Friday, September 26, 2008

Tikkun Olam Fridays - Repairing the World One Step at a Time

Another Friday, another post on tikkun olam – to repair the world. Remember, you don’t have to finish the job, but it is your responsibility to start.

What action did you take this week, big or little, to make a difference?

Last Saturday a few of us Obama supporters in Ventura County made phone calls to our sister district in Nevada, working to get out the vote. Let me tell you, it was scary, even though I make phone calls all week to editors and reporters I don't know and who would rather not hear from another publicist.

Some of these folks could be angry Republicans. How would they react when they heard I was with the Obama campaign? You know how you react when a telemarketer calls. I had been building up good karma all week, being nice to whoever bothered me, even if they called during dinner.

The campaign was organized. We had our script, our list, our talking points. The host had laid out some nice noshies. We took our cell phones to different rooms, even outside on the front step. I would have called from the bathroom except for the sound bouncing off the tiles.

All went well. I spoke to 2 supporters, one undecided who was anxious to hear the debates and a few Republicans who got off the phone quickly. No one was rude and besides, I realized that I was representing the candidate. I was going to show them that Democrats were polite no matter what.

The six of us made 200 calls. Most of the people weren't home or the numbers were wrong. But our job wasn't just to connect and gauge support. We were culling the bad numbers so teams calling down the road wouldn't be wasting their time.

One of the coordinators gave us some visual help. He said remember why you're doing this. Well, I kept a picture of my kids, 19 and 16, in my mind. It was just a little tool but it worked. And I kept saying to myself, every vote counts, every vote counts. Which meant that each call, each effort I made to dial one more time, counted. I liked the sense of efficiency and accomplishment.

And I liked how we were working with folks from the neighborhood. A few of us had kids in the same grade in school or had worked on the high school's performing arts booster group together. But we didn't really know each other very well.

So the afternoon wasn't spent just reaching out to Nevada or working on a national campaign. We were building community. All those collected emails will come in handy.

Because no matter the outcome on November 4th, on November 5th the fight will continue. Taking back the country, and turning it around, one vote at a time.


Green Bean said...

Good for you. I made a handful of calls too - mostly wrong numbers but a few undecideds. Anyway, it is wonderful that you are using this not only to elect get Obama in the White House but also to build community. Who knew it could be like that down there in the Conejo Valley.

Bobbi said...

Are you saying we're an alienated exburb? Where no one talks to each other? Mea culpa here too.

Make sure you forward the wrong numbers so no time is wasted calling them again. Every little bit helps.