Summer on a Campaign

Though I’ve worked on a number of political campaigns, I’ve never worked on one this far from Election Day.

In the past, I’ve been hired 2 or 3 months out-- the time when things are really beginning to heat up. It’s easy stay motivated and work long hours when there is such a sense of urgency.

But my experience on this campaign has been very different. When I began 4 months ago, we had 8 months until Election Day. At that time, 8 months seemed like an eternity. It seemed like plenty of time to mobilize volunteers and to talk to the thousands of voters we need to reach to win.

But now that half of that time is gone, I’m getting more and more anxious. I mean, we only have 4 months left!

The problem for me as an organizer is that it’s summer in Wisconsin. This is the time when people relax, go on vacation, and spend some much needed time catching up with their family and friends – which is a good thing, of course. And, honestly, I want time to do the same. So it’s difficult to convince people to spend their Friday afternoons petitioning at the County Fair, their Saturday mornings going door-to-door, and their Sunday nights making phone calls to recruit more volunteers.

But I keep telling myself that I have to make the most of every day. Because I want to know that I’m doing absolutely everything I can to help defeat the ban on November 7th.


At 3:41 PM, Anonymous Betty said...

It is hard to work during the summer. But I've volunteered a few times at outdoor events, and it's actually a lot of fun. You get to be outside, meet a lot of people (and often run into friends), as well as get some very important work done. It's completely worth a few hours a week!

Plus, like you say, Shira, I don't want to have any regrets on November 7th.

At 4:08 PM, Anonymous Heidi said...

Yesterday, I went to a concert in our downtown park. I was planning on going anyway and brought along a clipboard and pledge to vote No page.

I had a great time talking with young mothers and elderly couples about the ban. I was surprised to find that lots of them were on our side, AND I felt more of a sense of community because I was talking to my neighbors and connecting with them about an important issue. It's easy to sit in the park and listen to the music and wonder what people are thinking about, but its really fulfilling to go find out.

Shira and Betty, thanks for your encouragement and your hard work! You should come with next time.

At 4:36 PM, Anonymous Jeff said...

Great work all of you! I am sure campaigns can be really hard for staff. As a volunteer just one night a week, I know how trying it can be. Keep up the hard work through the summer and we wll wibn in November.

At 5:14 PM, Blogger Pabitra said...

Right on to everyone who recognizes. There will always be other summers of camping, swimming and fun but we only get one chance to defeat the ban.

At 1:07 AM, Anonymous Kent Walker said...

And of course, I feel guilty. Why, because I don't feel I am doing enough. I voluntered at Fair Wisconsin ONCE. I was supposed to go door-to-door but had to back out at the last minute, I give monthly and just added my 30.00 and my husbands extra 30.00, and have emailed many of my friends and family for more... yet, I feel that is not enough. I shouldn't feel guilty but I do... I don't feel that I have done MY part. Why oh why... I need to work on that just like all of the others....

At 3:14 PM, Blogger Communitygal said...

Now, now, enough of that guilt. Guilt is simply not a productive emotion. How about feeling inspired? I feel inspired when I hear that Fair Wisconsin has 6000 ACTIVE volunteers--that means 6000 people, including me, who are out there talking to people about the ban. I get even more inspired when I am actually doing that talking--because so many of the people I talk to are extremely passionate about the issue, and my phone call or e-mail is the first opportunity they have had to express their enthusiasm!

So Kent, you are hereby absolved. Do 3 canvasses and 2 volunteer nights in your area, and all will be forgiven--and by the time you've done that, you'll be hooked and working it into your regular schedule for the next 134 days.

At 2:45 PM, Anonymous Kent said...

3 canvasses and 2 volunteer nights? Yikes. You really want to get me out of my comfort zone don't you. And rightly you should. I hearby do declare that I "might" do canvassing but may just start by working the petitions at the Farmer's market. As soon as I return from visiting my family out of state I will get off my guilty fueled vehicle and get back in the open embrace of the freedom fighters.



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