Grassroots Organizing for Change

While I should have thought it over a bit and realized the event was a bad fit (and I probably wouldn’t follow through), I don’t regret going to Renton for the Canvassing for Change event Saturday morning.  I was inspired after a discouraging week, not so much by Howard Dean’s speech, as by the 400 or more people who crowded the room (and that was for the 1st shift). 


I think Howard Dean is right, Obama is going to win this election by grassroots organizing.  That being said, I don’t know if I’m going to be one of the people knocking on doors.  I’m a shy person, and truly, even with someone to go with, I’m not sure if I could handle it or be at all articulate.  There’s a reason why I write.  It’s an easier form of communication for me (though sometimes I even get shy writing).

I was at first encouraged Saturday when they mentioned being able to canvass your own legislative district.  I found the 43rd was not represented, though, and it was just as while they brushed me off to come back during the break between speakers when I was trying to figure out what might be close.  The more I thought it over, the more I realized that it looked like the situation was that I would be getting my own packet to go out and knock on doors myself.  There didn’t seem to be pairing off, as most people had someone.  With a smaller event, maybe I would have asked.

I did have one friend who could have made the second shift (2–5pm), but that wouldn’t have worked out as I had long before committed to being at the Amnesty International table that night for the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project Dinner (more tomorrow on that).  That was my other problem, and after the hour trip home (with a half hour wandering around Renton snapping photos, as I had just missed a bus), I realized I only had a couple hours to get ready for the dinner as it was.  Over scheduling, obviously, another problem for me.

After checking later on the King County Democrats website, I realized there would have been another problem, as it looks like all the Legislative Districts were outside Seattle, in south or east King County.  Which would make it rather difficult, as I’d have to figure out how to get to a neighborhood in another city by bus from Renton, then back from Seattle.  Do that without a computer to find that information, and then all the time that would take.  It was the 41st and 48th that were suggested to me as being closest (which may well be, without Seattle districts in the mix), but those were in Bellevue (so an hour back to Seattle, another hour to Bellevue, and probably another half hour wait or two).  So, it probably wouldn’t have worked anyways if I waited around for a packet. 

Then, there’s the idea of me, knocking on strangers doors and trying to convince them how to vote.  Would I have even followed through if I did get a packet?  No matter how much Barack inspires me, it’s pretty hard to go against my basic nature as an introvert. Believe me, I’m already beyond my comfort zone much of the time as it is, especially with my activism, and sometimes I think I should become a recluse. I know I would be happier.

Going out to Renton for the canvassing was a little crazy anyways (given the lengthy bus trip both ways, including waits).  I just so wanted to do something after the nastiness of the McCain attack ads.  I could have canvassed closer, either through the 43rd District Democrats or the new  Neighbor to Neighbor feature on Barack Obama’s website (informational video below).  I’m still not sure if I could do it, and definitely not by myself.

That being said, there are other things I can do, and the My Barack Obama feature, state pages (here’s Washington’s) and groups are helpful for finding those.  I’ve already written some postcards for Obama, and may do a shift at a Buttonpalooza or a voter registration drive.

Buttonpalooza?   Do I live an exciting life, or what? 

Well, life is going to get more exciting one way or another, whoever wins this election.  I’d just like it to be a positive excitement.  Let’s see, encouraging children to learn, creating more American jobs, tax breaks for working people and small businesses; vs cronyism, turning back the clock to the 19th century, and if John’s ticker doesn’t hold up, all White House cabinet positions held by Sarah’s old school chums from Wasilla.  Will that be fun, or what?!

Love the part about her friend who’s the head of the State Division of Agriculture, a former real estate agent, who now draws a $95,000 a year paycheck because of her qualification of “her childhood love of cows.”  Why do the words, “Heck of a job, Brownie” come to mind?

As noted in a previous blog, the time is getting short for people to register to vote or update their registration addresses, generally by the end of the month (and the vote caging continues).  Make sure you’re registered, and get all of your friends to register by checking Vote for Change:

Then vote for change November 4th (or sooner for those who vote by mail).

Vote for real change (and if you live in Seattle, buy a copy of Real Change, the long running homeless newspaper)!


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