270 staff reflect on Obama’s presidency.
Will Tomasko, Content Specialist
My most memorable moment of his presidency is a quote from his speech on the Selma anniversary: "Oh, what a glorious task we are given, to continually try to improve this great nation of ours."
Becca Dobrez, People Operations Program Manager
My #ObamaMoment is when I got my first ever volunteer phone call. I was a freshman in college in Wisconsin and they asked if I'd get in a car with strangers and go knock on doors in Iowa in the dead of winter. I enthusiastically said yes. I had no idea what I was doing, no concept of what was involved with knocking on people's doors, and it was really cold. But I said yes because I could not believe that someone running for President had asked me to help them do that. I felt like he believed in me and believed I should have a say in the direction of this country. It was a pretty incredible feeling that I still have with me today.
Hari Sevugan, Principal
In the last eight years the President led us to more jobs, higher wages, less unemployed, less uninsured, more manufacturing, more protected land, better relations around the world, new chances with Cuba and Iran, a global coalition and a meaningful plan to combat climate change, a reborn auto industry, one less Osama bin Laden, fairer pay, and equal love. And he did it all with grace and humor and integrity. He represents the best of America, and has gotten the best out of America. We've accomplished so much in the last eight years to make our country a more perfect union. But, as the President reminded us, the work of perfecting our union is never done. God, I love that guy.
Lynda Tran, Founding Partner
I nearly passed out the first time I shook his hand, I was so star-struck by this man who had inspired me to believe in a better, more fair, and more inclusive America. It’s been an honor to be part of the Obama movement -- and surreal to have witnessed some amazing moments over the years. I will forever cherish the memories of him behind the scenes -- blowing out the candles on a birthday cake the team presented to him after a speech; backstage at a rally, pacing and clapping his hands to himself as he listened to the candidates speak and got amped up to get in front of the crowd; shaking hands with countless Americans young and old, a literal sea of supporters who came out to hear him speak. My little girl put it best this week when she said, “I wish he would be our President forever.”
Ryanne Brown, Deputy Digital Advertising Director
I cannot fully describe the amount of pride and joy I've felt for my president and country for the past 8 years. You've awakened a generation of people who were previously too afraid or discouraged to get involved in politics. Thank you for giving us a voice and the courage to use it. PS - don't go.
Kate Catherall, Senior Vice President
Obama's Legacy? A chorus of empowered voices across this country. Thank you, Mr. President!
Christina Lewis, Senior Associate
This man changed the trajectory of my life. Never doubt the significance of representation–he made me believe in public service and that people of color can overcome insurmountable challenges.
Allison Belville, Vice President of Operations
The day after we won the 2012 election, President Obama came to HQ. He went around the room and hugged each and every one of us. Even though there were hundreds of us, he made sure he didn't leave anyone out, and thanked us all individually. It really solidified for me what kind of man he was, and what he believes in: the power of each individual to bring about change.
Lucas Fleischer, Creative Director
It has been an honor for me (and for us as 270) to be a part of the Obama story, and while I'm sad this chapter is ending, I'm comforted to know that Obama's role in the broader American story has many more pages ahead.
These past eight years, this remarkable location has vinspired pride and joy and hope in me. It has housed a family that represents the best in us, and been the workplace for many friends I admire. Looking upon the Obama White House one last time, I'm overcome by a deep sense of gratitude for all that this family has given to our nation and to me.
Jeremy Bird, Founding Partner
Barack Obama served this country with such grace and dignity despite a lot of ungraceful and undignified attacks. He did it all with a hope and an optimism that can only inspire. He is the same man I met in April 2007 in Columbia, South Carolina. The same man who looked me in the eye back then and told me we could win if we truly believed in ourselves. No matter what lies ahead, I strive every day to live life with the same optimism and determination of our 44th President.
Bridget Halligan, Senior Vice President
My brother and I, after working as field organizers in Florida, were lucky enough to attend the (very cold) 2009 inauguration. And tomorrow, for this inauguration, we're spending the day together with our community in NYC who is committed to do whatever it takes to protect the progress of the last 8 (and hundreds) of years. We'll stand with each other when different parts of who we are as individuals are threatened; when our rights are challenged or taken away; if we cut programs, services, and policies that benefit (protect, feed, educate, keep alive) our friends, families, neighbors, and brothers and sisters around the country. It's a different January 20th than ones before, but our job is different and more important now.
Unity, NH was in my turf as a 2008 summer fellow. I got to learn from Katina Tsongas, and they let the fellows recruit for and run the volunteer side of the Unity event with Hillary Clinton. It was a significant coming of age day for me for two reasons: 1.) My mentor and her friends came up from my hometown to volunteer. They had long been the bearers of Democratic politics in our region, and they came up to take marching orders from me and my peers; and 2.) My mom was there, which was important for me because she and her mother were ardent Hillary supporters and wanted me to be, too. This process helped shape my understanding of primary politics and mother-daughter relationships.
Then, in 2011 and 2012, I met a lot of people who'd significantly shape the next several years of my life.
Mark Beatty, Founding Partner
Like everyone else, I'm at a loss for words to describe this moment, but am feeling forever fortunate to be part of the Obama community. I feel incredibly lucky to have met so many lifelong friends, grateful to everyone who served tirelessly in the Administration, and inspired by the millions of people who volunteered in the grassroots movement for change. The President said that if one voice can change a room, then together we can change the world. We did, and we still can.