Sunday, November 02, 2008

More Inspiration From The Field

I know that sometimes it seems, I' m just one person. What can I do?

I know we're nervous about this election.

I found inspiration from this post over at The Field

Read the personal accounts from all over the country. Some in red states. Some in blue. Some in tossups. All important, IMO

It's Your Story Now
Posted by Al Giordano - November 1, 2008 at 6:27 pm

During these next 72 hours, some of us - for example, the presidential candidates and the reporters that track them - fade into a kind of irrelevance.

The candidates will be speaking, the journalists will be scribbling it, the pundits will be commenting upon it, but it begins to sound like a monotonous noise in the background of a much more compelling song being sung.

We now take a back seat to the authentic protagonists of this campaign: those of you on the ground that are knocking on doors, making phone calls, hauling voters to the polls and otherwise getting out the vote.

It's so intense on the ground, that a scribbler with a pad, or even a photographer, can tend to be underfoot: nobody in his and her right mind is paying us any mind at this hour anyway, unless we have yet to cast a ballot (your correspondent has already done that, and doesn't need a ride to the polls, thank you very much).

But the intensity of the ground game right now makes the reporting much harder to do...

Or does it?

I was just thinking to myself, hey, we have all these readers and commenters here that have been out all day doing that work. They're the eyewitnesses to history now!

Just then an email arrived from one of our regular commenters, in Illinois:

I have just returned from canvassing Indiana, after leaving Chicago at 7 am today. I would like to share with you what happened.

The campaign had previously e-mailed me and assigned me to a specific city (Indianapolis), a specific office in that city, and a specific staging area to meet in Chicago to get there. Normally in these staging areas there are more drivers than riders. This time so many volunteers showed up the cars filled up. I showed up 10 minutes late and was not able to secure a car. They had all filled up. The campaign then told me to go downtown to the Illinois HQ, which was a staging area for a different city in Indiana, Michigan City. While I'm in the HQ signing in and getting a ride, I see at least 75 people phonebanking.

We hit the road and ninety minutes later I'm in Michigan city. The field office there is packed: at least 100 volunteers are crammed into it. They have a three shift system: people canvass in the morning, and give their list to the second shift who knocks on the doors of anyone who wasn't home, and a third shift that knocks on any door that the second shift didn't make a contact with. I was assigned to the second shift, but there were so many volunteers I couldn't get a packet!

Michigan City, a fairly small city, had a satellite office. I was quickly sent there, to find a room with 4 campaign organizers and at least 50 volunteers. I managed to score the last walking packet for this office's second shift. I did my shift in a lower-income African American area and had a contact rate of 30% (mind you, using a walking sheet that had already been walked 2 hours ago; I was knocking on every door that had been marked previously as nobody home). Everyone I spoke with had either already voted or assured me they vote Tuesday for Obama.

The best part? On the way to the satellite office we passed the local RNC office. It was closed.

(I'll leave it up to the writer as to whether he wants to uncloak or not, here in the comments section.)

I'm betting more of you have stories like that.

Share them.

You must tell these stories.

Your story - of canvassing, of phone banking, of getting out and protecting the vote - is the single biggest news story of the hour.

Use the comments section here to tell those stories (or if you're shy, send me an email submission).

The microphone, the narrative, the blog - like the campaign itself - is now very much in your hands.


Read how individuals, just like you are working with others, to weave together something positive. To fight together for this country.

I dare you to read those replies and NOT be inspired.

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