Throughout his life, whenever time allowed, Sam has volunteered for a variety of political and issue-oriented campaigns. He has worked against war, for civil rights, and for local progressive measures. Then later, he formed a Community Action Group.
- Sam started to volunteer for national campaigns by organizing for Eugene McCarthy in 1968, then for George McGovern in 1972.
- In Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, Sam set-up and ran a neighborhood phone bank that made 32,000 calls, facilitated volunteers’ travel to other states, canvassed sections of Oakland & Reno, and hosted Get-Out-The-Vote (GOTV) events.
- Again in 2012, Sam worked on the re-election campaign. For the effort to elect Hillary in 2016, Sam helped set-up the headquarter site for several Northern California counties and was one of the a site captains for the national GOTV. This headquarters site made hundreds of thousands of calls and social media contacts. Many times, it was judged the most productive GOTV site in all of California.
- Starting in 2017 and through November 2018, Sam worked to elect progressive representatives and support forward-looking issues. Sam recruited volunteers to phone, canvass, write postcards, and solicit donations to turn the country from red to blue.
- For the critical mid-term election, he co-led the GOTV effort that had 405 volunteers calling across the country. We successfully helped elect 8 Democrats to the House of Representatives.
- Preparing for the 2020 elections, he joined the steering committee of Swing Left East Bay in 2019 and worked to elect Bidden/Harris.
- In 2021, He did calling and texting helping to elect Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff which flipped the Senate from Republican to Democrat control.
Community Action Group
After the 2008 November election, many of the Obama volunteers who had worked with Sam, expressed a desire to continue working together on issues affecting our community. A community action group was formed that became Volunteering for Oakland (VFO). It was a recognized 501C3 with projects in improving local education, healthcare, environment, and voter registration. Sam co-led the non-partisan voter registration events hosted jointly by VFO and the League of Women Voters. In 2016, several hundred residents were registered at these events. In support of the Affordable Care Act (sometimes called ObamaCare), Sam organized efforts to sign over 1,000 and educate many more for healthcare coverage. Other VFO accomplishments include the following:
- Annually hosting the Volunteer Fair recruiting volunteers to help school-aged children’s education
- Raise money for and annually distribute dictionaries to third graders in approximately 30 schools.
- Greening Oakland Homes which hosted fairs bringing residents who wanted to environmentally upgrade their homes, contractors who could so the work, suppliers for material, funding financial institutions, non-profits promoting such upgrades, and related regulatory agency representative