On September 18, hundreds of supporters congregated in Princeton for the grand opening of the Hillary for New Jersey State Headquarters. People talked excitedly among themselves and looked around, hoping to catch glimpses of local representatives. The “H” logo was plastered on shirts, hats, bags, and faces.
The kickoff was organized by the Princeton Community Democratic Organization (PCDO), which is spearheading the Clinton campaign in the state. PCDO hosts the state office on Nassau Street, where it organizes volunteers for phone banking (making calls asking people to vote for a candidate) and canvassing (knocking on doors to encourage people to head to the polls) in the months leading up to Election Day.
Senator Cory Booker headlined the event. In his speech, he quoted Dr. Martin Luther King: “If it is to be, it is up to me!” He encouraged audience members to take action and fight for what they believe in now, instead of passively watching events unfold in front of their eyes and sitting on the sidelines. He also described his unshakable belief in Hillary Clinton based on his experiences campaigning with her, the quality of her character, and her desire to help all Americans lead better lives.
After he finished his speech, Senator Booker made sure to greet attendees in the overflow room as well, who had to watch the event on video due to space restrictions in the actual headquarters. He also took selfies with the many attendees, spending time with every supporter.
Alex Inkiow, a Rutgers student and North alumnus, said, “Senator Booker was very uplifting to hear from…. I felt empowered to commit to canvassing and phone banking. And I do believe Hillary Clinton will hold herself accountable to initiatives that have a positive impact on all Americans. She has a track record of being an effective politician.”
In an effort to convince more young people to vote for her, campaign staff have been hosting more events such as town hall meetings and watch parties over the last few months. These special events are featuring younger politicians, such as Senator Booker, who have sizeable social media followings and are capable of reaching out to undecided, somewhat apathetic voters.
Other speakers at the Grand Opening included Jennifer Holdsworth, New Jersey State Director for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign; John Currie, New Jersey State Democratic Chair; and Brian Hughes, Mercer County Executive. All three urged the audience to vote for Hillary Clinton and volunteer with the campaign to stop Donald Trump.