Knocking on doors has been proven as a successful winning strategy. Every weekend, volunteers all around Massachusetts knock on the doors of voters to discuss the issues with their neighbors. Last weekend Ipswich native Diane Young went out canvassing for Elizabeth Warren. Below is her story.
Ipswich Democrats canvass every Saturday morning for Congressman John Tierney and Elizabeth Warren. We start off at Zumi’s, a great coffee shop in the center of town that’s very hospitable to us. We’ve had up to a dozen canvassers on a Saturday, and we’ve covered a lot of territory. This was my fourth Saturday on the team..
Carolyn Style is the organizer for Ipswich. She’s always ready to go, with “turfs” to hand out, campaign literature and advice. Today, a drizzly morning, brought out one of our smaller crews: four volunteers.
Since we were all experienced canvassers, we each took a turf to walk by ourselves. I learned from Elizabeth Kilcoyne to write some “Sorry I missed you” notes beforehand, so you can move more quickly on the route. It was shaping up to be a day where you just get through your list hoping not to get too wet.
I walked to 29 households, jumping into the poison ivy on the side of the road when speeding cars went by. Five of those households told me they were voting for the other side, but every person was polite and glad to meet me, a neighbor. To those who were undecided, I gave my little spiel about healthcare.
Some of the old houses in Ipswich have doors every which where, and apartment entrances can be hard to find. When I knocked on the imposing front door of a fine eighteenth-century home, a man in his late sixties poked his head out from the side porch. I asked him where to find his tenant’s door, and he directed me around the back, glancing at my clipboard and brochures. As I took off to find the tenant, he stopped me:
“I have to tell you, though…”
Me: “She’s a staunch Republican?”
Him: “I’m a Republican, and I’d never vote for that jerk!”
As he scanned the campaign pins on my shirt, I held my breath, wondering who he meant.
“That Scott Brown!” I exhaled. He continued: “I’m a bankruptcy lawyer. Elizabeth Warren is our savior.
She’s saved so many people’s mortgages.”
On a dreary day, that man’s personal story put a spring in my step. It reminded me that we’re not just doing this for the Party–we’re doing it to improve individual lives. Should I have asked him to canvass with me?