Contributed by Amara Willey.
Many of our members have been canvassing door-to-door in support of our endorsed candidates. Sometimes, however, the road to voter turnout is a little rocky, albeit rewarding in opportunity to connect with potential voters and make a difference. Here a few stories from the trenches — quite literally:
Olga Vannucci, a self-labeled “klutz,” had been telling her canvass partner that she is very careful about all the various steps leading up to people’s front doors. At one house she took a shortcut through a corner between the driveway and the walk to the front door.
“I didn’t see that there was a single small mud puddle right there. My shoe slipped, and I went flying,” Olga reported.
Although it was a small mud puddle, her whole right side was filthy. Instead of going home, however, the intrepid Olga took some plastic grocery bags put them on the car seat, took a short break and a few deep breaths and kept right on going door-to-door.
On another occasion, Elaine Clisham had a meet-up with the resident dog.
“I was about to go back down the steps when this little dog came running around the side of the house and up the steps, barking like crazy. It was just big enough for me to take it seriously, and I could tell it was extremely serious about getting me off that porch, so I went back down the steps very slowly, one step at a time,” Elaine explained. “I got to the bottom when the dog’s human came around the other side of the house and yelled at the dog, prompting it to jump up and bite me on the outside of my leg!”
The human and his daughter, who had also come around the side of the house, were kind and apologetic, and administered first aid. But, before she left, the stalwart Elaine extracted a promise from the pair to vote for Tom Malinowski.
Zoe Langdon noted, “The most gratifying moments are when we engage Dems that historically don’t vote in midterms or some Republicans who say, We’re fed up. I’m voting for sure.” Amara Willey had a lengthy conversation about policy with a Republican who was leaning towards voting for Tom Malinowski through his frustration with the current administration’s “shenanigans” in Washington. But what happens when Leonard Lance’s 12th grade Latin teacher answers the door? Cindi Sternfeld marked her down as “strong Lance” supporter.
One of our members canvassed with a 16-year-old high school student whose guidance counselor had suggested she intern for the Malinowski campaign. The student memorized the script along the way and by the end of the day, she was talking and engaging with the potential voters. Susan Shapiro said, “People were very patient with her and impressed that she was volunteering to do this work!”
Susan as well as others who have been on the road say they believe in canvassing 100%.
“It is very rewarding to see that you are getting through to people about the importance of voting, about needing checks and balances, and educating Democrats about the candidates,” Susan said. “Many don’t know [a candidate’s] positions and they appreciate me showing up to fill them in.”