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Dear Adrianne,

Here’s how it usually works. As we approach March 31st, when campaigns have to file their quarterly fundraising reports, the press and pundits start to obsess over the chase for money.

They value dollars more than people, and bottom lines more than ideas.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Like every campaign, this one needs the resources to compete.

But while others may set goals based on raising tens of millions of dollars, we’re going to reveal two numbers that say more about what kind of campaign we’re running:

  • the number of people donating to the cause
  • the number of donations we’ve received from them

And we’re not going to talk about the dollars raised until the reporting period is over.

It’s simple: get more people involved, more deeply than ever before. Those are our goals for the end of the quarter, and for the rest of this campaign. Whether you’ve given before or this will be your first time, you can make a statement that people count.

I’m asking you to stand up and be counted — will you make a donation now?

So why these two figures?

The number of people giving shows the wide breadth of support for a campaign that seeks a new kind of politics.

The number of donations reveals the depth of people’s commitment, because so many people give small amounts again and again.

If we really hope to meet the challenges of our time, we have to change what our politics is about, and that means changing what campaigns are about — not just dollar amounts and million-dollar goals, but millions of people working for a cause bigger than themselves.

That’s why we’re not accepting contributions from Washington lobbyists or political action committees.

So who are our donors? See for yourself. Election law requires that we ask every donor to the campaign for their occupation and their employer. That information will be made public in the quarterly report filed on March 31st.

Just this week we’ve gotten donations from the following people:

  • a salesperson in Alabama
  • a nurse in North Carolina
  • a truck driver in Minnesota
  • a firefighter/paramedic in Texas
  • a homeless shelter director in Virginia
  • a special education teacher in Florida
  • a bartender in Colorado
  • a minister in New York

The two most common occupations of our donors this week? “Student” and “Retired” — and we’ve got thousands in between.

Will you be the next person to be counted?

There’s serious work ahead for our next president, and the process of choosing him or her should not descend into an insider game of who can better manipulate the “conventional wisdom” in Washington.

We have an opportunity to use this fundraising deadline to turn the story of money and politics on its head.

You can show the pundits covering this presidential race that a grassroots movement for change can trump all the money and influence in Washington.

Give them something to talk about — be counted now:

For six years we’ve had a president out of touch, on the wrong track, and increasingly unwilling to even pretend to care about the concerns of ordinary Americans.

The process of choosing our next one should focus on mobilizing and energizing the people.

As we approach this fundraising deadline on March 31st, you have an opportunity to send a message by participating in a different kind of fundraising drive:

In a democracy, it’s the people that count.

Thank you,

Barack Obama

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