Monday, November 5, 2012

Canvassing for the First Time

Many in the Northeast are still recovering from the aftermath of hurricane Sandy. I'm one of the lucky ones. I have a roof over my head, heat, and luxuries such as cable and Internet. My heart goes out to my fellow neighbors both in and out of state that are still trying to get back to their  pre-hurricane lives.

I was getting a little bit down on myself because I haven't posted a a blog or restaurant review in a few weeks. I have eaten out at a couple of local New Haven restaurants, but between starting my next class, gearing up for a job transition, and life in general, I've dropped the ball on the writing front. While I have my regrets I realize there are more important things to consider. The most important thing for me at the moment is tomorrow's election.

It's been a grueling campaign on both sides and I think it's an illustration of how high the stakes are for all Americans, no matter what side of the political aisle you may fall. This past Saturday, I canvassed for the first time with Planned Parenthood Votes CT and Naral Pro-Choic Connecticut PAC in Middletown. Both organizations are supporting pro-choice Democratic candidates Dante Bartolomeo (D) for state representative of the 13th district and Christopher Muphy (D) for U.S Senate. I signed up for a morning shift. It was great to meet other volunteers and see people engaged in the political process.

When we were getting the dos and don'ts of canvasing we received a surprise message that Sandra Fluke would be stopping by. We were already charged up, but that added fuel to our political fire. I was hoping I'd get to meet her before I hit the streets. Just as I was stepping outside, she pulled up to our location. I managed to get out a hello, introduced myself, and thanked her for dropping by. She thanked me for canvassing. Later that day, she also favorited my tweet which made up for the missed photo opportunity. Hopefully our paths cross again.

Jen, my canvass partner and I knocked on 48 doors. Most of the people weren't home. I was bummed by that. I caught one women getting out of the shower and she just took our fliers and closed her door. Jen spoke to a 34 year-old women who said she wasn't going to vote. This was a reality check about young voters in our country who are not engaged in politics. I realize this fact, but it's an eye-opener when you hear a person tell you they don't plan on voting.

Her reasons for not voting in this election were that she didn't have time and that she was disillusioned by political ads on both sides. I hope that we left enough of an impression with her that she does go out and vote and if not, what a sad state of affairs.

In this country I feel we take a lot for granted at times. The election process is a personal reminder of how fragile our system is and how easily the scales can tip in another direction. Please VOTE TOMORROW! Our future depends on it.


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