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President Obama at an Organizing For Action conference last year. / Getty Images

Organizing for Action, the political group set up to push President Obama's political agenda, is looking to expand its roster.

OFA is launching what it calls a "Spring Fellowship program," assigning more than 60 veteran organizers to train more than 1,400 new volunteers to promote items such as an immigration bill and Obama's health care law.

"It's about making sure that voices on our side are heard, and people are held accountable," said Jon Carson, executive director of OFA.

The trainers -- which include OFA alumni, long-time volunteers, and former fellows -- will be located in 22 states. They will train fellows who hail from at least 29 states (plus Washington, D.C.), and range from college students to adults making their first foray into politics.

The program, which includes data and digital training, runs from Feb. 8 to April 15.

New volunteers will be taught a variety of grassroots organizing activities, including outreach to potential supporters via local media outlets and social media tools, such as Twitter. OFA seeks to use many of techniques that helped fuel the Obama presidential campaigns of 2008 and 2012.

"We consider ourselves the best organizers out there," Carson said.

The fellows will presumably join the nationwide OFA organization that is pushing Obama agenda items that include immigration, climate change, jobs programs and continuing efforts to put the new health care law into place.

Carson said, "the number one push will absolutely be the Affordable Care Act."

Republicans have criticized Obama over the health care law, citing website problems and canceled policies.

Carson said OFA volunteers -- including those being trained this spring -- will talk about health care success stories, and help people sign up for coverage with one of new exchanges created under the law.

The political battle over health care "has gone from a theoretical debate to the real deal," Carson said.

On immigration, OFA has targeted 34 specific congressional districts in which U.S. House members hold key votes to what Obama calls "comprehensive immigration reform."

Health care and immigration are likely to be key issues in the November congressional elections, but OFA cannot legally participate in them.

Said Carson: "We are an issue advocacy organization."



Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com

Read the original story: Pro-Obama group sponsors spring fellowships

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