite being too young to vote, she believes that by volunteering, she can "contribute to the change I want to see in the world." Glenn worked the phone bank for Obama once in 2008 and hopes other high school students will come to the office to volunteer.
Julian Rogers also was a volunteer for political campaigns in high school. In his remarks at the office opening, he highlighted health care reform as one of the biggest accomplishments of Obama’s first term, along with "re-establishing the United States as a partner in world affairs." Since Obama took office, "Americans are looked at more favorably," said Rogers.
The nearest Romney campaign office is in Richmond Heights.
Simone Quartell, a graduate of Heights High, is a student at Cleveland State University and a Heights Observer intern.