August 25, 2011 — CHICAGO – Obama For America is announcing key political and constituency staff leadership and launching Project Vote, whose mission is to expand the electorate and to maximize participation from crucial constituencies. Project Vote will drive our campaign strategy – from paid media, to digital outreach, to grassroots organizing and voter registration efforts — to communicate with and engage key demographic groups, such as African Americans, Women, Youth, Latinos, LGBT, Veterans, Asian Americans and others. Project Vote will communicate with and engage targeted constituencies by reaching them where they are, in their communities and neighborhoods, and having one-on-one grassroots conversations about the issues they care about most – jobs, health care and education. Project Vote will embark on a voter registration effort to maximize voter participation.
Leading this effort will be the National Project Vote Director, Buffy Wicks and National Project Vote Deputy Director, Michael Blake (bios below). In addition to launching Project Vote, the campaign is excited to announce Yohannes Abraham as the Deputy National Political Director, working under Katherine Archuleta, the National Political Director (bios below).
The political team is responsible for the campaign’s communication and collaboration with elected officials, party leaders, labor, and community organizations at the national, state, and local level. This engagement is aimed at soliciting feedback, utilizing local expertise, and integrating stakeholder efforts into the campaign’s operations. The Political team will also build on the campaign’s commitment to technology and digital organizing by finding innovative ways to link stakeholders up with campaign related information and resources. And, joining Mitch Stewart, Director of Battleground States, will be Karine Jean-Pierre (bio below). Stewart and Jean-Pierre will work closely to determine a state strategy that will result in 270 electoral votes. They will work closely with several departments including field, political and Project Vote.
Katherine Archuleta joined Obama 2012 in July. Most recently she served as the Chief of Staff to Secretary Hilda L. Solis. Prior to her service at the Department of Labor, Katherine had accumulated nearly 18 years of government experience. She was an aide to Denver Mayor Federico Peña and then his chief of staff in 1996 and 1997 during his tenure as Secretary of Transportation. She served as a senior policy adviser in 1997 when Peña was Secretary of Energy. Prior to returning to Washington, D.C. to serve as Chief of Staff to Secretary Solis, Katherine was senior advisor to Mayor John Hickenlooper, starting in 2005. She was the City of Denver’s lead planner for the 2008 Democratic National Convention. You can follow Archuleta on Twitter: @Archuleta2012
Prior to joining the re-election campaign, Yohannes Abraham served as the National Political Director of Organizing for America at the Democratic National Committee. Before that, he served in the White House Office of Legislative Affairs as part of the team tasked with liaising with the U.S. House of Representatives. Abraham first started working for President Obama in 2007 as part of the President’s Iowa Caucus effort. He went on to serve in leadership positions in five other primary contests before becoming the Virginia Field Director during the general election campaign, helping to turn that state blue for the first time in 44years. You can follow Abraham on Twitter: @YohannesOFA
Buffy Wicks has a long history in grassroots mobilization, political organizing and civic engagement. She served as the Deputy Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement for President Obama. In this capacity, she served as the White House liaison for constituencies throughout the country. She was one of the first people hired by the Obama for America campaign in 2007 and served in a variety of roles, including California Field Director and Missouri State Director. You can follow Wicks on Twitter: @buffywicks
Michael Blake is the Deputy Director of Project Vote for the Obama for America Campaign. Most recently he served as the Deputy Associate Director in The White House Office of Public Engagement where he directed outreach to the African-American and Minority Business communities. Prior to that role he was a Deputy Associate Director in The White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs where he directed outreach to county elected officials, state Attorneys General, secretaries of state and state financial officers. Blake also served on President Obama’s first campaign in eight states over 20 months, starting as the Iowa Deputy Political Director and ending as the Michigan Deputy State Director/State Political Director. You can follow Blake on Twitter: @mrmikeblake.
Karine Jean-Pierre is the National Deputy Battleground States Director, joining Mitch Stewart who is serving as Battleground States Director. Prior to joining the re-election campaign, Jean-Pierre served as a Regional Political Director at the White House Office of Political Affairs. Prior to her position in the Political Affairs Office, she served as White House Liaison at the U.S. Department of Labor. She worked as a part of the Presidential Inauguration Committee, where she was the Liaison to the African American Community. Jean-Pierre first started working for President Obama in 2008 as the Southern Regional Political Director in Chicago headquarters. You can follow Jean-Pierre on Twitter: @KarineJP2012
Clo Ewing will serve as the Director of Constituency Press and will be the point person for all constituency questions and stories. Prior to joining the campaign, Ewing was a television producer for Harpo Productions and CBS News.
Gabriela Domenzain will serve as the Director of Hispanic Press for Obama For America where she will be the primary contact for English and Spanish-language media covering the Hispanic community and vote. Prior to joining the campaign Gabriela was the Communications Director for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and a founding producer of Univision Network’s Sunday-morning public-affairs show, Al Punto. You can follow Domenzain on Twitter: @GabiDomenzain
Obama for America Press Office
VA DNC Member
I was proud to represent Virginia on the Democratic National Committee for 12 years. I am in DC now, but still active in voter protection and Democratic Party rules. More about me, click here.