A First Time Canvasser’s Experience: Who Thought Civic Duty Was This Much Fun?
I’ve been a fan of Elizabeth Warren ever since I learned about her, when President Obama tapped her to set up the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. At the time, I was still living in New York (not the city – upstate, where the cows come from). I was immediately taken with her. A woman who thinks credit card companies should play nice, supports a more affordable post-secondary education (so future students don’t end up with a pile of student loan debt like mine) and champions my right to do whatever the heck I want with my reproductive system? I was sold! After I moved to Massachusetts eighteen months ago, one of the things I was excited about (in addition to the lower taxes and less certifiable state legislature) was being able to cast my vote for Warren in this senatorial race.
So, when Massachusetts Young Democrat Elaine Almquist (who I only knew as @ealmquist on Twitter) asked me if I might be interested in knocking on doors for the Warren campaign, I was totally stoked. For a long time, I’d wanted to get more involved politically at the grassroots level – my parents are both involved in city politics in my hometown, and I wanted to do my civic duty. Sure, I’d never done anything like this before, but I know how to smile and be friendly, and Elaine sent me her tips ahead of time, so I had an idea of what to expect.
When I arrived at her house for the evening’s activities, I met her and a few other Young Dems who I can only describe as ‘awesome.’ They were easy to talk to, and obviously had field experience with this sort of thing. We split up into teams, and Elaine and I went out together – she took one side of the street, I took the other. And we got a-knockin’! Most people weren’t home, but those who answered my knocks were very nice, and overall it was a Democrat-friendly crowd, which made life easy. Both of us are a little map-challenged, so part of the fun was standing at unmarked intersections, casting lots to guess which street we might be facing. We were walking around for a couple of hours, and then met the rest of the group back at her house, at which point we compared notes and tweeted a picture of all of us.
I won’t lie, I was pretty stoked about the evening. Sure, we just knocked on doors in one neighborhood for one evening, but I really felt like I was doing my part to help out. If you’ve never canvassed before, I’d encourage you to try it out. Canvassers make a huge difference to a campaign, and a lot of people giving a little time makes the wheels of our democratic process turn!