Our 44th president and thefirst African-American to holdthe post, Barack Obama wageda heavy grassroots-style campaign,strongly encouragingcitizens – old and young, whiteand black, rich and poor – toget involved with the electoralprocess. He stressed the importanceof working together toaccomplish change. With ourfirst mission accomplished – hiselection – it’s time for everyoneto become more engaged inwhat the President calls “a newera of responsibility.””Obama anchored his presidentialambitions in his backgroundas a bottom-up communityorganizer and in hisbelief that two people togetherare exponentially more powerfulthan two people alone…Inthe last 30 or 40 years, a lot ofpolitics turned into marketing,”explains Marshall Ganz, a Harvardprofessor and communityorganizer who has worked withObama.”Marketing is all about sellingsoup to individuals. It’s notabout bringing people together.Obama’s model, which hasmade him the envy of a generationof political consultants, focusesboth on selling the soupand on giving his supportersthe tools to make soup together- for one another.”His inspirational journey wasfueled by motivational slogansand phrases, such as “Yes, WeCan” and “Change.” Obama’scampaign, playing on universalemotions, wants and hopes,called together people fromevery spectrum of Americansociety, all of them moved byhis strategies and that led to hisvictory.Obama successfully used hisgrassroots campaign to capturethe highest office in the mostpowerful country on Earth. Heused traditional methods suchas campaign rallies and visitsto neighborhoods, diners, cafésand restaurants to reach voters(first time and regular voters)and nontraditional methods,like the Internet and e-mail, toconnect with people.His vision was and is to bringAmericans together to work torestore hope and confidence ina government of the people, bythe people and for the people.With the election over, nowcomes the really hard part: improvingthe economy, stoppingthe hemorrhage of Americanjobs, finding a way out of twodevastatingly expensive wars,and addressing educational deficienciesand a crumbling infrastructure.With an agendathat huge, he needs the supportof this entire country, startingwith each of us.A few years ago, a moviecalled “Pay It Forward” depicteda young boy who wanted tochange the world, so he deviseda plan: Do a good deed forthree people, and those threewould have to help three morepeople, and so forth. What ifwe forwarded our efforts towardchange? Passed on positivemessages and actions fromperson to person, from sea toshining sea?We challenge our fellow Dillardcommunity members andfellow New Orleanians: Rallyin your own way to make a differencein your communities,among your family and friends,and to continue what Obamahas urged us all to do. Work fora stronger nation, a better nation,a changed nation, a brightertomorrow.Yes, we can!