OFA Minnesota started in Minneapolis as "Team of the Lakes" in 2011. We were a neighborhood team of grassroots volunteers of Obama for America, President Obama’s re-election campaign. The strategy was to create volunteer led teams in neighborhoods across the country, to organize their communities to support President Obama's re-election effort. We were taught the meaning and the structure of organizing using the "snowflake model" to help us create teams that were effective, as well as building community and bonds at the same time. The idea was always to become a sustainable group of like-minded and bonded grass roots organizers, to go beyond electoral politics. It is those relationships that have endured, and kept us going through today.
Our motto throughout our history has always been Respect, Empower, Include and Win ( the last one is interchangeable with mobilize/activate or organize).
After the victory in November of 2012 , many of us wanted to stay involved. We had just won a presidential election! We were ready to take these newly learned skills and techniques, this community we created and apply them to help promote the agenda that America voted for. This is how Obama for America the electoral organizing group restructured and reorganized as a 501(c)(4) issue advocacy group and became Organizing For Action.
Team of the Lakes took off its electoral organizing hat, put on the issue advocacy hat and became OFA Minnesota, an official Organizing for Action chapter, one of many across the United States. We have been actively organizing here in our State since 2012 on issues such as comprehensive immigration reform, gun violence prevention, environmental protection, and in particular the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. (ACA or Obamacare). Those were our first issues among many others, that we focused on between 2012 and 2016.
Today we have several chapters throughout the state of Minnesota and we are always looking to help newcomers to get started in organizing . We provide training, support and guidance on community organizing, applying the successful "snowflake model" once again. The model is interchangeable and can be used for issue advocacy or electoral organizing. We teach this in our Camp OFA training events. These trainings are free and we welcome all.
We are successful because we believe in respecting people for what they contribute; empowering all no matter the background or education level, to be their best because they believe; we include everybody regardless of color of skin or believes. That is how we organize, mobilize, activate and win every time!
Our chapter issues are:
1. Fair Democracy - Redistricting, gerrymandering, and the Census
2. Voting Rights - Restoration of Felon Voting rights and other voting related issues
3. Environment - Rehabilitation, protection and conservation
4. Healthcare - Affordable and accessible
Please join us!
Eva Ichkhanian, OFA Minnesota State Lead
State Lead: Eva Ichkhanian
Training Director: Cantare Davunt
Training Leader: Anne McGarry
Communications Directors: Shannon Bros, Francine Anderson
Technical Director: Will Hede
Team of Lakes Chapter Leader: Eva Ichkhanian
St Paul Chapter Leaders: Ann Walters & Elizabeth Langer
Duluth and Surrounding Area Chapter Leader: Adrienne Dineen
Environmental Chapter Leaders: Aditya Ranade & Shannon Bros
NOTE: All members are 100% volunteers