(Edited version from “How was your Democratic Reunion Event?” posted 7/29/06)
The event was held in conjunction with the DNC’s Democratic Reunion Event. Activities were held across the country – in all 50 states. Some events were picnics, some were canvass events. Below is a report of the canvass event held in Salamanca, NY, for local candidates Eric Massa, (Congressional Race for the 29th district) and Linda Witte, (Assembly Race for the 149th district).
Since this was my first event, I was paired with someone who was experienced at doing this. After the first house we canvassed, I had my bearings and actually became pretty comfortable. I’m knowledgeable about national issues, Eric Massa’s background and views, and was comfortable in speaking of them.
My partner and I reached about 30 residences; probably 18 or so were home, and we left literature at the rest. (I don’t know how many homes the other volunteers were able to cover.)
Although no one we talked with really cared for our current congressional representation, I can say that no one was aware of Eric’s candidacy, either. At least it gave us the opportunity to introduce him and Linda to them, leave literature, and direct them to the websites for further information.
One of the houses we went to was occupied by new residents. We talked to them, found out that they were not registered to vote, discussed the importance of voting, took their names and adderss, and promised to send voter registration forms. (Lesson learned – always carry registration forms when you go canvassing!) I hope that they follow through, register, and vote.
It seems that the biggest concerns that people in this area had was health care. After that, jobs came in a close second. You would think in an economy where the unemployment figures were low, jobs would not be so high up on the list.
All in all, it was a really good experience. I wish that we had been able to reach more residents, though. Two things that I have learned: first, people are disgusted with the current congressional representation that we have, and second, I’m actually pretty good at doing this and I’ll definitely be doing it again!