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Obama campaign gives back to the city

Now that the long, wearying months of campaigning have passed, the Barack Obama campaign has begun to dismantle its massive network of field offices all over the country. These offices, like the one located on Smithfield Street in downtown Pittsburgh, created the grassroots efforts that propelled Obama to a historic victory.

Aside from excess boxes of campaign stickers and posters, the offices contain a wealth of supplies, from computers and printers to paper and markers.

The Obama campaign is giving it all away to underprivileged school districts through a partnership with the nonprofit website www.iLoveSchools.com. According to that nonprofit group, over 200 campaign offices in 10 states are donating tens of thousands of dollars worth of extra supplies to school districts, including in Pittsburgh. The downtown Obama office donated its leftover supplies to the underserved Sto-Rox school district.

Poor schools in Pittsburgh, including those in the Clairton and Sto-Rox districts, received thousands of dollars worth of supplies, and both students and teachers were overjoyed.

It’s encouraging that the Obama campaign didn’t just disappear from local life after winning the election. While understandably wanting to get votes, the campaign got to know the areas it reached. Seeing poor school districts, the campaign recognized an easy opportunity to make an impact, and that’s the point of politics. Moreover, the campaign office’s simple and clever act of generosity represents the spirit of Obama’s campaign in that we should be “spreading the wealth around” — in the positive way — by being community organizers and helping populations in need.