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Progressive group recruits MU Dems.

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The local chapter for the progressive political group Organizing for Action recently began holding meetings on Marshall University’s campus to recruit Marshall Young Democrats. The goal of the political group is to try and protect former President Barack Obama’s policies and legacy.

Local chapter leader Robert McCollister worked on President Obama’s campaigns in 2008 and 2012, as well as former Democratic Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2016.

“Following the campaign, Organizing for Action, which was an offshoot of the Obama campaign itself, it’s original mission was to try to make sure that we helped President Obama be able to enact his agenda and to get legislation through Congress,” McCollister said.

“Now Organizing for Action is morphing into an organization to defend President Obama’s legacy, to protect the Affordable Care Act from being dismantled by Congress and the new administration, to protect the Paris Climate Agreement and a whole variety of things.”

The local chapter’s immediate goals are to have members write and submit op-eds to local newspapers, attend the town halls of local Congressional representatives and to reach out to Congressional Leadership.

Marshall senior David Crawley is the president of the Marshall Young Democrats and said he thinks partnering with Organizing for Action will be a good opportunity for the Young Democrats.

“I am looking forward to working with all of them,” Crawley said. “We’ve had success with the Women’s March in Charleston in January, some Democrats and some OFA members went there, we had success with the INTO march on campus. These are realistic goals and I think they will go far.”

Crawley also said because of the politically unstable time right now, things students rely on such as the Affordable Care Act may go away.

“I think people who are concerned about their health care and about the environment, if they want to get involved this is the organization to get involved with,” Crawley said.

McCollister first tried to start a local chapter of Organizing for Action in 2013, however there wasn’t enough interest to get going. Now due to the election of President Donald Trump and with the enthusiasm of Marshall students, McCollister said they expect to have more success this time around.

“Because of the participation of Marshall students this time,” McCollister said. “I think we’ve got a chance because young folks tend to get pretty excited about things, I think we’ve got a chance to maybe be able to build a more vibrant organization.”

Organizing for Action will also be partnering with the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition to participate in a march April, 29 in Huntington to raise awareness for climate change. The march will begin at 11 a.m. at Heritage Station.

Adam Stephens can be contacted at [email protected]

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