Dylan Roberts: Yes, we did
November 9, 2008
Tuesday night was not the best night of my life because Barack Obama won the election. Tuesday night was not the best night of my life because Colorado went blue. Tuesday night wasn’t even the best night of my life because I accomplished my goals as an organizer. Tuesday night was the best night of my life because I got to be a part of the amazing culmination of hard work, passion and hope in my hometown. I got to see a full room of people crying, screaming and smiling as a community. Thank you.
Making the decision to take a semester off from school was difficult. Committing myself to 14-hour days for seven days a week for six months was challenging. Putting everything else on hold was hard. But I was glad to comply, because all of you made it worth it. If I had not done this, I would never have met any of the incredible people who now are my close friends.
Thank you, Catherine, for being my mentor and showing me that there always is a positive side to anything. Thank you, Sue, for your determination and unwillingness to say no. Thank you, Mom, for letting me be your boss for just a few months. To Topher and Kati, my right and left hands, none of this would ever have happened without your work, and I could never thank you enough. And to everyone else, you know who you are, and I am honored to have worked with you.
What is so unique about what we did this fall is the same thing that made the Obama campaign so strong and successful. We became a family. Obama brought us together, but it was our stories and our belief that we could actually change our country that made us successful. Those are qualities that will live on with all of us for a lifetime. We brought people together that would otherwise never have met. Seeing friendships evolve in front of my eyes every single day was incredible. Steamboat never will be the same because fellow volunteers will be ubiquitous. I always will look forward to coming back to the Yampa Valley and seeing a friendly face wherever I go.
Thank you to every single person who came to the office. Thank you to everyone who stood out in the heat to register voters. Thank you to everyone who pounded the pavement for miles and miles. Thank you to everyone who made call after call. At times, it was hard or it did not seem like we were getting anywhere. The good part, however, is that the nasty, divisive comments thrown our direction on the phone or the doors that were slammed in our faces soon will be forgotten, as will election season.
However, what is left is so much better. We changed this city and county not only politically, but we created a stronger community. We created a place where people were not afraid to knock on their neighbor’s door and talk about the issues that actually matter. We created a place where there was an understanding that yard signs and bumper sticker wars never trumped what was at stake. We created a place where people accept the other point of view but care enough to fight for what they think is right.
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Thank you for letting me be the face of this change, but know that it was all of you who created and will uphold the principles of that community. Take pride in the fact that you changed our little corner of the world but were also part of changing the country and changing the world. This was our moment, this was our time. Now, here’s to maintaining what we built and never forgetting why we did it. Thank you for letting me being a part of this wonderful community.
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