Tuesday, September 14, 2004

One Volunteer Canvasser Makes a Difference

Wendy Abrams, one of the ChicagolandforKerry volunteers who canvassed Wisconsin, found out why cavassing is so important and writes to tell others to pass it on.

If you ever asked "What can I do? Does it really make a difference?" I firmly believe the ONLY way to win an election is for people at the grassroots level to get involved, get out there and talk to people on a personal basis.

Yesterday, I spent the day in Wisconsin canvassing for Kerry. Among the people I spoke with was a 62 year old "undecided" vet, who was against the war and deeply troubled by the deficit. As our conversation progressed, it was clear to me that he was at odds with Bush on almost every issue. So I told him how important it is that he is in the "definitely Kerry" camp, and if he has any issues he's unconvinced about he should contact me; and I gave him my email address. When I returned home several hours later, I got a long email from him, which started by his thanking me and saying while he had several Republican mailings and Republican polls asking his opinion, I was the first person from the Democratic party to contact him. It was if he didn't consider himself a "Democrat" because he hadn't been personally "invited to the party".

I'm mentioning this because it completely changed my perspective on canvassing and phone-banking. While I thought it was important from the campaign perspective, I must admit, I felt a bit hesitant to be imposing on people's free time at home. What I found from this man was that there are many people out there who are not only willing to talk- they are eager to have the opportunity to express their views and feel that they are being heard. They want to be acknowledged by the Democratic party. They need a personal connection.

If you spent the next 50 days, calling 12 people each day- you would reach more people than the 572 in Florida who decided the 2000 election. And if you pass this message along to 10 people who pass it along to ten people...

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