I had planned to spend Labor Day weekend finishing off the summer with barbecues and yard work but with taking down my reef aquarium and some short-notice volunteering it became pretty busy. I received an email from MoveOn asking if I could join the Obama campaign at our local Safeway and register voters. Since it's just around the corner from me, I signed up for a couple of hours. In a short time, I was running out of forms, needed a couple more clipboards and had people signing up three abreast. Young people, people who'd moved and people switching to Democrat wanted to be a part of history. I even registered a few Safeway employees who wanted their chance to vote for Obama.
On Sunday we attended the opening of the local Democratic party headquarters in downtown Santa Rosa. They had optimistically expected 100-150 people on a holiday weekend that usually means few people would stop by. Not this year. Well over 300 people showed up, overwhelming the office space and spilling out over the sidewalk. Buttons, bumperstickers and signs vanished as people waited in line to volunteer. Our local representative, Lynn Woolsey spoke and even though I was only 20 feet from her, I could barely see the top of her head through the crowd.
We're in an indigo-blue district, so I'd expect Democrats to be popular. But people can be complacent out here, with progressives winning regularly and with comfortable margins. There's a buzz this year, however, even more so than '06. Obama is deadlocked in the polls with McCain so far, but when I look at the trees instead of the forest, I see energy like never before. Something is happening in America.