Sunday, September 12, 2004

My First Day Volunteering to GOTV

Today I spent over three hours educating registered voters in suburban Philadelphia. Through the organization America Coming Together, me and my canvassing partner, Holly (also a first timer), went door-to-door asking undecided voters if they've made their Presidential voting decision yet. We pointed out to everyone we spoke with that Bush has underfunded his No Child Left Behind debacle initiative by $1 Billion in Pennsylvania alone.

After going to over 70 homes and apartments the Bush & Kerry supporters were about even with voters being undecided. There was no one home at about two-thirds of the houses we visited (or they didn't want to talk to us.) Holly and I looked pretty intimidating with our clip boards.

Some observations on our day:

-If anyone had an accent (first generation immigrant, perhaps) they supported Kerry 100% of the time.

-Best reason given for voting for Bush: "I like him." (No NAFTA talk here.)

-The ACT crew in the Philly burbs of Alan, Jake, Lorraine & Julia were amazingly nice. Gracious too. Well done gang, you do ACT proud.

-I visited four(4) million-dollar homes today. There was no one home at two, the last provided the "best reason" above and the fourth was firmly Kerry. This was a little surprising to me because the one reason I could almost understand voting for Pinhead would be if my salary had at least one comma. Full marks to the thinking family with the sweet Mercedes convertible.

-I found myself guessing who the house's occupant supported based on the home, car & peripherals. I was right less than half the time. More proof that prejudice will get you nowhere.

-I called on a Bush family today. They had a Kerry sign in their window which gave us some amusement. The lady of the house was a DNC volunteer but complained she still didn't have a yard sign or a button. Earlier in the day, Jake made me take off my Kerry/Edwards button. I fished it out of my pocket and gave it to Mrs. Bush. Jake, I don't hold a grudge but, I'll let you by me a beer when Kerry hits 300 Electoral Votes (though I'll settle for 270 EVs and a warm YooHoo.)

-I had a great time canvassing with Holly. We laughed at the crazy freepers and applauded each other's successes in the few "A-HA" moments we had with the undecideds. I was lucky to be paired with her.

I worked my ass off today walking what must have been over three miles. It's now after 10pm and I'm invigorated. The entire experience has left me empowered and I'll be back at it next weekend. (Forgoing my PSU tickets. I'll live. We're not so good.)

If you've ever considered working for a get out the vote effort, now is the time. Go here and find something near you. Our kids' future depends on it.

Please do it.

(For the ACT gang: What you're looking for is here and here.)

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