After completing some deadlines earlier last week, I turned my head toward the election. Went up to Wisconsin this weekend, my home state swing state, to knock on doors and encourage people to vote, vote, vote!
And then my hand ended up on the cover of today’s New York Times! (Look closely in the bottom right corner of the bottom left photo: there’s a hand holding a piece of paper.)
Turned out to be a great trip. A friend suggested going up to Milwaukee. She and I got a ride up on Saturday with a Chicago Public School high school teacher who teaches civics—glad to know that’s now part of the curriculum! Knocked on doors for a couple of hours. Hopefully convinced an undecided voter. Had a delicious home-cooked dinner with friends. Stayed overnight with another friend who told me that Michael Moore, who predicted Trump when no one else did, is saying that, with all hands on deck, we can do this! That gave me the impetus to go out again on Sunday.
On Sunday, I got paired to canvas with Haley Hager. She mentioned she’s from Chicago. And I said, “Me, too! Where?” She said, “Hyde Park.” I said, “Me, too!” Serendipity! Turns out she’s a veteran campaign organizer now getting a masters in public policy at the University of Chicago. A New York Times photographer, Taylor Glascock, trailed us and voila!
When we were done, we passed by 20th & Center streets where a guy named Ed had a smoker set up on a vacant lot. I treated Haley to his exceptional ribs, and she gave me a ride home.
It was great to get out and meet new people. Canvassing is fun. We are given a list of registered voters who lean Democratic who don’t always vote. It’s all on an app with a map. A few people may say, “not interested,” not answer the door or hang up. Very few are rude. Fine. That’s on them. I’m on a quest. There’s always another door to knock! The satisfaction of making a difference with just one voter is the thrill that keeps me going. During 2020, I was calling voters on Election Day, and I talked to a woman who was isolating due to COVID, completely distraught that she couldn’t vote. I got her hooked up with people who could help. Every vote makes a difference!
Take a moment and think about people you know who might not vote. Don’t think you know any? Think again. Give them a call. Stop by. Give them a ride. Whatever it takes!
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© 2022 Michele Beaulieux … Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. That means you are free to share and adapt as long as you attribute to Michele Beaulieux, don’t use for commercial purposes, and use this same license. And if you do share, I’d love to know!