Volunteers across America: Nevada 2019

USA NewsMy name is Lynette Ratzlaff, and I’m a small business owner and volunteer with President Obama’s campaign in Reno, Nevada.
I’m originally from California, but my husband and I moved to Reno in 2002 so I could return to school for my bachelor’s degree—I graduated from the University of Nevada-Reno when I was 50 years old—and put my two daughters and two step-sons through college.

Today, I am a neighborhood team leader for northwest Reno and am enjoying meeting like-minded people and growing our grassroots team. When I’m not working on the campaign, I run a small property management business with four employees—and when I’m not working on the campaign or working, I thoroughly enjoy my three grandchildren, who are all under 4 years old!

I first got involved with the campaign when I realized change had to start with me. I wanted to do something to help President Obama, so I walked into the local Democratic office and asked, “Where do I sign up and what do I need to do?” That was in early December of 2011, and since then I have not stopped working my hardest to grow our enthusiasm.

President Obama’s accomplishments over the last three years have been simply amazing. I am so happy he was able to pass the Affordable Care Act, as that will certainly help me as a small business owner to offer health insurance to my employees. I stand behind him on his energy policy and his fight for equal rights for all people, and I applaud him for improving our education system and making college more affordable for the middle class. The President needs four more years in order to finish all the great things he has started!

My favorite part of organizing in Nevada is the challenge of working in a “battleground” state. Being from California, it was easy being a Democrat—but here in Nevada, I love the challenge of making our voices heard and talking to people about all the issues facing our state, like the economy, jobs, and the housing market. The challenge is to make sure the President wins here in Washoe County so we can win Nevada—that’s why we’re working hard to register voters and canvass our neighborhoods.

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As a volunteer, I’m so lucky to have the chance to listen to people in our area—everyone has a story to tell. I have talked to people who say they can’t give a lot of their time for the campaign, but after a few short meetings or phone banks or voter registration shifts, they become involved and ask, “What else can I do to help?” It’s all about connecting with people and listening to their stories. I tell them that they do make a difference in every little thing they do for the campaign, and that they hold the power to change our future.

My plan between now and November is to continue working on our volunteer base. I’m talking to all the people who said they would start helping once summer was here. I can’t stress enough: Now is the time to get involved—not September or October! I’m going to grow my team beyond its limits so I can say I am doing everything in my power to get as many people involved in our grassroots movement as I can.

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