Minnesota volunteers Barbie and Zoey are a mother-daughter team working to deliver a win for President Obama this November. Barbie, a teacher for more than 30 years, tutors elementary- to high-school-aged students during her free time. Her daughter Zoey is a recent college graduate, now working at a PR agency in Minneapolis. They recently sat down to talk about what it's like working together on the campaign.
Q. Why do you support the President? Barbie: Because this country needs to move forward. He's the smartest guy in the room, and he's the one I feel should be in charge and can do it. And as a mom, his work on things like equal pay and protecting my daughter's right to make her own health decisions is so important to me, because I want my daughter to have all the opportunities in the world.
Zoey: He's still the same guy I voted for in 2008. He's accomplished a lot in the past four years, but there's so much more that he has to do.
Q. How did you first get involved in the campaign? Zoey: We went to a house party a family friend was throwing a few months back. We both wanted to volunteer, so why not do it together?
Barbie: We had to get involved. The stakes are too high not to.
Zoey: Being at the house party and remembering what our country was like before he took office, I knew I had to do something. He stands for a lot of what I believe in, and being reminded of that was really what got me excited.
Barbie: I raised my daughter to be strong and independent. If I didn't stand up for what I believed in, how could I expect her to?
Q. Are there any accomplishments from the last three years that especially stand out to you? Barbie: Appointing two women to the Supreme Court stands out in both of our minds. Seeing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" finally repealed was huge. And he was able to advance the state of health care in this nation.
Zoey: Without the Affordable Care Act, I would have had to live without health care for months. Thanks to President Obama, I was able to stay on my parents' plan for an extra year and had flexibility that helped me with finding a great job after college.
Q. What's at stake for women in this election? Barbie: What isn't? The very fact that our reproductive rights are on the chopping block is horrifying. My daughter should not have to fight the battle already fought by me and my mother. Women still run into a glass ceiling. We're still fighting for equal pay and better conditions for child care. The fight continues, and it shouldn't have anything to do with our reproductive system.
Zoey: My parents raised my brother and I as equals, and it's so frustrating that if we had the same job, he'd be making more money than me. It doesn't make sense.
Also, it's terrifying to know that the rights that I've had over my body my entire life could now be taken from me. So many women before me fought so hard, and that could all be taken away from us. Every single mother in this country has battled sexism their entire life, and knowing that my mom has had to watch me fight the same fights is heartbreaking. I don't know how she's done it. She's worked so hard for me to have more advantages than she's had, yet we're struggling to move ahead.
Q. How does your mother-daughter relationship influence your work for the campaign? Barbie: It's a lot more fun. We get to work together, but also have all of our friends come together. Having a cross-generational group of women get involved is amazing. We spend enough time shopping, watching Mad Men, and doing crossword puzzles together—why not add supporting the President to our list?
Zoey: She raised me in a way that I wanted to have the same values as her. I watched my mom stay strong in her beliefs while allowing me to have my own opinions. Having that kind of positive female role model is something that I do not take for granted.
Join volunteers like Barbie and Zoey by getting involved with the campaign in your community.