This weekend, Massachusetts Democrats hit the streets of Barnstable to knock on doors and connect with our neighbors. Natalie Boyle was one of those grassroots volunteers and filed this report:
I know that canvassing can change the outcome in elections. I know that the best way to contact voters is through direct interactions, but it took me a few times canvassing to gain the confidence and enthusiasm to get beyond the goal of gathering data.
The first time you go canvassing, you knock tentatively. It’s a favor for a friend, an obligation at your job, or a meek desire to make an impact in the vast political world around you. By the second or third time, you are ready, willing, and enthusiastic to connect, discuss, and engage any voter willing to give you a minute. It’s not about getting through your walk list, but about reaching as many people on the list as possible. It’s about gaining an understanding on where people are standing, and learning how to better inform them on the issues that truly have an impact on their lives.
As our trio made our way down the small sand-dusted streets of the quiet Cape town, we were met at most doors by open-minded voters who had many concerns about the upcoming election. These voters were worried about a variety of problems that face the Commonwealth and the Country and they were looking for the right leadership to help solve these problems.
The resounding message from all voters that we talked to concerned the American Dream and the American Spirit. There seems to be a consistent feeling that somewhere along the line we stopped turning to each other when the going got tough and started turning on each other. Whether it was the 78 year old mother of five who reminisced about the days when neighbors helped neighbors, and communities pulled together, or the 45 year old landscaper insisting that the government is no longer serving the people, most voters agree that there needs to be a change in mentality for the American people, and in the way that the government functions.
If we’re going to move our country forward, we can’t just worry about changing politicians – we need to change the way politics is done. With the sun beating down on me on Saturday, I stood on the front porches of total strangers to talk about the importance of this year’s election and I realized just how powerful those face-to-face conversations can be.