Canvass in Communities of Color

Two years ago when I joined this campaign, one of my priorities was to ensure that we outreach to as many regionally and demographically different groups of people as possible. The consequences of this ban will affect families in every one of our state’s communities.

To outreach to people of color, we have worked to get endorsements from different organizations like the Madison Urban League, LUChA, Wisconsin Organization of Asian Americans and the NAACP, as well as legislative and community leaders of color.

In Madison, last February, Moises Price-Neuman and I pulled together forty leaders of color to discuss the importance of opposing the ban. We continue to work with these leaders, but I also understand that an inclusive campaign goes beyond building lists. Recently, I put together a skilled team of diverse staff members who have experience working with minority communities.

This past Saturday, we organized a people of color door canvass. We relied on a diverse team of volunteers to outreach to racially and culturally diverse communities. Unlike most canvasses, which are organized by two captains, this canvass was organized by a community of volunteers.

We worked with Jennifer and Cedric from Queer People of Color (QPOC), an organization of LGBT and straight allies from UW Madison to recruit volunteers of color and target wards where there were at least 25% people of color.

Targeting these wards was not an easy endeavor in a city like Madison. We struggled to find communities where there were high rates of home ownership (getting into apartments is a strategy itself) and relatively high voter turn out. We also adjusted our training to ensure that our volunteers understood this issue as it pertained to the people we were talking with.

When Saturday hit, I was nervous. I didn’t know what to expect from the canvassers or the people we were outreaching to.

But after three hours of walking in the heat, all of us were grateful that we had decided to put together such a canvass. A large majority of the people at the doors opposed the ban.

We plan on continuing our outreach at events and organizing another canvass targeting communities of color. If you are interested in helping outreach to people of color in Dane County please contact me. Or, if you are in Milwaukee, email Corinne Rosen, our people of color outreach coordinator.

1 Comments:

At 8:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

“It’s time. This is the 20th century,” Camille Solberg, president of the Hispanic American Council of Wisconsin, said. “It is time for these people to be treated as human beings. Now they can get out of the shadows of being mistreated, of being taken advantage of.”

Sounds great, right? Only this is a quote from Camille Solberg of the group "Wisconsin Coalition for Traditional Marriage," talking about immigrants. Despite her obvious concern for one group of mistreated individuals, she actively works to instutionalize oppression of another group. How can she compartmentalize freedom like that? This is the challenge of reaching out to all constituencies to understand that there is so much more common ground than differences.

 

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