This is a guest post by Diane Lucas. Diane is an attorney in New York and the co-founder of ElevenSixTwelve.
Almost four years ago, President Barack Obama achieved something monumental: he inspired people who had never voted to vote in droves. He motivated college students across the country to organize rallies and voting drives in support of his campaign. And he encouraged millions across the nation – across racial lines – with his message of hope and change.
President Obama had an oft-cited rock star effect. Much of America and the international community were enamored by him. We stood in awe of the historical significance of his successful campaign. We watched what seemed like the impossible be realized: an African-American man was elected president of a country built on slavery. Of course, many recognized that he was so much more than the first black president. He was a brilliant orator, intelligent, understanding, and charismatic. He was also a former community organizer, an unusual professional background for a presidential candidate. He was a leader who seemed to understand the needs of the American people.
And, President Obama did much of what he promised. The president ended the war in Iraq, bringing the troops home in time for the holidays; created jobs to start the process of repairing a severely broken economy; and fought to establish an affordable health care system. He has also done what many wished that the president who promoted hope and change would do. He made discussions of race a mainstream and presidential issue, supported Planned Parenthood when politicians were seeking to deny access to care for millions of women, and acknowledged his support of same-sex marriage.
So why are many of President Obama’s previous supporters apathetic to the 2012 elections?
From an informal poll of some friends, family and colleagues, all of whom previously voted for President Obama, it was clear that although they acknowledged the accomplishments that President Obama has made, they did not feel the excitement of the 2008 elections. This could be the result of the worn novelty of the first African-American president. Or perhaps it’s a result of the negative and many times unfounded attacks of his presidency. Or maybe it is that people expected President Obama to create a miracle in his first term, failing to acknowledge that he has to work within the bounds of congressional and judicial checks of power, and that he inherited a failed economy.
As an answer to this apathy, three of my friends and I started an organization called, ElevenSixTwelve. Named for the date of the upcoming presidential election, ElevenSixTwelve is working to create a movement to promote the re-election of President Obama with a similar energy and zeal as the 2008 presidential election. Our organization uses fashion to inspire and motivate voters to support the president, through the creation of pro-Obama t-shirts available on our website, www.ElevenSixTwelve.com.
Our ‘Together, We Can’ t-shirts – inspired by President Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign slogan – encourage and remind voters that the President cannot be re-elected without the support of all of us. Our shirts demonstrate that President Obama supporters can be fashionable, while advocating for the re-election of President Obama in 2012.
The ultimate goal is for ElevenSixTwelve to mobilize a fan base of people, who wear the t-shirts with pride, tell their friends, family and colleagues why they will vote for President Obama, and most importantly, encourage others to vote on November 6, 2012. ElevenSixTwelve also keeps supporters informed on the important movements in the President’s campaign via Twitter, Facebook, and a blog on our website that highlights daily campaign updates, accomplishments of the President, and includes ways for supports to get involved.
ElevenSixTwelve also financially supports the campaign by donating 100% of its net proceeds from the sales of the t-shirts to Obama For America.
With women’s rights, marriage equality, the economy, our education system, and a myriad of other issues at stake, this election is of even more importance. The co-founders of the site and I hope ElevenSixTwelve can be a game changer in the upcoming presidential election, and help re-elect President Obama on November 6, 2012. President Obama needs our support more than ever – will you join the movement?
ElevenSixTwelve was founded by Diane Lucas, Maria Lloyd, Sherea Lloyd and Rochelle Sinclair. If you are interested in supporting the movement, you can visit the website at www.ElevenSixTwelve.com, follow us on Twitter @ElevenSixTwelve, as well as like us on